March 6, 2009
To Believe or Not to Believe

John 20:24-31

I have a friend whose heart was broken when his son decided he no longer wanted to be married. The father prayed that God would reconcile that broken relationship, but soon the divorce was final. My friend felt as though the Lord had let him down.

After Christ’s death, Thomas struggled with a similar issue. He had envisioned his Messiah ruling as King of the whole earth—but now Jesus was dead, and Thomas’s hopes were buried with Him. Had he believed a lie? Why had his Lord not done what the biblical prophecies said He would do?

When the other disciples reported that the Lord had risen from the dead, Thomas refused to believe unless he could actually see Christ’s wounds of crucifixion (John 20:25). Having been disappointed after putting faith in Jesus before, he hesitated to do so again without tangible proof.

Our trust in God can take a nosedive when expectations of what He will do are unfulfilled. Perhaps you can think of a time you asked the Lord for something and believed with all your heart that He would do it—but then He didn’t. What are we to do when it looks as if God has failed us? Keep believing! Jesus said, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (v. 29).

Thomas’s huge disappointment—Christ’s death—ultimately led to the greatest hope for mankind. When we feel that the Lord has let us down, we need to realize that in His great wisdom, He is doing something even greater than we asked. 

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