If you have been following Christ for any amount of time, that question may seem like a no brainer. Of course I believe, isn't that what I try to base my life around?
Do you believe all the time?
I think so.
Do you believe even when your heart tells you not to? When you don't understand why God is allowing this to happen in your life? When the one thing you wanted not to happen in your life happens?
We all generally tend to think our faith in the God of the universe is pretty good. Some may even think it's great!
But what happens when your world comes crashing down? Sometimes even a little thing can shake us.
I gotta be honest, something happened to me a couple months ago that shook me. And it wasn't a death in the family, or a traumatic accident. It was something distressing, but not at all life altering. On the outside, it was just another problem to solve in our imperfect, sometimes challenging lives.
But it shook me down to the core.
Now I've come out of that smarter, wiser, and with more ammunition in my belt should something else come up to test my faith. I know I'll probably struggle again at times, though.
And so will you.
We know this. It's taught in our churches and we learn it from our parents.
But what I feel is often neglected is the fact that these "crisis's of faith" do not mean you need to "be better" and there's something wrong with your faith.
Doubt is not necessarily a sin.
Doubt makes us question. But questioning is not always a bad thing. In fact, it is often a positive thing. It can solidify faith, confirm trust, and all in all encourages us to dig deeper, if we let it.
Do you doubt? Let it draw you to your omniscient savior, who has the answers to your questions.
Let's see a real example of how God responds when we doubt by flipping in the Bible to one of my favorite passages ever. Mark chapter nine starting in verse fourteen is about a man who brings his child that has a demon to Jesus to be healed. I encourage you to read all of this short passage, but let's focus in on verses 21-25.
"And Jesus asked his father, 'How long has this been happening to him?' And he said, 'From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.' And Jesus said to him, '‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.' Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 'I believe; help my unbelief!' And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, 'You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.' "
Amazing! The man approaches Jesus with major doubt. He isn't even sure if Jesus CAN help, and he says as much. But check it out. Jesus doesn't condemn him for his doubt. He doesn't send him away in anger and arrogance. He simply corrects the man and speaks truth to him. And because our God is so darn cool, he casts the demon out of the boy with a sentence from his mouth.
Something I had to learn those few months ago, and something I'm sure we all will forever be wrestling with, is that God doesn't want us to not doubt. He wants us to turn to him and cry out when we do, and look to him for answers. Because let's face it, we will always struggle with doubt. And God knows that, and he loves us anyway.
Many of the answers we need will at least start with God's Word. When you hit a rough patch and doubt begins to creep in, I encourage you to "hit the book hard" so to speak. Read His word. When it doesn't give an immediate solution, it gives comfort that God knows what we're dealing with and will bring us through it. Cry out to Him. He wants you to lean on him. Be honest with him! He already knows what you're struggling through. There won't be condemnation for your doubts or anger for your fears. He is our Holy Comfort. Run to him.