Our duty as Christians lies in making ventures for eternal life without the absolute certainty of success… This, indeed, is the very meaning of the word ‘venture’; for that is a strange venture which has nothing in it of fear, risk, danger, anxiety, uncertainty. Yes, so it certainly is; and in this consists the excellence and nobleness of faith; this is the very reason why faith is singled out from other graces, and honored as the especial means of our justification, because its presence implies that we have the heart to make a venture.
If, then, faith be the essence of a Christian life, and if be what I have now described, it follows that our duty lies in risking upon Christ’s word what we have for what we have not; and doing so in a noble, generous way, not indeed rashly or lightly, still without knowing accurately what we are doing, not knowing either what we give up, nor again what we shall gain; uncertain about our reward, uncertain about our extent of sacrifice, in all respects leaning, waiting upon him, trusting in him to fulfill his promise, trusting in him to enable us to fulfill our own vows, and so in all respects proceeding without carefulness or anxiety about the future.
— John Henry Newman
Today is the feast day of my patron saint, Thomas the Apostle. Thomas kind of gets a bad rap as a doubter. To be honest, all of the apostles had their moments of doubt. Thomas gets the nickname because he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, as so it appears.
If Thomas had not been absent from the other apostles when the risen Jesus first visited them, then we would not have this beautiful scene in John 20:24-29. Each and everyone of us in our call to faith, at some point or another, has had Jesus say to us as He said to Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe.”
The question now is, did you answer like Thomas, “My Lord and my God!”?
If not, why?
Doubt is part of the process of building faith. It can prevent you from starting the journey home; it will even trip you along the way. The Holy Spirit uses doubt to mold your faith much like potter’s clay. The choice becomes yours. You can make the process easy or hard—easy like potter’s clay, or hard like marble. Just remember, marble is not malleable like clay. The Holy Spirit is going to have to chisel away at you to shape your faith. And those pieces that fall off, the un-needed parts, are going to hurt.
A mountain of doubts does not equal one denial.
— Author unknown