While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. [Jesus] said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see. Luke 24:36-39
Doubt and unbelief are big problems for Christians. They are negative and discouraging. They cause us to make poor choices, which make life difficult. They cause us to say things like, “I wish I could lose weight,” or “I wish my kids would behave,” or “I wish I could keep my house organized,” or “I wish I had better relationships.” We need to stop wishing for things and make up our minds that God will help us have wisdom, make good choices, and overcome our trials and tribulations if we will put our faith in Him.
One of the ways we struggle with doubt and unbelief is by thinking God won’t help us because we haven’t done everything right. Or believing that God is willing to help other people but not me. But God doesn’t expect perfection from us. God works in our lives through faith. He wants us to trust Him, believe in Him, have faith in Him, and have a hopeful, positive attitude. He wants us to expect Him to do good things in our lives. In our passage Jesus came to Thomas to help Him where he was in spite of his doubt. How we deal with our doubt will determine our outcome. Every day you need to say, “Something good is going to happen to me today. I can hardly wait to see what God is going to do in my life today!” And you especially need to speak this when the devil is trying to flood your mind with doubts. The way you fight the devil is by opening your mouth and saying what God says. Don’t just let the devil use your mind as a garbage dump. You must begin to doubt your doubts.
You may be thinking, I just can’t help it…I wish I could believe and not doubt. But the truth is, you can! God wouldn’t tell us to believe in Him if it wasn’t possible for us to do it. We can defeat doubt and unbelief if we know how to do it. So how do we do it? How do we believe God and live by faith? Romans 10:17 (NKJV) tells us how: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The key here is the Word of God. We need to love the Word of God and go after it like we go after food when we’re really hungry. When we’re hungry, we’ll usually do what we need to do to get food. God’s Word is medicine for our soul and the food we need to keep our spirit strong. It has inherent power to change our lives when it is mixed with faith. As you study and speak the Word, be sure to also talk about the good things God has done and not the problems. Decide to doubt your doubts!
In Luke 4, when Jesus was in the wilderness, the devil came to tempt Him. When the devil spoke to Him, Jesus responded, “It is written…” and quoted the Word of God. He used the Word as a weapon to overcome the lies of the enemy. “We can feed our faith with the Word, rather than feeding doubt with the devil’s lies. ” We can do the same thing. We can respond to the thoughts the devil brings to our mind with the truth of God’s Word. We can feed our faith with the Word, rather than feeding doubt with the devil’s lies. And when you spend time with people who feed your faith, it will encourage your faith in God.
I want to encourage you to refuse to be a lazy Christian and resist a passive, apathetic attitude toward your doubts. Be determined to do your part to build your faith. Never give up. And you will defeat doubt and unbelief! This Sunday at South Side we will finish our God Question Sermon Series as we look at the question “Why Do We Doubt?” We would love to have you and your family come and worship with us at 10:45. We have childcare for all ages, and there will be a fresh cup of coffee as well as many smiling faces welcoming you! For more info visit us on Facebook or at wwwsouthsidewch.com
South Side Church of Christ