I love to get up early….while it is still dark. One of my favorite things is to watch the complete darkness….turn to a dull gray…then to a faint orange and gold….then to a light, bright yellow and orange that illuminates the entire landscape. I love to watch the light take out the shadows and dull form of the trees. The shadows turn to distinct forms. All things become illuminated with the sunrise. How magnificent! :o)
I have become accustomed to watching it every morning. For me it is such a picture of God as described in 1 John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you; God is light in him there is no darkness.” God is light. He always reveals Himself to those who earnestly seek Him.
Yet, in life, we all have doubts, even as believers. We can doubt, especially when we suffer or we see suffering. What I have learned is honest doubt can be a “doorway” to deepening our faith! Yes! Proverbs 1:22-23 states, “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.”
There is a difference between honest doubt and dishonest doubt. Honest doubting doesn’t know but truly wants to know and will seek it. Dishonest doubt doesn’t care. They depend on hearsay. They don’t want to know or learn for themselves. They put up smokescreens and make excuses. At 53 I find many doubters, but when I take the time to gain understanding, I realize most doubters have not read the Bible nor been seekers of the “knowledge” that is available.
I love the Thomas found in the Bible. He was a sincere, reflective doubter and part of Jesus’ inner circle. When we read accounts of his doubt, we find some of the most amazing words of Jesus. We also see that Thomas’ sincere doubt led to a stronger faith. In John 14:5 Thomas asks of Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Basically Thomas is saying, “I/we have no clue.” And then, some of the most powerful words of Jesus ever recorded were the answer to Thomas’ questions. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him,” (John 14:6-7).
Jesus didn’t hesitate to answer Thomas and Jesus won’t hesitate to answer us. We have to have the ears and eyes to receive the answer. God’s word is a major way He speaks to us today. Thomas didn’t have God’s word…nor the Holy Spirit…WE do!
We find Thomas again…having a question….seeking to see, to know. After Jesus was resurrected and appeared to the disciples, we find in John 20:27, “Then he said to Thomas when he doubted, ‘Put your fingers 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!'”
Thomas had doubts but what did God do? He showed Himself to Thomas! What did Thomas do? He believed and confessed Jesus as Lord.
Point of post…Do you have doubts? Do you doubt the goodness and presence of God in your life?
What do you know? For me, a growing faith is trusting what I do know and then stepping into areas that I don’t know. I know that God’s word says, “Trust in me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”….and in all my ways acknowledge Him and he will make my paths straight (see Proverbs 3:5-6).
I also know that His word says, “If you seek me, I will be found by you,” (see Jeremiah 29:13). I also know that all things work for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (see Romans 8:28).
I know that while on this earth there will be suffering but to take heart for He has overcome the world (see John 16:33). I know that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world, (see I John 4:4). I know that if I remain in the light, He will dispel the darkness (see John 12:46). This is where I cannot lean on my own understanding …seeking God …His plan…His will is a daily thing…hourly, in fact.
His word tells us to pray continually. This has come to mean to be in constant conversation with Him…looking for Him every hour of every day…being “TUNED IN to Him” not TUNED OUT…not letting the “world” consume me. When the light moves, I move. Moving to stay in the light and not the shadows. I call it guarding my heart. It casts out all doubt.
Proverbs 4:18-23, “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. My son pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
I encourage you today–don’t exchange what you do know for what you don’t know! If you want to have more faith, exercise the little faith that you have. That is how you strengthen your faith. Seek THE Light in the midst of our doubt.