Of Doubts and Faith

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Of Doubts and Faith

Post  fennywest on Sat 18 Aug 2012, 3:05 pm

Of Doubts and Faith




John 20:24-31
24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"
27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;
31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.


Lessons

The Paradox of Thomas: saw the miracles: Lepers cleansed, lame walking, dumb talking, demon-possessed delivered, 50 fed with 5 loaves 2 fish and 12 basket of left-over collected ( twice this happened, the other time 3000 was fed) He walked on water, even one of his disciples walked on water at His bidding; What more , he raised the dead, woman of Nain, Lazarus, Healed with a touch, a woman who believe in His power and had gone to many doctors spent all her money and found no cure; in fact it was getting worse said to herself ‘If i can just touch the hem of His clothes I will be made whole .’ she did and was made whole. Thomas saw all these yet the penny did not drop.
You can be ‘there and yet not there’ the penny has to dropv25 you can be attending church and yet not get it. Hearing the word and yet it may not register.
(Possible reasons: Disinterestedness, doubts, distractions, previous defeats, droughts, depression
Storms, separation, struggles, family issues children, husband, finance, court cases, bereavement, disability, peer pressure, family pressure to do the course, short-sightedness .Jesus prayed before he chose. Thomas so he was a good choice there was an unseen potential.

You have a great potential. Jer29:11, created for good works. You’re a masterpiece, Gods workmanship. He packaged you with all you need to fulfil the reason for your being you need to discover it and hone it and deploy it to fulfil your vision.
He is an ever-present Lord: Jehovah Shammah Ps46:1 He is there. He hears and He sees; so practise His presence. Watch what you say. Practice His presence. ( Lawrence) Say what you would say if you knew He was there. Speak possibility, words of faith – words of doubt. Confess what you know of Him. His power, His goodness, His greatness, His provision, His loving kindness, His faithfulness, His grace that is sufficient for you regardless of what you’re going through. Speak like Joshua and Caleb. If God is for us He will give us the land the people will be bred to us. We are able. (Num13:27-28,30-33,-14:28-30 )

There is nothing too hard for the Lord – He had risen from the dead and here He comes in despite the fact that the doors were shut. Why were the doors shut? They were still afraid even though they had seen the resurrected Lord. V26
Jesus Gave them what they lacked at that moment: peace, calm( they were afraid and behind closed doors unsure of what the future holds, not knowing if someone would hand them over to the authorities more so on the account of the resurrection noised in many quarters. He Is I am That I AM and He will be to you what you need Jehovah Jireh for supplies : spouse, finance, job, peace,
Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Nisi: He will fight your battles, Jehovah Nkahdesh He sancyifies, Jehovah Rohi ( Good Shepherd), Jehovah Rophe (health Healer) Elshaddai (Almighty God), Jehovah Shammah- ever-present Lord~9 Exek 35:10, Matt28:20, Jos1:9.



As Palestine was preserved from the enmity of Mount Seir by the Presence of the Great Jehovah, so the Church and
each separate member of it is constantly kept by the power of a Present God, despite the rage of adversaries. In enlarging
upon this cheering Truth of God, I shall invite you to notice the Church as a despised people, constantly triumphant.
Next, we will observe the Christian, in his opposed life, perpetually victorious. Thirdly, a desolate soul graciously delivered
from Satan; and lastly, a ruined and depraved earth, resplendent with perfect beauty—and all because “The Lord
was there.” ( Spurgeon Gems)

http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs536.pdf

The confrontation and revelation: be not faithless v27, My Lord, My God v28
Believe to see; buy not the faithless and foolish creed of the world: ‘seeing is believing.’ The unseen shaped the seen. It is possible to see miracles and yet doubt God the next minute, like the Israelites and like Thomas, like Peter. They saw the 10 plagues. God gave untold favour before they left Egypt. They plundered the. Were loaded with silver and gold, yet they used it to make another god and worshipped. He gave them water from the rock, turned bitter water into sweet water, parted the red seas for them to walk on dry ground yet when they went to spy the land, although they saw the giant grapes, they focused on the giants and forgot the power of God . Only 2 out of the 12 brought a good report. We can also be fickle, forgetful, fearful and unfaithful. Only those two out of all who came out of Egypt, because they follow the majority, perished in the wilderness; they got what they spoke: we cannot, we were like grasshoppers. This was not humility but foolishness and a direct affront on the integrity of God.
Abraham shows us the interplay between faith and doubt in the life of a believer Gen12:1-4, 10 ( we see doubt when he faced famine) we see another doubt when he faced insecurity, fear about the safety of his beautiful wife. He risked her life because of the fear. But God was faithful and protected him. you would have thought he learnt his lesson but he did it again and God protected him again. ( Gen.20:1-3,6-717-18) Later we see how he fell for Sarah when she suggested that he takes her maiden so they can help God who was finding thing difficult or may be, He all along wanted them to use a carnal weapon: Hagar to fulfil His will. Ishmael was born and he became a thorn in their flesh. (Gen.161-4)Her mistress became despised in her eyes. God remained faithful, changed Abraham’s name to underscore His commitment to him for all time ( Gen.17:5-6,15-16). They were covenant brothers and He was going to fulfil His promises no matter what. However God reinforced His promise: ‘at this time next year I will visit you and Sarah will have a child’. (Gen17:20-21 ) and at the appointed time Isaac was born ; at the set time. ( Gen21)
Know that God will also come through for you at your set time. He will not forget you. He remembered Abraham. He remembered Isaac when Rebekah was barren too and gave her a double portion- twins. (Gen.25:21-24). In spite of your barrenness your twins are coming. It could be physical twins or financial twins. According to your faith so be it unto you!
He remembered Hannah (1Sam1:19), He remembered Noah ( Gen8:1) He remembered Abraham and rescued Lot( Gen.19:29) He remembered Joseph (Gen41:41-43) . He remembered David who became King after waiting and waiting, pursued from pillar to post by King Saul. He will remember you too.
In your bout between faith and doubt, choose faith, ditch doubt. Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts.
Abraham turned a corner as we can see in Romans 4


11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.


He believed for the conception of Sarah and so there was a corresponding action on his part to bring this about. He still did his part although this time in faith, and Isaac was born.
Abraham laughed last but laughed best.


13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,
15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed --- God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be."
19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,
24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.



1 And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken.
2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him --- whom Sarah bore to him --- Isaac.
4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.
5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
6 And Sarah said, "God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me."
7 She also said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age."



The war faith and flesh intensified with the birth of Isaac and Hagar had to be sent away. Send the doubt away for faith to grow unhindered. Throw away your fear and you will rise into your destiny. Don’t be afraid to do the unthinkable as directed by the Holy Spirit to enter your inheritance. God, by his Spirit wanted Isaac sent away with his mother. She cried but the Lord comforted her and showed her a well when the boy was thirsty and she agonised. But faith and doubt and unbelief cannot live conveniently under the same roof. One will outdo the other. (Gen21 :12)
So Abraham had turned the corner after the birth of Isaac and then came the ultimate test:




1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you."
6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.
9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am."
12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided."Gen22:


Regardless of your previous doubts and fears and fall, you too can bounce back like Abraham.
You too will have an encounter that will transform you and give you a revelation knowledge: that Jesus is not only Lord but God who can do all things He has promised; all things in line with His will for your life.
In spite of your past failures there is hope for you like Peter who after denying the Lord three times and thought it was all over for him, was reassured after the resurrection and came back to preach a sermon, so fiery, that about 3000 souls gave their lives to the Lord. He became so anointed that even his shadow was enough to heal those who were sick. In your bouts of faith and doubt choose faith, ditch doubt. It is not over until Jesus says so. ( Acts2 :14,41)

Don’t be like the Israelites who through unbelief died in the wilderness ( Num13,14). The Promised Land is for you to enter and occupy until He comes. Throw your fears away. God can be trusted. He is faithful, a God of integrity full of compassion, without injustice, good and upright. The earth in all its fullness belongs to Him. Silver and gold belong to Him. The cattle on the thousand hills belong to Him. He is able to do exceeding abundantly more than you can ask or think. If you can think it, He can exceed it.( Ps50:1, Eph3:20, Hag2:8,)


Psalm 24:1
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
10 For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills.
Ps50:10


Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."John20:29
These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.v31
Believe and receive life. Believe and you will see. We walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor2:5). The Just shall live by faith. (Hab.2:4, Rom1:17)Does the vision tarry? Wait for it. Meanwhile, take actions that demonstrate your faith in the Lord. Faith without works is dead. (James2:17,26)

Your failure does not make you a failure. You are more than a conqueror through Christ (Rom8:37-39). Greater is He that is you than he that is in the world. Whoever is born of God overcomes this world and this is the victory that overcomes this world, even your faith (1John5:4, 2Cor2:14)). Stand and you will see the salvation of the Lord (Ex12:13, 14:13), the battle is not yours but the Lord (2Chro.20:15). Cast down every imagination and very high thing that exalts itself against the revealed will of the Lord (Cor10:4-5). If God is for you, who can be against you?( Rom8:31,32) Through our God we shall do valiantly. For, He is the One who will tread down the enemy (Ps60:12,-108:13). No weapon fashioned against you will prosper (Isa54:17, -59:19). Doubt your doubt and believe your beliefs. Mix your belief with faith and live and enter your Promised Land.(Heb4:2)

Thomas bounced back, became a missionary to India and built a church called Mar Thoma, which is still going on today.
John mark bounced back after being considered a failure and wrote the gospel of mark and in the later years of Paul, he who had written Mark off, saw him as a great asset. From being a liability you will be an asset as you bounce back and doubt your doubt in Jesus’ Name! Of doubts and faith choose faith and live!


11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.(2Tim4:11)










b
Mar Thoma Remains Stout
Mar Thoma Church remains stout
Birthed by one who was in doubt.
Thomas, had a bout with doubt.
The Lord found him out.
He believed and out went the doubt:
“My Lord and My God!” was his shout.

Like Thomas, you may have been
Doubting until you see.
Like Peter you may have been cowed
by the storms you see
Yet like Thomas, you too can be
Transformed, embrace the unseen-
Believe before you see.

Like Peter you too can be renewed
to rise above the storms seen.
For the unseen shaped the seen,
And that not of faith is sin.

Look with the eyes of faith and see,
The eternal reality of the unseen.
Mar Thoma strongly testifies:
“From the valley of doubt rise.
Have faith for convert many.”

Mar Thoma remains stout,
So go on without a doubt.
Win your bout, rout your doubt.
Doubt your doubt and in the end
You too will have a shout:
HOW GREAT THOU ART!


The Mar Thoma Church is a part of the Ancient Syrian Church of Malabar, founded in AD 52 as a result of the missionary efforts of St. Thomas, the Apostle.

The Mar Thoma Church which began in Kerala is now grown into a church with Parishes all around the Globe. The Head Quarters of the Church is in Thiruvalla, Kerala, India.

The Mar Thoma Church has 9,00,000 members,708 clergy and 1062 parishes including congregations divided into 11 dioceses.The church has a democratic pattern of administration with a representative assembly(Prathinidhi Mandalam),an executive council and an Episcopal Synod.
http://www.bmarthomac.freeservers.com/custom2.html

©Fenny West2012
http://inspiration4generations.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/olympic-series-the-race-of-grace-1-preparation/

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