Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, March 8, 2015

When Questions Become Answers: Part 2

Do you trust in God’s promises for you and your loved ones? Or are you skeptical about the reality of His loving grace? Do you wonder if He listens to your cries of mercy? If you’re standing at the crossroads of doubt and faith, which path will you choose to follow?

Consider the dashed hopes of Jesus’ disciples after His crucifixion and death. Were they plagued with doubts about the promises He made while alive? Or did they cling to some expectancy of fulfillment, even after His death? If you had been one of His followers, what feelings would have concerned you when He was laid in the tomb? 

Now imagine hearing that Jesus had risen from the dead. Reflect on the disciples’ thoughts when several woman returned from His tomb with news of seeing Jesus alive. Confusion? Shock? Disbelief? A faint memory of His words coming true? Would you believe the reports of His resurrection or would you have to see to believe?

The eleven disciples and others gathered with them in Jerusalem had a difficult time believing the women’s account of Jesus’ resurrection until He stood in their midst. His greetings of peace only startled them more. He said, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24).

When Jesus showed them His hands and feet, their disbelief began to change. He told them His Heavenly Father had sent Him into the world to witness of God’s love. He then breathed on them, saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Suddenly questions converted into answers—doubt transformed into faith. Soon He would send them out to testify about their beliefs and observations.

But one of the disciples named Thomas wasn’t with them when Jesus appeared to His group of followers. Naturally when several disciples told Thomas they had seen the risen Lord, he struggled to believe what he heard. He doubted them and demanded proof. 

About a week later when the disciples were together, including Thomas, Jesus appeared to them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then He lovingly turned to Thomas and allowed him to touch His nail-scarred hands and His wounded side. As Thomas touched the Lord’s wounds, Jesus said to him, “Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” 

Jesus answered him, saying, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed” (John 20).

Thomas’ doubted until physical proof changed his thinking. Many of us also demand evidence before we will believe anything. Are you a “doubting Thomas” or do you believe in the works of our risen Lord God? Do you need affirmation or do you trust Jesus no matter what? Is your faith strong enough to hope in things not seen (Hebrews 11:1)?

Peter, Thomas, you, and me—all have wrestled with faith at times, especially when focused on circumstantial evidence. We try not to doubt, but still we strive with those thoughts of unbelief. How can we trust Jesus, the Word of God?

We must purposely place our focus on Jesus Christ. Trust the truth of His holy Word and receive His Holy Spirit. Even when doubts assail us, our hearts and minds will be guarded by the Lord God Almighty.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.  Psalm 20:7 (MEV)

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I was helped; therefore my heart rejoices, and with my song I will thank Him.  Psalm 28:7 (MEV)

For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in truth.  Psalm 33:4 (MEV)

Send out Your light and Your truth. Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill, and to Your dwelling place.  Psalm 43:3 (MEV)

O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.  Psalm 115:9 (MEV)

Stay tuned for part 3 of “When Questions Become Answers”.........

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