Grace for Our Weakness

by Delaine Allen

His name popped up again last night over coffee.

We had just come from a movie with our friends, and the four of us?were sitting?down at the coffee shop. (“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”. No, no, no…I can’t recommend it. While the leading man learned his lesson, the moral standards of the characters in the movie are deplorable. Sad thing is, their antics were obviously striking a chord with the audience.) While we were visiting, the name of Doubting Thomas came up.

Doubting Thomas. The man with a label. His lapse in faith, his moment of weakness recorded for us all to talk about for the next couple of millennia. We faith people (yes, I’m one of those, too..”word of faith”, pentecostal, charismatic, prophetic movement, third day, new apostolic…whatever. If God’s in it, label me ‘guilty’. 1 Cor. 3:21-23) have almost given the idea that a lapse in believing is pretty much irreversible. Now, you may never be able to receive what you have desired from the Lord. Shame on you!

Aren’t we the people who say that we have become the very “righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ”? that “there is therefore?now no?condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”? How is it that we put our own brand of condemnation on others, and on ourselves? Are we creating our own little religion of works that contains no mercy?

Jesus spoke of great faith, the faith of the centurian who believed that Jesus’ word had all authority. Yes, that is what we believe. That is our confidence. We aspire to be steadfast and immovable in our faith in God’s Word. Most of have to admit, though, that there are moments where the circumstances of life have overwhelmed us and we’ve stumbled. We won’t glorify these moments and bind ourselves to them by giving them too much attention. Still, we may carry that sting of our faith failure in our hearts. It’s silently?chewing little holes in our confidence.

Listen…the whole point of faith is believing in God’s grace! Everything we have, we have received from Him. Our faith does not stand on its own, as if we authored it. Jesus alone is the Author and Finisher of our faith. We look to the Lord for everything.

A momentary lapse in believing is not something to beat ourselves and others up with. If your friend stumbles, encourage them in the Lord. If you’ve stumbled, encourage yourself in the Lord! Allow His mercy to wash over you. Receive His grace that brings all His blessings and goodness to you. He’s not holding out on you; don’t hold His grace off.

Jesus said to Peter one day, “Get thee behind me, satan!” Yep. Peter was rebuked. We’re also aware of how Peter denied the Lord three times. But Jesus didn’t label Peter forever over his momentary failures. Jesus said to him, “when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers”. Jesus didn’t forever label Thomas as “doubting”. We have. He was commissioned as?Thomas, the apostle, baptised in the Holy Ghost. Certainly, his unbelief was rebuked that day. A rebuke from the Lord is for the ultimate purpose of restoration. Thomas found grace for his weakness. We have heard recently that the church started by Thomas still exists and is functional today. A work of grace.

We don’t know why Thomas was missing when the Lord appeared to the disciples?that one day. But, hey, all of the disciples were hiding in fear. Doesn’t seem like any of them were full of faith right them. When the failures of Thomas, Peter, and others were recorded in the pages of the Bible, it is so that we can not only see the danger of turning away from the Lord, but the greater truth that we all can find grace for ALL of?our weaknesses.

Don’t allow nagging thoughts of failure to plague you any longer. Throw off the condemnation. You may have wavered in the past, but?you can stand up?right now and receive?everything that God has for you.

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