Fears and doubts can be overcome through faith

Published 9:09 am Friday, January 18, 2019


We are creatures of fear. I doubt this was God’s plan for our lives in Eden, but nevertheless, here we are. We lock our doors. We bar our gates. We build our walls, even if we can’t get Mexico to pay for it. The point is that we have a deep human longing for security, safety, and sanctuary. There is an insecurity inside all of us that rises to the surface any time we encounter the “other” that we do not know or understand. Some fear those that do not look or behave like us, which leads to xenophobia and racism. Others fear those who get way too close to the skeletons in our closets, leading to isolation and loneliness. Regardless of what each of us fear, we all lock the doors of our hearts hoping that what scares us most will never find its way in.
Lucky for us, the disciples were human beings too. They made mistakes and felt like failures just like we do. The funny thing is that although they didn’t have ADT to protect their home, they still found a way to keep their threats and fears on the outside. John 20 tells us this story of the fear that had overtaken the disciples after the crucifixion. Verses 19-29 read, “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 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. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 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. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
A couple things about Jesus in this passage really confront our fears and insecurities. First, Jesus isn’t scared to walk through your walls and doors to make His way to your heart. The doors were locked, but Jesus still found a way in. I believe that our Savior does much of the same work in our hearts. We tend to hide our pornography, our double lives, and our gossip from the perfect people at church, but I love that Jesus doesn’t need a key to get into the deepest, darkest secrets in our lives. He knows everything about you, good and bad. Yet, He still loved us enough to die for us and continue to pursue us into His love, mercy, and grace.
The second thing that strikes me in this passage is that Jesus comes through the door twice. He did once for the ten or so hidden disciples in the room, but He also came back a week later to find Thomas, who was at least brave enough to leave their sanctuary on the first visit. We tend to think that Jesus was angry and disappointed with Thomas, but I believe that Jesus’ decision to come back a second time shows that He is relentless when it comes to proving His love for us. Thomas had the same fear that we all have: the fear of failure. Yet, it was the relentless love of Christ that brought healing to that insecurity and sent Thomas to the mission fields of India.
My hope is that like Thomas you too will find healing in the wounds of Christ. We can lock away our insecurities and fears in the walls of our hearts, but I want you to know that Jesus Christ will walk through your walls time and time again to prove His love for you. As you are breaking underneath the weight of your fears and failures, hear the words of Jesus, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side.” My prayer is that you will touch the wounds of Christ and know that He has come not as an untouchable idol but rather as our ordinary Savior that knows the hurt and pain of life. It is by His stripes that we are healed. There is no need to hide from the light of Christ anymore. There is not guilt and shame in His words to Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe.” Stop doubting that you are too dirty and that His grace isn’t enough for you. Believe. Believe He is enough.
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton, and his associate, Hunter Greene)

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