Faith is not a feeling. Feelings are influenced by what we see, hear, read and by what our circumstances look like. Thomas would not believe unless he could see; he would not believe unless he could touch where Jesus was nailed and cut by His side (John 20:25). He relied on what he could see and touch, not on what God had to say.
We have many Thomas-Christians today, that is, those who believe in only what they can feel, see, hear or touch. If we base our judgment on what we see only, it means we have not looked deep enough. If we base our judgment on what is seen only, we are bound to give wrong judgment. In the same way, when we are looking for a man of faith, or a genuine believer, we are tempted to look only at those outward qualities, such as:
Speaking skills – ability to inspire people, ability to carry people along, ability to motivate an audience.
Friendliness – the power to win people’s hearts.
No mention would be made of character or inner being because man’s judgment is limited. Such was the case of Thomas and those Christians in his camp today. But Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). This statement was made not to Christians by faith but to Christians by feelings.
We cannot understand God by feelings. We can only understand Him by what the Word says about Him. Thomas was so much overwhelmed by his feelings that he neglected what the Scripture had said about Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. God is everything the Word says He is so we need to get familiar with Him through the Word. Too many people try to get acquainted with God through their feelings. When they feel good, they think God has heard their prayers. When they don’t feel particularly good – I mean, when they feel God is unkind or unfair to them, they begin to rebel or murmur against God. They feel that God no longer answers their prayer; their faith is thus based on feelings.