Doubt and fear in the presence of faith

Do you sometimes struggle with fear and doubt? Even when you hold on to your faith, do you find questions keep rising to confront you?  John Stumbo shares some insights into the aspect of doubt in the presence of faith as he reflects on the story in John 20 when Jesus appears to Thomas:


“I’m intrigued by this because of what I find just eight days later. John 20, verse 26. “Eight days later his disciples were in the house again. Thomas was with them.” And you know the story. Thomas hadn’t been with them the first time and had doubted the whole story. “Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’”


Here is my simple point. Why if they had understood that the Spirit who had raised Christ from the dead was now, had now been given to them, why were they still huddling behind locked doors? I don’t think they yet had fully understood what Christ was doing and bringing to them. If they understood the presence and power of the Spirit, the breath of God that had been breathed upon them, they would have not still been huddling in fear.


Maybe you will disagree with my understanding of this historical account, or maybe you think I am being too hard on the early apostles. Let’s leave them for a moment, and let me ask us: are we still huddling in some locked place of fear, not fully understanding or experiencing that which the Spirit of God wants to grant to us and do in us?


You have not been given a spirit of timidity or fear, my son, Timothy. You have been given a spirit of power to do that which you would otherwise not be able to do, a spirit of love to care about other people, to care about people you would not otherwise care about, the spirit of self-discipline to say no to things that would otherwise control you.”


I’m aware that I have led too much of my life in those locked, seemingly safe kind of places with the disciples, but increasingly in my life, I’m desiring to be open to all that the Spirit has for me—to send me where He would send me, to do in me what He wants to do in me, to reveal Christ through me in an increasing measure.” (Stumbo)


As you reflect on John’s words, ask the Spirit of God to reveal to you areas of your life that have been hidden behind locked doors and surrounded by fear and doubt. Read Acts 1:8 and ask God to open those doors and to be empowered by His Spirit and commissioned to His purpose in reaching and encouraging others in His name.


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