We are not told in God's Word when the beginning of the friendship between Thomas and Jesus began. So, how and when did Thomas became a disciple and what drew him to Jesus and his teachings.
Did Thomas find himself drawn to Jesus by the power of his words, by the Holy Spirit or did Jesus seek him out on his own, and call him to be one of his followers? All we really know is that Thomas must have been a follower of Jesus before he was an apostle, he and Jesus were friends in fact, there is evidence that the friendship was a very caring and devoted one.
We do know that the first mention of his name is found in the list of the twelve disciples and that Thomas was a strong and loyal believer in Jesus. Thomas was joyful and prepared to believe when the proof was sufficient enough to convince him, which gives us a picture of his "faith and doubt."
When news that Lazarus was ill emerged, and Jesus waited two days, then said to his disciples, "Come let us go into Judea again." (John 11:7) It was at this point that Thomas appeared and he bravely spoke up and said, "Let us go with him, so that we may die with him." (John 11:16)
Perhaps one might think this to be reason enough to change Thomas's nickname from "Doubting Thomas" to "Courageous Thomas" mainly because the disciples didn't want to go back to Judea since the last time they were there the Jews tried to kill Jesus.
Still, who actually walks, talks and lives with Jesus only to doubt Him in such a glorious time of his resurrection? If Thomas was such a loyal and faithful friend of Jesus, if he was courageous enough to want to go back to Judea, what actually made him doubt the reappearance of Jesus?
Sadly, Thomas represents a large part of most community churches and their people, they seem to only see the dismal and melancholy side of life. When difficulties, darkness and gloom arise, their hope suddenly dies.
This pattern of thinking only amplifies much of life's hardships and sufferings, each burden, every anxiety is so much heavier because of the somber and depressing heart that beats within. The beauty in this world goes unseen, sweet pleasures quickly disappear and our slightest fears become horrors.
This is exactly when we as Christians need to recall our own loyalties to Jesus, for He is the one that fills our hearts with joy unspeakable. Jesus takes our heavy burdens and lightens them with sweet and precious memories, our world becomes radiant when we let the light of Jesus shine within!
We can now see that Thomas was a faithful friend of Jesus and he would not forsake him, he was willing to suffer and die for the cause of Lazarus. When the other disciples hesitated to go back to Judea, Thomas said, "Let us go, that we may die with him." (John 11:16)
Yes, we may despair and have fears, we may even face tragic and impossible situations, still this is the time to hold fast and to cling to the promises of Jesus! Our devotion to Christ must be absolute and our walk with Him must be unconditional.
Why? Christ gave us the commandment to "LOVE" and He told us that "OBEDIENCE" is better than sacrifice. This is what our Lord demands of us, if our own lives are more important to us then we are not worthy of Him!
As followers of Jesus, we must be ready, willing and prepared to take up our cross, as we align ourselves to His will. And, he said to them all, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23
This is the utmost test of courage and the steadfast way of duty when one faces a personal loss and sacrifice. We may tremble in fear, yet we still forge ahead... straight into the battle, because we know... we are never alone, Jesus walks with us and He will never forsake us!
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." So that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:5,6
SO, WHEN YOU DOUBT... PULL YOUR BIBLE OUT... AND, LET YOUR FAITH END ALL YOUR DOUBT!!