Commentary By: Gordon King
These are perilous times that we are now living in, and as such we need salvation through Jesus Christ! However, as believers in Jesus Christ we need to have faith, we need to trust in God for all things and in all things.
There are varying levels of faith, some of us have weak faith and are doubters as the apostle Thomas was, thereby called doubting Thomas. He was a person who needed to see it to believe it, he needed to touch it and feel it in order to believe.
‘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.” ‘
How many people in the world today will not believe in God because they cannot see Him, feel Him or touch Him? Way too many I presume. And even many who call themselves Christians may not truly believe that God is real, that He is who He says that He is. This is very sad my friends, very sad indeed!
But even if God came down to earth and made Himself available to see and touch they still would not believe, don’t believe me? He already did it and not many believed. So although Thomas had to see and touch the Lord He did believe, his faith was a very weak faith, a doubting faith. Those who believe in God without having to see Him are blessed!
At times all of us have some doubts, some come from our own hearts and minds, but at many other times they come from the world, they also come from Satan and his minions. Ours is to turn from doubt, to trust in God and all of His ways, even when we don’t feel His presence, when we cannot hear His voice, this is faith.
And then there are those unlike Thomas who do believe, yet they have a weak faith. They believe but their faith is not strong, theirs is faith mixed with doubts. However Jesus said that if you have even the faith of a mustard seed then you can move mountains! The apostles all at one time had little faith.
‘ Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” ‘
The apostles believed that Jesus Christ was God, however they doubted the power of God. They had faith but it was little faith.
“ Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.“
Faith in God is a very strong thing, for even a little faith can move mountains and nothing will be impossible with a little faith. Just how many of us today have little faith? I don’t know how many but I presume that it is the majority of believers today. It isn’t a bad thing to have a little faith, in fact its good, but it’s much better to have strong faith, a great faith!
A Roman soldier had great faith when he asked Jesus to heal his paralyzed and tormented servant, asking that Jesus merely speak a word of healing and that would be enough for his servant to be healed.
“Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
Another example of great faith was a woman of Canaan who had a demon possessed daughter.
“Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.“
These are examples of our faith, of doubting faith, of little faith, and of great faith. However, I believe that there are actually more levels of our faith then mentioned here, that our faith grows as we grow in Christ, that there are many levels from no faith all the way up to having great faith!
So what are the differences between these levels of faith? The main difference is doubt and unbelief. Our faith is either very weak or even non-existent if we have a lot of doubt.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.“
It is by our faith that we believe that God exists, that we believe in God, that we believe that Jesus Christ is God. Unbelievers don’t believe in God, at least they do their best at not believing it even though the glory of God exists all around them. They have no excuse for not believing that God exists or that He is who He says that He is. Our faith in God is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for, such as our salvation, our eternity with God in heaven, our eternity with God forever! It is trusting in God, trusting that He is all-powerful, all-mighty, all-knowing, and everywhere at all times, trusting that He has our best interests at heart.
All of us at some time or another have some doubts, this is due in part to our living in a fallen world, to still living in fallen bodies made of flesh. But it is also due to the influence of the world around us, we live in a wicked and evil world, a world which is led by the evil one. And that brings me to my next potential adversary, the devil himself, not only the devil but all evil spirits in the world. We have against us many enemies, and even our own hearts and minds can work against us!
When we are born-again it is due to having some sort of faith in God, in believing that Jesus Christ is God, that He is our Lord and Savior, that He has the power to save us from our sins. We must have faith, at least very weak faith in order to be saved.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.“
It is impossible to be saved without any faith, for we must believe that He is in order to be saved! And when we come to God then we are pleasing to God, and if we diligently seek God then He will reward us.
With little faith we can move mountains and nothing is impossible, how much more can we do with great faith?!
As believers in Jesus Christ ours is to continue growing in our faith, to become more and more like Christ each and everyday. This is called Sanctification. If we are not growing in the Lord then we are not growing in our faith of God. With each experience that we have of God helping us, blessing us, leading us, we should be growing in our faith, exceeding the faith that we once had.
It is by experiencing God and the things of God that bring us into more faith in God. When we know that God is with us, that He is for us, and that He will see us through even the darkest of times then we can trust that He will do these things for us in the future as well. God is good, He is never-changing, He is the same today as He was yesterday and always will be. If God has helped you through difficult times in the past then why wouldn’t He now or in the future? If God has provided for all of your needs up to this point in life then why wouldn’t He continue to do so? We must believe that God is faithful and true, that He is with us, for us, and only means for our good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.“
We must believe that God is out for our good, as long as we are saved. And when we believe God, when we trust God in all things then God will make Himself known in our lives. Things may not always turn out the way that we expect them to, nor will they always happen at a time that we expect, but God is all-powerful and all-knowing, His ways are much, much better than our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways!
It’s not about religion, about who goes to church more, about who acts more righteous than another, it’s about trusting in God! It’s about our relationship with God! It’s about our growing faith in God! This is what it’s all about my friends, it’s not about how good we are as people (however we should strive to be Christ-like), it’s about if we trust God or not, if we believe in His promises to us, if we put Him first in all things.
I don’t know about you but I have had some miraculous things happen to me in my life, things which could only have come from God! And when I do have some feelings of doubt then I only need to take a look back at my life and see what God has done in my life! God has taken me through some very dark times, times which seemed absolutely helpless and hopeless, times when I thought it was all over. And miraculously God had His hands all over my life, through the power of the Almighty I overcame the darkness, I have grown in my faith of God, and I have come out on the other side stronger in the Lord, closer to God, and blessed in many ways! My little faith has moved mountains, my little faith has grown into bigger faith, and my trust in the Lord increases day by day!
Our faith allows us to walk with God, to hear from God, to be blessed by God. Do not be discouraged by the world, be encouraged by the word of God! By the Holy Spirit within!
God bless my friends! Maranatha!