I looked at the word doubt today. Had several conversations this week with family and they all are at points where they are questioning themselves, their relationship with God, and even why they have to travel the path of life they are on. They are hard on themselves and/or just admitting they are struggling with their faith. Doubt can be very concrete where you know a person lies over and over and eventually you doubt that person is telling the truth like the story of the boy who cried wolf. (Might be dating myself-if you don’t know read the story). Doubt can also be emotional where life comes at you hard and you just don’t understand all the downs in life. It makes no sense and draws all your energy and that doubt seems to hold you captive in the middle of holding to that faith or pushing you away from your faith.
The message at church today seemed to tie into in all of my conversations this week. He spoke about that doubt indicated you have faith in your life. It is revealing that you are not fake, but you have a personal relationship with God and have enough faith to bring all your complaints to him. It is like your best friend, you don’t just talk about the easy stuff, but you challenge each other and talk about all the ugly and you may not always agree, but you tell each other the truth. You keep it real and honest. The bible tells the story of the disciple Thomas where Jesus is okay with Thomas and his doubts. He listens and then his response is amazing.
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed doubting Thomas), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” - John 20:24-25 (NLT)
Thomas was in his own faith crisis. Bottom line people who struggle with faith are wrestling with disappointment, discouragement, and hurt. Thomas was not there at the first appearance so he wanted assurance of what he believed to be true. He didn’t give up and kept showing up to meetings with disciples. He was frustrated. Don’t let your doubts drag you away from God. Drag your frustrations to him and he will answer as he wants an honest relationship so take all the praises, but all the ugly as well. He welcomes your true heart and even if it is not positive, take it to him, he can handle it. Stay true and he will meet you right where you are. Thomas is an example of a person who was not okay, he doubted and then Jesus shows up in midst of his spiritual struggle.
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. - John 20:26 (NLT)
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands.Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.- John 20:27 (NLT)
Jesus showed up and restored his faith instead of judging him. Jesus took his doubts and wrapped them in truth. He was personal with Thomas by inviting him to touch his wounds. Doubting does not disqualify you as a person of faith. Abandonment runs strong in our childhood. It can take us to our breaking point. At times it seems to hover why we still believe in anything. The message today talked about reasons we believe and besides the importance of the bible and the historical evidence, but also, I believe it is in our experiences. I know in my heart we have all felt him move in our spirits. We have seen him move in our lives and we have felt in our minds, hearts, and souls.
God can’t be put in a science test tube and be broken down, so faith is required but in times of hardship that faith may fail, but one aspect in your life must be that you still believe that God never will fail you. Jesus is still moving and working in the world and that your life matters to him. He has not abandoned you. Seasons of life may not make sense and especially during this crisis nothing makes sense as it affects our lives in more than just one way, physical, mental, financially, socially, and spiritually..
Doubt doesn’t disqualify you from having faith. I don’t understand why this COVID hit. I don’t understand how to get this economy robust so people can get back to living. I don’t know how to tell people to not be fearful to start living again. I certainly don’t have all the answers, so I go back to God’s written word when in doubt.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” - John 20:29 (NLT)
But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name. - John 20:31 (NLT)
I heard a song today called “Famous For (I believe)” by Tauren Wells with Jenn Johnson. Such an inspiring song:
God of exceedingly, God of abundantly. More than we ask or think Lord, You will never fail Your name is powerful, Your word's unstoppable All things are possible in You
Prayers for all who find themselves in the valleys of life within that faith crisis we all have experienced. May he wrap around you in whatever is happening in your life and restore your faith!
Think. Pray. Vote God Bless you all, DreamsDontFade