I Have My Doubts

Fake news. Miracle weight loss. Phone scams. "Settled science" that is disproved 20 years later. The check is in the mail. I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you.

I have my doubts.

We live in a very skeptical time. We have seen so many claims that proved to be false that we're really skeptical of claims that seem too-good-to-be-true. We watch candidates in interviews or debates make claims that contradict their own previous statements and we wonder which is true. One scientific study tells us eggs are very bad for us. Another study suggests eggs are, in fact, good for us. How can we separate fact from fiction?

Doubts in my faith are particularly vexing. Can I believe God answers prayer when I prayed for Him to bless us with children for ten years and no pregnancy came? Can I keep believing in God even when He seems distant and silent? And perhaps the most difficult doubt to overcome: How can I believe God is real and He is good when there is so much pain and evil in the world?

Let's start here: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV) God is beyond our figuring out with finite, human minds. I will always have some doubts and questions about God that will not fully be answered until I meet Him face-to-face on the other side of death. Faith trusts Him in spite of what I cannot figure out. You don't have to know how an internal combustion engine works to start your car and drive to work.

Great people in the Bible doubted God. Just a couple of examples: Sarah laughed when God declared (when she was 89 years old) that her barrenness would end and she would birth a baby within a year.

One of the Disciples, Thomas, was not with the others the first time Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection. He refused to believe a dead man was alive again and stated he would only believe it with tangible proof: “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25 NIV) When Jesus did appear to Thomas a week later, He confronted Thomas's doubt: Then He [Jesus] said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” (John 20:27 NIV)

Jesus understands our doubts. He is not upset by them. He knows how to handle them and when to give us evidence of His reality. Continuing to trust Him in the face of our doubts often leads to breakthroughs that actually deepen our faith. Circumstances may look like God either isn't there or is powerless to help us. Then He splits the Red Sea and we walk across on dry ground.

It is not unspiritual or unhealthy to have doubts. And the antidote to doubt is exactly what Thomas found: a real encounter with Jesus that leaves no doubt He is real. Having met Jesus, I can process doubts and they will not destroy my faith. Walking with Jesus and knowing He is real does not dispel all my doubts. They simply cannot disprove what I know to be true. Jesus is real. He is alive. I have met Him for myself. He has forgiven my sin and claimed me as His own.

The other doubts I sometimes struggle with, like evil in the world or pain in my own life, do not disprove God's existence nor His love for me. I walk with Jesus day by day. I continue to pray and study God's Word for answers to my questions. I trust Him when I cannot understand. And that's enough.

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