Have you ever felt that conflict inside you where you believe that God can do anything, but that he can’t?
And then someone tells you that you are a bad Christian because you have that conflict and you don’t “Have enough faith?”
This is reality people. Anyone who says otherwise are lying to themselves and to you. I can totally at once believe that Jesus is Lord of the Universe, as well as my personal Saviour and friend, (to use a myriad of Christianese jargon) and I can also not believe that things will change. Simple as that.
And you believe it, too.
To work through this, to move, ultimately, to hope, I’m trying to concentrate on a few things:
Thomas is known as the doubter, because of John 20:
24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
But no one ever remembers this line, from John 11. Jesus is heading back to Judea, where it is quite possible that he will be killed (he doesn’t -not yet anyway):
16Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Thomas is the first one ready to die for Jesus. No one remembers that one. He didn’t bring the show like Peter; he just decided that he was going all the way with Jesus.
In Acts 12, Peter miraculously escapes prison and goes to a house of people that are praying for his release. When he shows up, people don’t even believe that’s its him, that this must be his angel. (whatever that means)
They were praying precisely for what happened, and didn’t believe it when it did happen.
Finally, one of the most profound prayers in the Bible, found in Mark 9:24:
I believe; help my unbelief.
Jesus had just told the man that he (Jesus) could do all for those who believe. That was his answer. Jesus healed his boy – even revived him from the dead.
If Jesus will do that for that man, with that prayer, I can come with the same prayer and the same hope.
Hope is a tough thing to focus on, but I’m trying.