by Debbie Wilson
“Please don’t play rough in the living room. You’re going to break something.” A loud crash told me my words to my husband and son had fallen on deaf ears. I spun ’round to see my favorite planter laying in pieces on the floor.
Have you ever predicted an unpleasant consequence, sounded the alarm, and then suffered the consequences when your warning was ignored? Why can’t we stop what we can see coming? Why won’t others listen?
I imagine Jesus’s disciple Thomas felt that way when the Jews and Romans banded together to crucify Jesus. Thomas could see the trouble awaiting them in Jerusalem, but no one listened. When Jesus took off to help his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, Thomas resigned himself to go with Jesus.
“Let’s also go, so that we may die with Him!” (John 11:16 NASB).
Perhaps Thomas’s confusion and disappointment made it difficult for him to believe in Jesus’s resurrection. What he’d predicted happened. How could the damage be undone?
I bet you remember times when those who had the power to act wouldn’t listen to your concerns. They took the job, married the person, or made the investment anyway. And you had to stand by helplessly as your fears were realized. How can such trials be included in James’s admonition to “count it all joy” when they could have been easily avoided (James 1:2)?
Considering Thomas has helped me. He couldn’t believe anything good could come out of something that could have been avoided. Thomas looked at his circumstances from an earthly viewpoint. He would not believe unless he could see and touch the risen Lord’s scars (John 20:25).
Jesus had told His disciples about His pending death and resurrection many times, but they couldn’t grasp it. Like Martha, they believed in the resurrection of the dead at judgment day, but not on earth in their lifetime.
The resurrected Jesus understood Thomas’s doubts. He appeared to the group of disciples and singled Thomas out.
“Place your finger here, and see My hands; and take your hand and put it into My side; and do not continue in disbelief, but be a believer” (John 20:27 NASB).
In other words, “Open your eyes, Thomas. Don’t let disappointment cloud reality!” Thomas’s doubts make me reconsider my own doubts. Can God redeem foolish choices once consequences have been set in motion?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
What promises have I doubted because I can’t see how they can happen? Do I believe His promise to work all things together for good applies only to situations that don’t involve foolish decisions or stubborn people? Do I dare believe God can turn a senseless tragedy into something wonderful for me and those I love?
“Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you now believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed’” (John 20:28-29 NASB).
Will we be counted among those who believe, not just that He rose from the dead, but also that He is at work in our disappointments. He never said all things are good, but He promised to work all things together to benefit His dear children.
Disappointments test our faith. What must you release to receive the good God longs to give? Jesus understands the fear you will be disappointed again. Take His words to heart.
Stop doubting and believe. John 20:27 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman with an extraordinary God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie writes and speaks to connect sojourners to the heart of Christ. She and her husband Larry founded Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit ministry offering life and relationship counseling and Bible studies. Despite time in Boston, the Midwest, and Southern California, she still says y’all. Her family, which includes two mischievous standard poodles, calls North Carolina home. Find free resources to refresh your faith and connect with Debbie at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: Do you fear disappointment when it comes to God? Why?