God’s Faithfulness To The Doubting
SERMON 5/5 | 18 & 19 APRIL 2020 | All Services
Rev Stanley Chua, Pastor-in-Charge
Scripture Passage: John 20:24-29 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | The 11 apostles (excluding Judas) who left everything to follow Jesus must have had their hopes dashed when Jesus was crucified. Their future looked bleak and the same fate that befell Jesus could well befall them. After Jesus appeared to them alive and well, their faith was restored and they emerged bold and courageous, obeying Jesus radically. Subsequently, all except John were martyred.
The night when Jesus appeared to His disciples, only Thomas Didymus was not present. He was incredulous when told Jesus was alive. He had trusted Jesus all along and now felt betrayed.
Though Thomas is often remembered as the doubter, there is more to Thomas than doubt. In John 11, when Jesus received news that Lazarus had died, His disciples urged Him not to risk going back to Judea. Thomas spoke up when he urged his fellow disciples to go back with Jesus so that they may die with Him (V16). Thomas showed love, loyalty and total commitment to Jesus. He understood better than others what was going to happen. If we were there the first Easter morning, would we believe or doubt? What would it take for us to believe that someone who died had come back to life?
Thomas was not an unbelieving sceptic but a wounded believer. Deep inside him, he wanted to believe but his hopes were dashed. A sceptic is one who will not believe as nothing will make him believe, for example the Pharisees who kept asking for signs. Jesus knew Thomas’ doubt and invited him to see for himself. Genuine doubters are always welcomed by Jesus. In the words of the father who sought Jesus’ help to heal his epileptic son – “I do believe, but help my unbelief” (Mk 9:24). Doubt has its use – deep doubt is often the prelude to deeper faith.
The history of the church is filled with examples of people with great doubts becoming great believers. For example, John Wesley had many doubts even after he was ordained a minister but was transformed and mightily used by God after his heart-warming experience.
Some lessons on how to deal with doubt:
- When doubt fills our hearts, run to the body of Christ to seek God. Doubts that draw us away from the church are deadly. But doubts that drive us to look deeper for God will lead us to deeper faith. The church is God’s instrument to help us (Mt 18:20).
- Choose to believe and trust in Jesus. Jn 20:20 – blessed are those who have not seen but believe. Jesus refers to satisfied faith, that is, faith that is satisfied with what God provides regardless of circumstances (Hab 3:17,18). Mature faith is not faith without doubt but faith that searches, seeks and stays in the community of believers, satisfied with Jesus even when circumstances look bad.
In the current Covid-19 situation, we are not to doubt God’s goodness as He went to the cross for us. Trust Jesus no matter what and stay in the community of believers.
(Sermon Notes by Woo Choi Yin)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
- What do you understand from the speaker on the subject about doubt? Is it sinful for Christians to have doubts about God? Are there any benefits in having doubts about God?
- According to the speaker, what are the two remedies to doubt that we can learn from Thomas?
- What are the 3 points (or things) that God spoke through this sermon?
- What are 2 questions (or things) that I struggled with?
- What is the 1 promise (or thing) that I may act on?
PRAY | LET US PRAY:
- God will reveal Himself to those who are struggling in their businesses and facing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The struggling will strongly sense God’s faithfulness as they continue to seek Him.
- The Holy Spirit will reveal God’s faithfulness to the doubting and many will accept the Hope offered by our Lord.
Sermons In This Series:
- Introduction : The Faithfulness Of God (Deuteronomy 7:9; Joshua 21:43-45) | 7/8 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness In Every Circumstance (Genesis 50:19-20; Romans 8:28) | 14/15 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness To The Defeated (Lamentations 3:22-23) | 21/22 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness To The Suffering (Psalm 119:67, 71, 75) | 28/29 Mar 2020
- God’s Faithfulness To The Doubting (John 20:24-29) | 18/19 Apr 2020