We’ve all asked these questions…
Why does God allow me to suffer?
Why doesn’t He answer my prayers?
Why did God allow my loved one to die?
We’ve all have doubted God. It’s normal for Christians—regardless of where they are in their faith.
All of us know the story of doubting Thomas. When Jesus rose from the dead on Easter Sunday and presented Himself to the disciples, Thomas wasn’t there. When the disciples told Thomas that they’d seen Jesus, Thomas didn’t believe them. That’s why we know him as “Doubting Thomas.” But Thomas did not stay a doubter. Jesus appeared to him. The Lord allowed him to touch His hands and side. Thomas believed—and eventually was martyred for his faith.
Doubt is something all humans do.
The Greek word gastazo in the New Testament means “two ways,” and that’s what we translate into the English word doubt. Doubt means looking in two directions. When we doubt, we are standing between what God says…and what people say.
Doubt is a struggle to believe, which makes it something different from unbelief. Unbelief is a refusal to believe. Unbelief is a decision. A doubter looks for the light, but an unbeliever is content with the darkness.
Doubt is a temporary affliction. Thomas’ doubts lasted eight days after Christ’s resurrection. We may be doubting now, but our doubts will not persist forever. To overcome doubt, we must make up our minds first not to turn away from God while we are doubting. We don’t let doubts keep us from doing what God wants us to do.
Finally, we must take a step of faith and see what happens. Make up your mind not to stay in a place of indecision. Choose God. Move forward. Pursue Him. Once you do this, you experience God and your doubt turns into overcoming faith.
“Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 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.” 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!” 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.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:24-29