DOUBTING Andy Hollifield 11-15-18
Matthew 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
Have you ever been there? Seeing him, worshipping him, but still having that little, nagging, twinge, of doubt. You don’t want to have it but due to fear and uncertainty, it’s there. The verse above tells us that when Jesus disciples went to the mountain in Galilee after his resurrection, even though they saw and worshipped him; some doubted. Thomas was at least honest enough with himself to admit that he had his doubts. He wasn’t the only disciple, or for that matter, the only person in the bible that worshipped the Lord but still doubted.
Peter is probably, aside from Thomas, the most well-known doubter. When he saw the circumstances surrounding him, due to fear he doubted and started sinking. It is hard to imagine that the evangelist to the Gentiles, the preacher that established the New Testament church, was ever afraid much less doubted. In Matthew 14:31 Jesus asked him why he doubted. One thing I noticed was where Jesus asked him. He asked him right after he stretched out his hand and caught him. He didn’t wait till he got back in the boat with all of the others and berate him for doubting but it was just a personal matter between him and Jesus.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus treats us the same way? We’ve probably all done it and it is always due to fear and uncertainty and taking our eyes off of him. In Mark 9:24 a desperate father that needed healing for his son admitted to Jesus that he was struggling to believe Jesus could heal him. A lot of times we find ourselves in the same position. We see our circumstances and even though we may still see him, we have seen so much disappointment and defeat that we struggle to believe also. The man confessed he had his doubts and asked Jesus for help believing and Jesus went to work on the man’s need. He didn’t berate him either. He had just told him “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
It has always been a problem due to us being in a fleshly body. Even Gideon, one of the greatest Generals of all time had his doubts. He wasn’t blatantly refusing to believe God, he just had that ornery little thought in back of his mind: “What if?” In Judges 6:15 when the angel spoke to Gideon, he asked the angel “Wherewith shall I save Israel?” He then began, like we do, to give all of the excuses why he couldn’t do it. Gideon doubted so much that he put a wool fleece out one night and prayed that the fleece would be wet and the ground around it dry. The next night, he prayed the opposite way. God answered both prayers and went one step further. Ain’t it something how that God always does more than what we ask? God even sent him to the edge of the enemy camp and let him hear the fear in his enemy’s voice and then he was satisfied.
Even the patriarch of Israel spent a lot of time doubting. Abraham was given the covenant by God when he told him to leave his home. After that he confirmed it several times over the years, especially when Abraham had trouble or just doubts.
Another great man who had his doubts was Elijah. After he killed the prophets of Baal, he was immediately threatened by Jezebel. In the midst of his despair he just ran and hid and complained and asked God to kill him. That don’t sound much like the same man that later would be taken up to heaven by a chariot and horses of fire does it?
What about us? If these great men, Peter, Thomas, Gideon, Abraham, and Elijah, all doubted at some point in their lives; surely we will face the same struggles. If we will get as honest with God as the father in Mark 9 was, and just admit we’re struggling to believe and need help; God will send help but also strengthen our faith. He may ask us privately why our faith has grown weak, but he will also reward us openly and never berate us around others. Don’t doubt the word of the Lord! Just admit your weakness and he will give you strength. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!