“Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”” John 20:24-29 ESV
Why did one of Jesus’ 12 apostles Thomas want to see where the nails had marked Jesus’ hands when He hung on the cross? To really BELIEVE Jesus Christ had died on the cross and been raised from the dead. He needed to SEE in order to BELIEVE. The Spirit of God convicted me one day that for years I had missed something else vitally important in this story. Why did Thomas also want to touch his hand in Jesus’ side? He also needed to FEEL Jesus in order to BELIEVE. Oh, how I can relate!
How many of us want to SEE proof that Jesus is real before we have faith in Him? Or for those who believe in Him, before we believe something the Lord has told us, promised us, etc.? Some of us ask for signs, don’t we? But this isn’t as far as some of us go, is it?
At times I have desperately wanted to FEEL God’s presence. And, when I haven’t felt His presence at those times, I have felt alone, upset, hurt, scared, neglected, abandoned, unloved, etc. Why? Because I wanted to FEEL His presence in order to believe He was here with me, that He loves and cares for me, hasn’t abandoned me, will take care of me, will be faithful to His promises, that His Word is true, etc. Not even just wanting to SEE the Lord, but also to FEEL His presence, in order to believe.
But following Christ is a FAITH walk. It’s about BELIEVING even when we can’t see AND even when we can’t feel. And God rewards those who believe Jesus is Lord and seek Him even when we can’t see or feel His presence (Hebr. 11:16). The greatest reward, I believe, is an ever growing relationship with Christ as Lord!
We need to believe in the Lord and in His Word and in His promises and in most importantly His loving, merciful, sovereign presence not only when we can’t SEE, but also when we can’t FEEL. Faith isn’t about sight, nor about feelings. God’s presence isn’t based on what we can see and feel. It’s based on God and who He is. It’s not about us. It’s about HIM!