Yesterday, I shared what I learned from the conference speaker/pastor. That was from one sermon. The second is just as insightful and a blessing.
He focused on Thomas, commonly referred to as Doubting Thomas. Except he wasn’t the only one who doubted the resurrection of Jesus. All of the disciples did! In Mark 16:14, Jesus rebuked them for their “stubborn unbelief” (NLT).
Thomas is listed as the 8th disciple of Christ (Mark 3:13-19), and in John 20:19-29, we learn that Thomas saw Jesus 8 days after the other disciples saw Jesus (v26).
A little late to the party, isn’t he? But Thomas, stuck with the label of “doubt” and always listed somewhere in the middle of the list, received a greater revelation from God. In the Bible, the number 8 means new beginning.
In verse 28, Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God!”
When Jesus asked his disciples who they think He was, Peter said Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 16:15-16).
But Thomas called Jesus “God.” Not the son of God, but God!
Late to the party, doubting, and only always somewhere in the middle, Thomas received a greater revelation. A new revelation. Jesus isn’t just the Son of God. Jesus is God.
Sometimes, we are late to the party too. It seems like everybody else’s prayers have been answered. Everyone else is living out the promises of God. God’s plan has come to pass in their lives, while we are stuck waiting, always waiting, growing even more pregnant but never giving birth.
Like the disciples hiding behind locked doors because of fear (v19). We’ve seen Jesus. We know what He can do. But then our world was rocked. We were thrown by complications and opposition. And we’re not sure what to do.
Like Thomas who missed seeing Jesus the first time He appeared to the disciples (v24), who refused to believe without proof (v25), and got stuck – even 2000 years later – with a bad label. We seem to miss out on the blessings of God. We are late in receiving His revelations. We wonder when this prosperous and hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:11) will begin. We are stuck with labels we don’t want: doubter, fearful, loser, underachiever.
Like Jesus with scars on His hands, feet, and side (v27), we have been beaten and crucified. We’ve been put through the ringer and left with battle scars.
But Jesus is appearing despite the locked doors (John 29:19, 26). He is giving us peace and removing our doubts. He is replacing our labels with the Holy Spirit. He is giving us a greater revelation and making us new. We are left with those scars, but Jesus is taking away the pain. He is using our scars to help other people believe in Him!
Are you pregnant with the plans of God? You just know that God has a place for you in His plans. You just know He’s about to move mightily. You can just feel it. But you’ve been feeling it for months or years and nothing’s happened. Everything’s the same. You’re working so hard, but nothing. It’s like watering the desert with only a cup of water.
Or maybe you know God’s promises in His Word. You know the words He spoke to you through those dreams, those whispers, and those pastors, spiritual leaders, and friends. And you believe Him. You live in faith. Day in and day out. For months and years and a decade has gone by. And nothing. Like Abraham waiting for his son. You got a taste of His grand plans, then nothing more.
It’s like being single all your life. Well, all my life. Remembering the pastors that gave me words of prophecy about my husband and my family. Turning down requests to go to lunch or just out because I know that’s not what God wants for me. Because I don’t want to screw it up by taking matters into my own hands like Abraham and Sarah. Holding on to the promises He whispered to my heart. Day in and day out. Ignoring that annoying biological ticking while my friends are getting married or just got married. Last year, this year, and the next, I think there’s 6-7 couples getting married…wow.
But Jesus comes despite closed doors. My 2014 One Word is Ready. Whatever God has in store, I’m ready…well, He’s readying me. But I don’t have to go out and make His plans happen! He will make them happen. I simply need to believe. To stop my stubborn unbelief. To open my eyes and see that He’s moving in my life. To open my heart and let Him change the world through me, my scars, my life.
Closed doors don’t stop our God. Even greater is our testimony when we’re all out of options and lifelines and moves. When all we’ve got is Jesus. Whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re believing God will do, don’t lose hope. If you feel like you’re always late to the party, don’t worry.
Believe, like Jesus commanded, and have peace! Greater is the revelation. Greater is the testimony. Greater the love story. Just believe.
Linking up with the The Single Life.