St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Destroying Doubt

Podcast Version

John 20:26-28—A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

We’ve talked a lot lately about fear, but not one of its greatest precursors—doubt. Doubt is always with us, but now it seems to be everywhere. Doubt in the wisdom and abilities of our leaders. Doubt over whether or not the scientists will discover an effective treatment for COVID-19. Doubt over whether or not your income stream will stay steady. Doubt over whether or not those furloughed or laid off will get what they need to provide for themselves and their families.

All these doubts can quickly lead people to doubt God—his power, his plan, his love, his Word. That was Thomas’ problem. He looked around and saw everything he knew and cherished falling apart. Jesus was dead. He and his fellow disciples were living like fugitives (or maybe like Wisconsinites under lock-down). Thomas saw his enemies winning (we still see a virus winning in many different ways). Thomas heard the disciples and the women talking like crazy people (maybe you feel that way about the optimists or conspiracy theorists today). All this led Thomas to make the decision to doubt God, his love, his Word, even his power to save. This left Thomas on the verge of unbelief, if not completely lost to it.

What destroyed Thomas’ doubt? Jesus’ words.
Peace be with you! The risen Savior came to Thomas with the simplest of Easter sermons. Peace be with you! That is Jesus’ message to every heart struggling with doubt. Peace be with you! God is not angry with you. He isn’t punishing you. He isn’t absent minded or uncaring. He has made peace with you, his natural born enemy! He gave his Son to fight the war and win the peace—an eternal peace. You are at peace with God because Jesus has paid for all your sins. They are all washed away. Yes, even your doubt! And this destroys doubt.

When you remember and hold on to this treasure, this most amazing truth in all the world, doubt is destroyed. It is destroyed because as you hold in your heart the truth that Jesus has provided for your greatest need, you are assured that he will care for every other need as well. So, friends, let your hearts be at peace. Let your doubts be destroyed by the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.