Morning by Morning, April 5 - Turning Wavering Doubts into Bold Declarations of Faith
"But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, 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 the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in His side, I will not believe.' A week later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, 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. Reach out your hand and put it in My side. Do not doubt 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 have not seen and yet have come to believe'" (John 20:24-28).
I like Thomas--not just because he has my name, but because I see a lot of me in him. What some would call doubt, I would call determined discernment, insistence upon truth, a high value for un-flaky faith, keeping it real. Before I was a minister, I was a lawyer. And as I began to grow in my faith, it was important to me to believe what true before I could preach it or teach it as true. And I suppose after these many years of my personal journey of faith, I'm still that way.
But like Thomas, what's helped me so much in my journey of faith are my personal encounters with You. Thomas' personal encounter with the risen Lord made him a believer. And it's the same with me.
I've encountered You in the midst of my guilt and shame where I've deeply regretted what I've done. In Your resurrection power, You forgave me and empowered me to forgive myself and cleanse me from my shame. I've encountered You in the midst of so many moments of failure and heartache, of feeling rejected and unloved, of being misunderstood and judged, of confusion and frustration, of finding myself weary, discouraged, and worn out, and in so many more of those moments when I wish I could just put my finger in Your hands and my hand in Your side. But every time, You've put Your hands around my heart and breathed Your Spirit into my life to lift me up and dust me off and send me along with even more faith, more trust, and more love for You than ever before. Every one of my personal encounters with You have made me a believer, believing even more strongly in every encounter.
In that powerful moment of Your undeniable Presence, You turned all of Thomas' wavering doubts into a bold declaration of faith--"My Lord and my God!" It's actually the highest and most direct declaration from any person in all the Bible that Jesus is Lord and God. And it's a boldness of faith that never left him after that encounter. I've been to the very place on my ministry travels to India where Thomas was martyred for his faith with a spear through his heart that never stopped loving You or beating passionately for You to preach Your Word and minister in the power of Your name until the day he died.
I love how You take our greatest weaknesses and turn them into our greatest strengths. In the very places where we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the power of Your grace, You give us authority and passion in Your Spirit to testify to Your love help others encounter the One who's done so much for us. I love how You turn sinners into saints, brokenness into breakthrough, and even lawyers into preachers! Thank You for turning my doubts into declarations and my failures into faith. Lord Jesus--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--You are "my Lord and my God!" And I love You with all my heart and offer all my life to You again this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays
My Friend, I pray your personal encounters with the risen Lord turn your doubts into declarations and your failures into faith, with a passion to love and serve your Lord and your God with all your heart, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friend!