“People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do, will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic.” Tim Keller
Do we struggle to believe what we know is true because we like things in neat and orderly packages? Most of what God calls us to do is against a godless culture and our sinless nature. We want to be liked, but God calls us to love Him and others. Our goal is to earn the right of others to disciple them in the truth of Jesus and the scriptures. When things seem out of order, scary, messy, or seemingly impossible, we tend to yield to our emotions and wonder where God is in all the mess. Why me?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:2-5).
Everyone doubts in different areas, and all of us have questions. Perhaps you have believed in Jesus for most of your life and have now grown cold and have walked away because you are unsure that any of it is true. You are a logical-thinking person because much of it does not make sense. A virgin giving birth to God seems unfathomable. Maybe you are an experiential kind of person who no longer hears the voice of God, even when reading the Bible.
Doubting gone unattended can bring about anxiety in our lives and a lack of hope in the present and future thing in our lives. Doubting can lead to healing and restoring our faith. It can provide a learning opportunity for us to get into the scriptures and look for answers to our questions and prepare how to respond correctly to those questions from skeptics. The good news is that God wants us to know the truth and to have hope that our lives matter to God. He loves and embraces us and will give us answers to our questions.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
“And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38)
It is essential to address our doubts because we cannot carry out God’s plan for our lives without doing so. Jesus commands us to love the Lord our God with every ounce of our being and to love and serve others, often at great sacrifice. We tend to stumble with this because all humans have the propensity to sin. We struggle with pride and desire to cater to our needs and wants.
So how can Christians find faith amid doubt?
One of the most important things we can do when we are overcome with doubt is to own it! Doubt is not the absence of faith. You have to have faith to doubt. It is a critical step to keep your faith accurate and fresh. It is good to ask questions. God has the answers.
Oswald Chambers says it best: “Always make a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study.”
Another vital step in resolving doubts is to share them with people you trust who are solid in their faith and transparent about the ups and downs of life. Knowing how others deal with doubt who will be earnestly praying for you on your faith journey is enormous. Relationships like this will hold you accountable to not never to give up!
Patience in overcoming doubt is essential. One step at a time to build a healthy faith is problematic because it can feel like nothing is happening. God has not gone silent; go into the Scriptures and listen to Him. Continue to pray and thank God that He is working to restore your faith even though it feels like God has gone silent.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The Lord says to us, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…. When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isa. 43:2).
There is one truth about Jesus that should never be doubted because it is absolutely true. This event has been proven to be accurate by skeptics and scholars alike. It separates the Christian faith from all other religions and cults known to humankind. Prophecies were fulfilled with it, historians wrote and verified it, and eyewitnesses proclaimed that it happened.
Professor Thomas Arnold, author of the three-volume History of Rome and an appointee to the chair of modern history of Oxford University, writes:” I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God had given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead.”
This event, when believed, determines our journey on this planet and where we will spend eternity. Those who chose not to believe will live with no hope in the present or future. There is no greater expression of God’s love. It is through this event that we are saved.
“By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Corinthians 15:2-8)