“‘You have so little faith,’ Jesus said. ‘Why did you doubt me?’”
Matthew 14:31 (NLT)
I’m going to blow my own trumpet and say that I’m good at spelling, so it annoys me when I’m typing on the computer, to see squiggly red lines appear under numerous typed words on the screen, indicating that I’ve possibly made a spelling mistake. Although I know that I haven’t made a mistake I instantly doubt my own capability to spell correctly, so I grab the dictionary to double check the words highlighted with the squiggly red line. I rarely make a mistake but because I doubt, I’ve been physically brought to a dead stop.
The dictionary describes doubt as a feeling of uncertainty, an inclination to disbelieve or trust, and being sceptical.
There’s an example of that in John, Chapter 20 where the disciples told Thomas that they had seen the resurrected Jesus. Thomas doubted them, because he replied in verse 25, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” Eight days later Jesus appeared again and Thomas was given the chance to stick his fingers into Jesus’ wounds. Jesus said to Thomas in verse 27, “Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” In verse 29 Jesus told Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe [or don’t doubt] without seeing me.” Thomas’ belief in Jesus was challenged and he let doubt affect his faith..
Many years before, three Jewish leaders were severely challenged by a decree from the King. In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar had made a huge golden statue and expected everyone to bow down and worship it. In the province of Babylon were three Jewish leaders, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who knew about the decree and decided that they wouldn’t bow down to the statue. When the King heard about their actions he was enraged and determined to make an example of them by throwing them into the furnace which had been heated seven times hotter than normal. The three men had plenty of time to change their minds about worshipping the statue when confronted with this terrible death, but their reply to the King was, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18) They didn’t assume that God would save them from death but they didn’t doubt that he could—their faith was unwavering. God did intervene, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the furnace completely unscathed.
Father, circumstances will arise to challenge our faith in you. Please drive the dark of doubt from our minds and keep us in the light of your Son. In Jesus’ name.
Study by Diana Hall
Worldwide Church of God Southampton
Saturday 11:00am L
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