Remember the Sure deodorant ads? “Raise your hand if you’re “sure”!” Picture people raising their hands in classrooms, on the dance floor, on the basketball court, on a roller coaster, yada, yada, yada. The point? If you wear Sure deodorant you can be so sure about having sweet-smelling, sweatless underarms that you can raise your hand (Shoot! Your whole arm, for that matter!) with confidence.
Ah, if only it were that simple to be sure, to be certain.
But whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have our doubts about things…even things we’re supposed to be sure about.
At times we doubt…
- God will provide.
- God will answer our prayers.
- God’s even paying attention.
- God cares.
- God can do anything at all about this particular situation.
- God loves us.
- God is good.
- God noticed the wrong someone else did.
- God will ever really bring justice.
- God will forgive.
I’ve doubted all those things and more at times. But I’m not sure I would have admitted it at the time. Especially to God Himself.
Today I read about a guy who we often bash for his doubts: Thomas. Doubting Thomas, we’ve dubbed him. Poor guy. He indeed had some doubts. In John 11:16 he expresses his doubts in an offhanded, sarcastic sort of way. Jesus has just told the disciples that they’ll be going to Bethany where His friend Lazarus has recently died. He has a plan and everything is under His omnipotent control. But Thomas finds that hard to believe. His response to Jesus’ plan of action?
So this morning I did just that. I told the Lord about a few of the things I’m having a hard time believing right now. I confessed my little faith and asked Him to increase it. I admitted my lack of vision, my desire for proof, my skepticism. And I know He’ll get back with me on all of those things, just like He did with Thomas. Why? Because He wants me to believe. According to John 20:29 I think Jesus would like for me to get to a point where I don’t question nearly as much as I do, and that’s my goal too. But until I get there, I think He’d have me take those doubts to Him rather than simply allow my insecurities to grow.
Don’t be afraid, dear friend, to raise your hand if you’re unsure. With Jesus there are no stupid questions and there are no doubts He’ll refuse to address. And after you’ve raised your hand and confessed your doubt, my bet is that Jesus will fortify you with a new, more powerful faith so you can be an even more convincing witness for His faithfulness.
Tradition has it that Thomas later spread the gospel to India and helped dispel others’ disbelief about the resurrection. That’s what can happen when we allow Jesus to address our doubts head-on. So raise your hand if you’re not sure!