"Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe."
The doors were shut. Most of the men were there. Waiting. Anticipating. Suspecting. Frightened. They had gathered in one room. Perhaps it was quiet, with only mild whispers echoing from the stone walls. Or perhaps the room was filled with voices that were planning their next move, wondering how to escape persecution, mourning the loss of the One most beloved to them.
Suddenly He appeared. He stood before them, and first assured them that there was no need for fear. "Peace be unto you." Christ then revealed to them the wounds in His hands and side. They rejoiced. They were relieved. They were overwhelmed with joy, ecstatic, that He was there, risen. He breathed on them. Perhaps He then stayed for a time, comforting them, talking with them, instructing them before leaving again. After he left, the disciples shared their joy with the one who had missed the Savior's appearance.
Rejoicing with excitement, overcome with hope, filled with faith, they told Thomas, "We have seen the Lord." It sounded too good to be true. Thomas wanted to believe, but simply taking the word of his friends was asking too much. He struggled. He admitted his doubt. "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in His side, I will not believe."
Eight days went by. The disciples, including Thomas, gathered in the same house. The doors shut, still concerned about their future, but now filled with hope in the knowledge of Christ's resurrection, they waited. And He appeared again.
Jesus once again greeted them with a message of peace, relieving them of their fears. He turned to Thomas. "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands, and reach your finger here, and put it into my side." Then, Christ spoke six words that have resonated from that time around 30 A.D. to this day. Words that were meant for Thomas, the other disciples, for me, and for you. "Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas' response, a powerful one, is a pattern for us all. In awe, in worship, in realization of the truth, he responded. "My Lord and my God!" Then Christ spoke words for us today. ". . . because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. "
Christ returned to that stone house that day for Thomas. He had heard Thomas' words of doubt. He was concerned about his faith. He saw the struggle of Thomas' mind, and he wanted to crush the unbelief in the disciple's heart. But
Jesus also went back to that house for me and for you. To give us hope. To let us know that he understands our struggle with doubt. He knows our frame. He knows our weaknesses. He wants to increase our faith. He wants us to trust His words of life.
Are you fighting with confusion today? Are you bothered by fear or doubt? Talk to Him. Tell Him about your concerns. Jesus understands. He wants to speak words of peace and comfort to you. Confess your doubt to Him. Hope in His word. He cannot fail. He cannot lie. His promises are true. One shadow of doubt is only a blip on the screen of your life once you make the choice to believe. Remember, Christ didn't give us the option to believe, but commanded, "Do not be unbelieving, but believing," and what He commands us to do, He gives us the strength to fulfill.
From John 21:19 - 29 (NKJV)