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Summary: How do we deal with the doubts that creep into our lives? We don't want doubt in our Christian lives, but when it does come how do we deal with it? We look at Doubting Thomas and how Jesus helped him with his doubts.

Losing your Doubts (Be the Biggest Loser in 2012 series, #1) Jan. 8, 2012

Text : John 20:24-31

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

This morning I’m glad you are here, I’m looking forward to looking to God’s Word in these next four weeks as we discuss how to be the biggest loser, we are going to be talking about four very important issues, things that we all deal with…and if you say you don’t deal with these things, then my week five sermon will be on lying or denial…one of the two…What are these four areas? Today we are going to tackle our Doubts. Over the next 3 Sundays we will be talking about how to lose our Fear, our Pain, and our Guilt. So the first step is to admit that these areas play a part of our lives, so let’s be real and let God speak to us about how we deal with these real issues.

I’ve been reading Lee Stroble’s book, “The Case for Christ”, and I found this quote that I thought was appropriate for today… “he said there are 3 kinds of people in the church. Those who are struggling with doubt right now, those who have no doubts now but will struggle with them in the future. And those who have no doubts and will never have any doubts because they are basically brain dead.” I will let you decide which of the 3 groups you fall into…

Jude 1:22 says, 22 Be merciful to those who doubt;

This morning, if you find yourself in a place in your life where you are doubting, whether your doubting God, doubting yourself, doubting the circumstances you find yourself in…whatever it is, you are in a safe place this morning.

James Dobson tells the story about a lady who was watching a butterfly as it struggled to work its way of the cocoon. After a while the lady began to feel sorry for the butterfly, so she got a tiny little knife and carefully cut the cocoon just enough to help the butterfly work its way out. And sure enough, the beautiful butterfly got out and stretched out its wings and began to flutter for just a second. Then w/o any reason at all it fell to the ground and was soon dead.

This lady discovered too late that the struggle to get out of the cocoon is what makes a butterfly’s wings strong enough to fly. So w/o the struggle the butterfly has no life. I’ve got a feeling that God uses doubt in many of our lives like that cocoon. He forces us to struggle with the realities of our faith, not because he wants us to fail but because he wants us to spread our wings and fly.

This morning I want to look at this passage and I want us to look at how Jesus deals with Thomas, and the doubts that are real in his life.

Let’s start with John 20:24-25

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

1. Thomas was not disqualified or kicked out because of his doubts…

There is no question that Thomas doubted that Jesus was alive, and he wanted physical proof so that he would be sure. Let’s put ourselves in Thomas situation for just a minute. Thomas was one of the 12, he had followed Jesus for 3 years, he was close to Jesus, he saw the miracles, and he witnessed firsthand Jesus divine power, his divine nature…His love. Thomas had to be heartbroken, distraught, and confused. Earlier in chapter 20 we see that Jesus appears to the disciples, but Thomas is not there, we don’t know why, but we can make some guesses.

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