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"Devoted Thomas"



“Devoted Thomas”


Do you give “Doubt” centerstage?

Think about that for a moment.



The better question should be,

“Where” do you give “Doubt” centerstage?


What area(s) of your life do you see “Doubt” playing a role?

YOU WILL HAVE DOUBTS,

JUST DON’T LET THEM BE DEAD ENDS.


Next week we will look more in depth at the subject of doubt, but for today let me begin with the fact that;

Certain words bring certain thoughts.

Certain names bring certain thoughts and feelings.

Judas

Jezebel

Satan

Jesus

Mary

Joseph

Thomas

What word do you think of when you hear the name Thomas?


For those familiar with the Thomas of the bible, the word “Doubting” immediately comes to mind.

Most know him as “Doubting Thomas”.


Let me suggest another word to associate with Thomas from now on, because it seems as if Thomas has gotten some bad press.


Thomas has gotten a BAD WRAP

and some BAD PRESS.


Before we talk about Thomas, let me ask you a question.

Do you give doubt center stage in your life?

Would you want one situation to define you the rest of your life?

I know some people that have doubts in one area of their life.

In fact The more versatile that you are, the more this may occur.

You may have a high level of confidence that you can certain things and yet low level of confidence in others.

You have no doubts about certain things, but many doubts about others.


A book-smart person may have no doubts about taking the SAT, ACT or the GRE college entrance exams, yet may have great doubts about a certain conversations with certain people.


You can have doubts in one area, yet not another.

We all have doubts.


Doubts seem always to have the component of some kind of fear of loss.

Let’s take a look at “Devoted” Thomas today.

A LOOK AT “DEVOTED” THOMAS

John 11:1+


“A man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha… 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory…He stayed where he was two more days,7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas… said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die WITH him.”


THOMAS SHOWS COMMITMENT

(To wanting to be WITH Jesus)

“Let us also go, that we may die WITH him.”


Who can you faithfully count on to be WITH YOU?

…in everyday life?

…in a crisis?

THOMAS SHOWS COMMITMENT

(To the extent of DYING)


“Let us also go, that we may DIE with him.”


THOMAS SHOWS GREAT COURAGE

Let me highlight two kinds of “Courage”.

“Optimistic Courage”


“Pessimistic Courage”


Optimistic Courage is the easiest kind of courage because it:

Expects a Positive outcome.


Sometimes Optimistic Courage is simply not knowing enough to be scared/brave (Naïve).

Though it takes courage and commitment to do something difficult, it is not doing something as difficult as situations that call for

“Pessimistic” Courage



It is more courageous than the “Optimistic” kind because it:

Expects a Negative outcome,

yet it courageously marches on anyway.

The Optimist shows some courage,

Because they expect that their action will turn out Good.

It is one thing to be courageous when you expect a good outcome, but it is quite another to be courageous when you are expecting things NOT to turn out well.

In this case, even though Thomas expected the WORST, he followed through anyway and was willing to die with Jesus.

THOMAS SHOWS GREAT LEADERSHIP

“Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Further evidence Thomas wanted to be WITH…




FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT THOMAS WANTED TO BE WITH JESUS


John 14

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. I am going there to prepare a place for you? … 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

[Perhaps a little “Separation Anxiety”]

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way…”

John 20:24+

“Thomas… was not with the disciples when Jesus came… the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I willnot believe.”

Thomas’ worst fear came true.

He was separated from Jesus.

Thomas wanted to die WITH Jesus,

but Jesus died without him.


This DEPRESSED Thomas and made him PESSIMISTIC when his friends told him that Jesus was alive.


Sometimes something hurts us so deeply that we find it very difficult to make ourselves vulnerable to the possibility of hurting again in the same way.


Talking to those who are Pessimistic or depressed can be very hard.

Often they will fight against being “Hopeful” and become very UNTRUSTING.

“I’ve got to see it to believe it”

Note: the other disciples SAW Jesus.

“My Lord and my God.”





* Jesus does not blame people for doubting or wanting to be more confident.

Ie. Jesus “appeared” to SHOW Thomas


* Confidence often comes from being around other believers.

Thomas was not with the Disciples




“Faith is being SURE of what we

hope for, and CERTAIN of what we

do not see.”

- Hebrews 11:1


What is getting in the way of your

SURENESS

and

CERTAINTY?


Is it the fear of losing a person that you have a deep commitment to like Thomas?

Is it the lack of trust that you will not get hurt AGAIN?

Is it that you lack Optimistic Courage?

Is it that Pessimistic Courage is just too hard)

Is it that you lack Leadership?

(Either from yourself or others)

Remember Thomas said “Let us go, that we may die with him.”

The answer to all of these is simply

to TRUST.

Trust Jesus who has taken away your sins and the greatest fear of missing heaven.

“It is by grace that you have been saved.”

-Ephesians 2:8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.”

- Proverbs 3:5,6


DO NOT GIVE CENTERSTAGE TO DOUBT


FAITH is not the absence of Doubt.

It is the means to OVERCOME it.

(We will talk more about that next week.)


Doubts seem always to have the component of some kind of fear of loss.

Let God provide for you before potential losses as well as after real losses that you have already experienced.

YOU WILL HAVE DOUBTS,

JUST DON’T LET THEM BE DEAD ENDS.

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