Anxiety that lasts too long can lead to depression. Having dealt with depression in my 30s it is something I fight against when the first signs appear. Sometimes no matter how hard we fight we can’t overcome it. Just such a case is found in John 20:24-31.
His name was Thomas. We know from John 11:16 that he was already discouraged. He was willing to follow Jesus to Jerusalem and to death. (Remember the Lazarus episode?)
Now things were truly hopeless. His worst fears were realized.
His leader was dead. The disciples were all in hiding. They feared for their lives. They seem to have forgotten all Jesus had tried to tell them while He was still with them.
It is one thing to die with your leader in a glorious battle. It is another thing to be left alone and expected to carry on when your Captain is dead.
Read John 20:24-31. Here is the template anxiety template
Thomas was absent when Jesus first appeared to His disciples. (vs. 19-21) What was Thomas’ reaction when they tried to tell him they had seen the Lord?
What did he demand in order to believe?
Since Thomas was in such distress why do you think Jesus waited another 8 days before He appeared to him?
What is the first thing Jesus said? Why did he say it?
What did he say to Thomas? What was His tone?
Remember Jesus had told them these things again and again. I find his gentle patience amazing.
What was His final word to Thomas (and to us) in verse 29?
Do I ask God to prove Himself? Do I demand answers when God expects me to trust Him?
Why was the book of John written? (vs. 31)
What are we asked to believe and what is the result of that belief?
Our faith isn’t dependent on our circumstances. Thomas and the disciples were done in. They were completely discouraged, but they had forgotten that their real life was in heaven. They were here for a purpose, and it wasn’t to have a soft, easy life.
They were to engage in the battle that was raging. Jesus death was not without meaning. It sealed their redemption. It brought them life. They were just beginning to understand.
…and so, like Jesus, I say to you “…be not unbelieving, but believing.”
If you have any questions please comment below or e-mail me.
For further study:
I Peter 1:3-9, 18-19