Now Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So 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.” A 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!” Then 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.” Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” [John 20:25-29]
In Jesus’s life and death, we see the beautiful truth that God desires to be close to us. That’s why Jesus came, that’s why Jesus died, that’s why He revealed himself to others after He rose from the dead. God wants to be known and wants relationship with us.
Now what about our doubts? This story of Thomas after the resurrection hits home in so many ways. One way or another, we’re going to face doubts—Is the Bible true? Is God worth trusting? Did Jesus really exist, perform miracles, rise from the dead? Does God actually communicate with me? It’s easy to feel scared of doubts because it feels like they invalidate us. For a long time I believed that if I had doubts, God would distance himself from me because of disappointment or frustration.
BUT, this isn’t how God responds.
Thomas doubted that Jesus rose from the dead and said he wouldn’t believe until he sees and touches Jesus himself. God did not distance himself from Thomas. Actually, God met Thomas in the very exact way He doubted. Jesus came into the room with Thomas, grabbed his hand, and put it to His scars. God responded to Thomas’s doubts with His presence.
God wants to build our faith. What if doubts aren’t a negative thing but actually an opportunity for our faith to grow. That’s why Jesus says you are blessed to believe in the things you haven’t seen yet still believe. Here’s the truth, God might not answer every one of your doubts with a loud booming voice from heaven. But God will absolutely meet you in the midst of your doubts with His presence. This is how He builds relationship and trust.
For those experiencing doubts, I want to encourage you, you’re not alone. I also urge you to take advantage of this by bringing your doubts to God and asking Him to meet you in the middle of it all. God isn’t afraid of your unanswered questions. Let your greatest desire be for the presence of God. When you recognize the presence of God, your doubts become testimonies.
God, thank You for being close. God, when I have doubts, will You please help me realize Your character? You are safe and close and trustworthy and aren’t intimidated by my fears, my humanity. Will You please meet me in the doubt and lead me into faith? I love You, God. Amen.