Mercy For Those Who Doubt | Reasonable Doubt | Week One

Sermon Notes

Mercy For Those Who Doubt | Reasonable Doubt | Week One
Pastor Dave Pretlove
  1. Disciples of Jesus have wrestled with doubts from the beginning. 
    • Luke 7:18-23
    • Matthew 28:16-17
  2. The church should be the safest place on earth to wrestle with doubt.
    • ‭‭Jude‬ ‭1‬:‭22‬
  3. Jesus loves to meet us in our doubt. 
    • John 20:24-28,16-20, 11:16, 14:3-5
  4. Sometimes the greatest doubters become the greatest missionaries.
    • John 20:29


  1. This week we talked about how Jesus knows our unique personalities. What’s something unique about you or how you’re wired?
  1. Glancing over your notes from this week’s message, was there anything that caught your attention, challenged you, or confused you?
  1. Read John 14:1-7 together. Because of Thomas’ question, we are given one of the great “I am” statements of Jesus. This statement has encouraged and taught the saints throughout history. How might your questions be a catalyst for helping others find clarity about Jesus? 
  1. Read John 20:24-28 again. What do you observe about Jesus’ response in this passage? What does Jesus do – and not do? What is the significance of when Jesus tells Thomas to stop doubting?
  1. In what tangible ways can you be more merciful to yourself and to others when you struggle with doubts?
  2. Are there any specific doubts or burdens you’re carrying that we can pray for? 

Scripture To Meditate On

“‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’”
John 14:1-7 NIV

“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though 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; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
John 20:24-28 NIV


Article | 4 Lessons We Can Learn From Doubters in the Bible by Alisa Childers 
“Yet by God's grace and incredible mercy toward me, my faith began to rebuild and reconstruct from ground zero. And I discovered something wonderful...many great saints in the Bible were doubters.“

Podcast | Battling Doubt and Cynicism in Our Bible Reading by Desiring God
“So meditate on the kindness and the patience of Jesus to doubters. Peter is doubting, and Jesus reaches out his hands.”

A Spiritual Practice To Try

This week, explore the spiritual practice of simplicity. This is both an inner and outer simplicity. Richard Foster writes, “The inner reality is not a reality until there is an outward expression. To experience the liberating spirit of simplicity will affect how we live.” Ask God to reveal ways you can simplify your soul, your family, your home, your schedule. Some potential ideas to get you started:
  • Reject something that is producing an addiction in you
  • Make purchases based on usefulness, not status or prestige
  • Develop a deeper appreciation for creation
  • Obey Jesus’ instruction about plain and honest speech – let your yes be yes and your no be no

Something To Think About

This week I was reading Psalm 118 and spent a lot of time around verses 14 through 24. In verse 17, we find, “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.” The word “recount” stuck out to me. In ESV, the word is recount – in some other translations it said “declare”. So I did a little digging with the Blue Letter Bible app. The Hebrew root word used there is סָפַר (saw-far’) which means to count, to recount, to take account of, to talk, or rehearse.

I loved this emphasis on not just declaring or telling someone about what God has done but it includes to count the ways God has moved, and then to recount them, and then to share and talk about it with others! For me, this ties into doubt and my faith being worked out in community. In seasons of doubt or uncertainty, I find so much strength and renewal when I remember the ways God has moved. I recount all the answered prayers and ways he’s provided for me in the past. But I don’t just keep it to myself. I talk to my community about it. I share with my friends how I recount the deeds of the Lord. As you process the sermon this week, I pray that you would recount God's work in your life and talk with someone about it! 

Recounting and Declaring,
Lydia Long
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