Thomas wasn’t there when Jesus first appeared to His disciples after the resurrection. And like many of us, other people’s experiences weren’t good enough for Thomas—he had to have his own. And Jesus made sure he got them. Note, He didn’t put Thomas down for having doubts. He understood that any question arising from an honest heart isn’t a sceptical question; it’s a search for truth.
The Bible tells us: ‘After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came… and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”’ (John 20:26–28 NKJV)
We glean two important lessons from this story:
(1) Your doubts can actually lead you to a new level of faith. When the bottom drops out of your world, when the pain of your circumstances seems unbearable, when some shattering event occurs and doubt marches in unannounced, don’t deny it—acknowledge it. Times of doubt become classrooms of learning when they drive you to God for answers. As you work your way through them, you reach a new level of faith.
(2) Your doubts can lead you to a deeper relationship with Jesus. The testimony of others will only carry you so far; ultimately, you need your own personal experience with the Lord. And you can have it! Thomas started out doubting Jesus and yet ended up dying as a martyr for His cause. Think about that!