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Dealing with Doubt

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” -John 14:1

There are only a few places in scripture where Thomas the apostle is mentioned, and in almost all of them, he is not shown in a very favorable light.  Known as “Doubting Thomas,” this disciple is the one who seemed unsure of himself and unable to understand what Jesus was conveying to the disciples in John chapter 14, then later doubted the resurrection in chapter 20.  

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.” -John 20:25

I think it would be a pretty tough thing to be known as the disciple who doubted, but that’s exactly the reputation Thomas earned.  We can be quick to judge Thomas when reading these passages, but if we were to take an honest look at ourselves, how many of us could truly say that we have never doubted?  And like Thomas in John chapter 14, we often don’t feel like God is making it clear to us “which way we should go.” 

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’” -John 14:5

As Christians, we are taught to seek God’s guidance throughout the different stages in our lives, to seek His direction in all we do, especially in those “big life decisions.”

Which college should I go to?

What career should I choose? Should I change jobs?

Where should I live? Which house should I buy?

Should I get married?  To who? 

Should we have children?  How many?

Where should I focus my finances?

Many times in our lives, we wish for a “burning bush” moment.  We want God to give us a sign as to “which way we should go.”  And when we don’t receive those obvious answers, we tend to doubt.  

“God, do You even care?  Are You even there?”

I can look back at so many of the major events of my life and know without a doubt that God has been faithful to me.  He has blessed me with so many good things, and He has been with me through the hard times.  So why is it that I still find myself doubting when going through a trial or when facing a big decision? How can we know for sure the way that He has planned for us?

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6

He cares about us and about the choices we make, the paths we take. But what scripture suggests He cares most about, more than the big or small decisions in our lives, is that we are seeking Him in all we do with an eternal focus.  Fixing our minds on things above, not on earthly things. Being content in all situations.  Loving God and loving others.  Carrying out the great commission. Doing everything as if we are doing it for the Lord. Living for Him no matter where our lives or our decisions may take us.    

When making those big (or small) decisions, pray for wisdom and discernment.  Seek the counsel of trustworthy brothers and sisters. Read scripture fervently and be reminded of His promises.  Trust in the God who has proven Himself faithful.  

We know the way to the place He has prepared for us.  

Stop doubting and believe!  

“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.” -John 14:2-4

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