We’re on holiday this week, so here’s one from the archives…
One of the hardest things about doubt is admitting it’s there. Like inviting a flood; if I don’t believe this, then what about this and this and this?
Does God hear my prayers? Does He care? Is He even there?
It’s all well and good if you’re a self-proclaimed atheist. In this situation, the only way is up. But what if you’re the leader of a home group? What if you teach the children Sunday school? What if you’re employed by a Christian organisation? Or part of a family who are all believers?
Have I been brainwashed? What if they’re wrong? Is this really true for me?
You panic. But you keep your doubts to yourself. You back off; from other Christians and from church. Every day your faith shrinks a little more; and you tell yourself you no longer care. After all, real Christians don’t have doubts – right?
Here are the facts;
- It’s normal to have doubts and God is not blindsided by them. God is not surprised by Emma Scrivener having wobbles; any more than He when His disciples felt the same.
- Doubt is a part of life, not just faith. There are times when I doubt my marriage, my friends, my reason, my cooking, my writing and myself.
- Feelings go up and down with blood sugar, (and acoustic guitars). Faith is an anchor, firm and secure; IN the storm, not on a sunny day. Faith is not about the person who has it (us) but the person it’s placed in, (Jesus).
- Remember that doubt may be a part of mental health struggles; like depression or OCD. Some people are temperamentally inclined to it, in the same way as some are pessimists or extroverts.
- Doubt can be a part of owning the things we’ve been taught.
- Doubt isn’t good in itself, but God can work through it and use it to bring us to a deeper love for Him
- Faith is not really the thing we need. It’s Jesus. No-one can work up “faith” by screwing up their stomach muscles and trying to believe. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). So don’t try to have faith, just hear about Jesus.
- You are not alone in having doubts – and this doesn’t mean the end of your faith. There are ways of tackling doubt, like talking to others, searching the Bible and keeping going to church, even if we don’t feel it. Even if I don’t feel thirsty, I still have to drink. When I don’t feel like a Christian; I don’t need less Jesus, I need more.
- The truths of the Bible are backed up by hard facts. Jesus doesn’t tell us to believe in Him despite the evidence; He asks us to believe in Him because of it.
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking Christians are blinded by their beliefs, whilst non-Christians can see logically and clearly. All of us have our doubts and all of us have our beliefs. Atheists believe as much as Christians – just in different things. So in the midst of your struggles, don’t forget to doubt your doubts. They are certainly not more solid than Jesus.
- Forget everything I’ve said so far. Open your Bible and read about Jesus. Ask Him to show Himself to you afresh. He will.
“Faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” (Romans 10:17, NLT)