Sunday, October 2, 2011

What If I Doubt

What If I Doubt
Oct 3, 2011
Romans 11:23 "And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again."

It is a human tendency to have doubts. Doubting can be healthy when it keeps us safe from those who would take advantage of us. Having doubts can also create a determination to discover the truth, which can be eye opening. But doubting the Lord is not generally a good idea, though He often has patience with us when we doubt. Some people have a rough time with doubting the Lord; at times I have had the same tendency. If you are honest with yourself; you have had your share of doubts, too. A few of you might be super-faith-stars; the rest of us are human.

The Apostle Thomas is often called Doubting Thomas because he needed to see the scars in the hands of Jesus to believe He had risen from the dead. People criticize Thomas to this day because he wanted proof that it was truly Him, but given the same circumstances I'm sure you and I might may have a similar request. We want proof sometimes in order to believe the Lord. Yes, the Lord honors those who do not ask for proof, but for those who do, the Lord is often patient.

Listen to what Jesus said to Thomas regarding his need for proof. Jesus said, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Jesus did not deny him. If you read the original account, Jesus had appeared to the other disciples first and showed them His scars. Thomas was told second hand that Jesus was alive; he wanted the same opportunity the other disciples had been given. Jesus was patient with Thomas. Jesus didn't chastise him; He showed Thomas kindness when Thomas had doubts. Jesus met him without hesitation and without condemnation.

There are actually several instances in the New Testament when the Lord is patient regarding unbelief. One man knew that Jesus might be able to heal his son of an evil spirit. Jesus said it would be possible if the man believed. The man said, "'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!'" Then Jesus honored the man's request and drove out the evil spirit. Jesus didn't chastise the man for his level of faith; Jesus worked with what the man had. Jesus met the man without hesitation and without condemnation.

Having doubts is natural, but living in a constant state of unbelief is not desireable. If you do have doubts, ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you. He will. If you have unbelief, come to the Lord with what you have and ask Him to help you overcome the rest.

He is willing to give you an opportunity to come to a decision regarding what you believe; just don't live a lifetime without seeking Him for the truth. There comes a time when you need to make up your mind, even though you might not have all the answers. He prefers faith without proof but He is willing to meet you where you are. If you have doubts, don't live in fear; ask the Lord for the clarity you need. It is better to ask the Lord for help than live a lifetime of duplicity, especially when Hell is at stake. I've never seen the Lord deny an earnest request for more of Him.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Mark 9:17-26, John 12:37, John 19:20-29, Romans 11:22-24, 1 Tim 1:13, Heb 3:19

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