Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Meditation for the week of April 15, 2007

Meditation for the week of April 15, 2007
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John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Thomas and I have a lot in common. He was always wondering what was going on. In John 11:16, He was willing to follow the Lord to Lazarus’ tomb and die there. I am not sure if he thought he would die like Lazarus, or if he would die with the Lord when the Lord died since going back to Judea could get the Lord stoned. But Thomas was loyal and was willing to follow the Lord no matter what the consequences were.

After the resurrection, Thomas was not with the other disciples when the Lord appeared to them in the upper room. In John 20:25, we read, “The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” It wasn’t that Thomas didn’t want to believe in the resurrection, but he needed evidence before he was able to believe. I think he was being honest about his doubts. The Lord made a special appearance to him, so that his doubts could be removed. He came and showed Thomas the wounds that He had received at His crucifixion. I think the Lord had a special interest in Thomas. He knew that Thomas wanted to believe that He had been raised from the dead but was just overwhelmed with everything that had happened and that he was hearing. But because Thomas asked an honest question, the Lord gave Him what he needed and then told him not to be faithless but to believe.

In Mark 9:23 we read that all things are possible to the one who believes. I know that all things are not possible to me, so I know that there are some places in my life where I do not believe. For example, I do not believe that I can jump off of a ten story building and survive. I do not believe that I can expect God to help me “get even” with people who harm me. In the first case, I do not have the promise of God to help me when I am “tempting or testing” Him (Matthew 4:7). In the second case, I cannot expect the Lord to help me do something that is contrary to His command to love my neighbor (Matthew 22:39). But I even have difficulty trusting the Lord when I have a promise that is written to me and for me. I often need help with my unbelief.

In some cases the Lord has given us a direct promise that we can believe in or trust. For example, He has said that if we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be saved (Acts 16:31). This worked for the jailer in Acts 16. It also worked for the jailer’s family. It works one hundred percent of the time. There are other areas in our lives where we just have to have confidence in the God of heaven to do us good and not evil (Matthew 19:17, Matthew 20:15). We have to trust Him even when we don’t know exactly where He is taking us. But whether we are depending on a specific promise written to us and for us or whether we are just depending on a good God, we need to be reminded from time to time to not be faithless but to believe. I am convinced that an honest question, will always get an honest answer from the Lord. They may not be answers that will satisfy others, but they will satisfy us. And then we will be able to trust in the One who is trustworthy.

Bruce Collins

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