Thomas, so often remembered as “Doubting Thomas,” deserves to be respected for his faith. He was a doubter, but his doubts had a purpose – he wanted to know the truth. Thomas did not idolize his doubts; he gladly believed when given reasons to do so. He expressed his doubts fully and had them answered completely. Doubting was only his way of responding, not his way of lie.
Although our glimpses of Thomas are brief, his character comes through with consistency. He struggled to be faithful to what he knew, despite what he felt. At one point, when it was plain to everyone that Jesus’ life was in danger, only Thomas put into words what most were feeling: “Let’s go, too – and die with Jesus” (John 11:16). He didn’t hesitate to follow Jesus.
We don’t know why Thomas appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection, but he was reluctant to believe their witness to Christ’s resurrection. Not even 10 friends could change his mind!
Doubt isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Doubt encourages rethinking. Its purpose is more to sharpen the mind than to change it. Doubt can be used to pose the question, get an answer, and push for a decision. But doubt was never meant to be a permanent condition. Doubt is one foot lifted, poised to step forward or backward. There is no motion until the foot comes down.
When you experience doubt, take encouragement from Thomas. He didn’t stay in his doubt but allowed Jesus to bring him to belief. Take encouragement also from the fact that countless other followers of Christ have struggled with doubts. The answers God gave them may help you, too. Don’t settle into doubts, but move on from them to decision and belief. Find another believer with whom you can share your doubts. Silent doubts rarely find answers.
Lessons From The Life Of Thomas
- Jesus does not reject doubts that are honest and directed toward belief.
- Better to doubt out loud than to disbelieve in silence.
NLT Chronological Life Application Bible