Lost Your Faith? 09-29-23
I was reading in John the other day and I came across this. verse.
“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Now,I have read a couple of accounts about this passage. Some people think that this is the initial conversion of Thomas. This is when Thomas initially got saved. Others believe that Thomas actually lost his faith here. The second explanation seems right to me. The Scriptures only call out one who never believed,and that was Judas. He was never in the camp from the beginning. At any rate,what caught my eye was the fact that Thomas said,”I will never believe.” I personally think that he lost his faith. He was not a doubting Thomas,no,he was an apostate Thomas. Because Jesus had been crucified,Thomas was blown out of the water. He was devastated.He had followed Jesus for three or so years,had witnessed miracle after miracle. Had heard the words of life coming directly from Jesus Himself. I don’t know how many miracles Thomas actually saw,but one would have been enough!If I had seen a man feed multiple thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish,that would have been enough for me. Ya feelin me here? Much less the man at the pool,or walking on the water,or what about Lazarus? I’m just sayin’
So this man Thomas,who has seen Jesus do all these miracles,has heard the words of life issuing forth from His lips,all of a sudden is no longer a believer.Look again at Thomas’ last words. “I will never believe.” Everything was going along fine in Thomas’s world and all of a sudden,in a flash….He was gone. Who was gone Ronnie? Jesus was gone. Not only was He gone,but the circumstances of His going were horrible.He,Thomas,(you and me)had finally found what he had been looking for,the Messiah.And now,in a flash,his Messiah had been crucified,was dead and buried.The shock and awe were devastating. Thomas had had enough,he was NEVER going to believe.
I imagine that during those three years,Thomas had told many people about Jesus. I imagine that he had spoken many times to family and friends. I would suppose that he had told them that Jesus was the Messiah,he had more than likely told them that Jesus would heal them of their sickness,or that He would protect them from the storms of life. Isn’t that what we do brothers and sisters? Thomas was no different from us. Thomas wasn’t having to walk by faith,he was an eyewitness to what was happening.Yet,when it all came crashing down,he had lapsed into unbelief. Why? Well,I can’t say,but I imagine one reason was pain. Whaddya mean Ronnie?Well,everything that he had told people now appeared to be a lie.Messiah? Protector? Healer? I can hear the people asking those questions of Thomas right now. Maybe even Thomas was questioning himself at this point. “I will never believe.”
The pain of loss was more than he wanted to or even could endure.His faith had been destroyed.
You ever feel like that? You have told someone that Jesus will do this or that and it didn’t work out the way you said it would.You have believed God for something and it didn’t come to pass. You have been hurt. You have thought it is all a lie. You just don’t want to expose yourself like that again,not even to God.You have made yourself vulnerable and have gotten the proverbial 2x4 upside your head.You have told yourself “never again.” Perhaps you gave someone hope and they got the 2x4. Whatever,the circumstance,you have been crushed and have lost your faith. Oh maybe you still believe in God. You know enough about Him to know he is real; but you just don’t want to trust Him like you once did.And you don’t. Well,let me tell you something.I have been right where you are. And as Ringo Starr once said,”you know it ain’t easy.”
In times like those you just have to keep on holding on.Brother Mushegan used to say,” you have to tie a knot in the rope and hold on!” Sometimes it can take a while. I imagine those eight days that Thomas endured were the longest of his life. What eight days Ronnie?Take note that Thomas was not with the disciples when they saw the resurrected Jesus for the first time.I don’t know why he wasn’t there. I can imagine why. But,the fact is he wasn’t there.He didn’t believe when they told him they had seen the Lord.Eight very long days.But…….
“Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Eight days later,Jesus appeared to Thomas and restored his lost faith.But,here is what we,you and I need to notice. Thomas was back with the group. He had been devastated when Jesus was dead and buried. He may have even left the group. He certainly lost his faith. But,eight days later he was there with the disciples when Jesus showed up. What made Thomas go back and rejoin the disciples. I don’know the circumstances. All I know is that through the disappointment and destruction of Cavalry,Thomas somehow found the strength and courage to press on,even when he had lost his faith. Those were eight very long days,I assure you.
Have you been disappointed in God? Even devastated? Maybe to the point of a loss of trust or even unbelief. Well,brother or sister,you are not alone. Why don’t you go to God one more time. You got nothing to lose do you? He’s there waiting for you.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”
All we must do is believe.