"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe." (John 20:25)
Was Thomas the Twin temperamentally unwilling to rely on what others told him? A natural skeptic? Or did he learn confidence to seek the truth and test the reported evidence from being with Jesus, who encouraged others to find out and decide for themselves?
"If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I in the Father." (John 10:36-38)
It is all too easy to regard the doubt of Thomas as a weakness, a failure to take anything on trust, but it for him to want to see Jesus again and look at the wounds inflicted on him was an act of courage in seeking the truth of what had happened.
When the imprisoned John the Baptist sends a message to Jesus to ask if he is the promised Messiah, he received this reply;
"Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor." (Luke 7:22)
John's messengers are invited to consider the evidence and make their own decision on what to report.
Belief in God and God's saving works must be based on what rings true in our understanding and experience. This enables us to go beyond what is knowable and enter into a relationship of trust in God's love and providence knowing that we have a secure foundation.
'Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.' (Hebrews 11:1)
'So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.' (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Faith develops by living with an attitude of trust in God above all else, something that prayer nurtures, as we review the whole of our experience in God's presence, express our gratitude and offer up all our concerns to the Author of our existence.
'Cast all your cares on him, because he cares for you.' (1 Peter 5:7)
The reality of these statements can be put to the test through desire and determination to
'Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing' (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
'Taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who trust in him.' (Psalm 34:8)