Doubts and Faith
Psalm 3:5-7 Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Psalm 50:15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Matthew 14:28-31 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” He (Jesus) said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me.”
Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Mark 9:21-24 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”
Hebrews 11:1-2 Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Jude 22 And have mercy on those who doubt.
Do you ever wonder what people think about regarding death, especially their own, when they don’t know or even want to know about Jesus? I can not imagine what they think. My guess is they must be very fearful and anxious. Even if they have chosen not to believe in Jesus and the fact He came to forgive sins and save those who believe in Him, they may still try to hold those beliefs tightly. But are they comforted? In those last days, hours, do they wonder if they now beg for Him to forgive them, are they comforted? Are they reassured?
I know I am still a sinner, mess up daily, but I have the reassurance that I ask for forgiveness for ALL the sins I commit that day, and I am forgiven. My sincere regret and confession free me from the burden of sin and give me the comfort of knowing there is nothing blocking me from my Savior. The Holy Spirit is still alive and well within me, helping me with getting through life better than before I accepted Jesus as my Savior. The comfort I feel knowing I am going to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus is awesome.
I had a close cousin who had various cancers and she died a few years back. She was a strong believer, held Jesus closely. Knowing that, she was only fearful of having pain that might not be controlled, that her process might be scary and feel out of control like a wild ride at a park when you’re frightened and feeling out of control yet cannot get off until the ride is stopped. But her knowledge of being a child of God was a comfort. There were regrets—she was leaving behind a lot of family members she loved deeply, close friends, and that part of the journey is and was uncomfortable. But she still looked ahead to her permanent home with her Savior, her knowledge of that secure.
We miss family and friends who have passed on, and suffer the grief of the loss, missing them but for those who are Christian, and know the Lord, those of us left behind are comforted with the deep knowledge that we will see them again. There is a reunion to look forward to. That is not to say we want to leave our earthly life early, but when our time comes, we can look forward to meeting with loved ones who have passed before us. That is a reassurance, a comfort when our time to leave this world comes.
I cannot imagine how nonbelievers get through the process.
Faith and doubt go together. There are times when we are full of faith, confident that God is with us, and nothing can deplete our faith. Then, something happens, and we are tested. How do we respond? Do we continue to pray and be thankful? Do we pray and remain thankful, seeking His will? When our prayers are not answered do we maintain full faith, or do we have doubts? We all have doubts at times; it is part of being human and dealing with life’s issues. Am I doing what You want God? Am I understanding Your direction? Am I being obedient? How could You let this happen, God?
We are tested to build our faith and make it stronger. If our prayers take a long time to be answered, we can start to doubt. Does God hear my cries? Am I praying for something against His will? Does He not want to fix this situation? Are you trying to teach me something? I am in such torment, do You care? Will You answer? Where are You? If we stay true in believing He hears us and will answer—maybe not according to what we want, but He will answer. All illnesses are not healed, jobs may be lost, and financial hardships may come, and it seems as though you are not getting answers. But we are often tested to build our endurance, and to make us stronger when troubles come. We are tested to see what our response will be. Will we stay steady and true, continuing in prayer and thankfulness, believing He has our best interests in His heart.
Faith grows when it is used. It is like a muscle and if used regularly, it grows, becomes tougher and stronger, able to deal with heavier issues. I accepted Christ after hearing the Judges 6 story of God calling Gideon to go to war and God would help him win. Gideon had little faith at the time, and presented God with many excuses why he was the wrong person to be given this assignment. After he was mostly convinced to obey, he still doubted, and asked God for final proof and reassurance—he wanted to put a fleece out and have God make just the fleece wet and surrounding ground dry’ and vice versa for the next night. And God answered Gideon’s request for both nights. Gideon’s small faith was increased with the result of God’s answering, which reassured Gideon that God was truly with him when he went into battle.
Certainly, there were other doubters in the bible. Many of those in the Doubter’s Club included Adam, Eve, Abram and Sara, Moses, and when John the Baptist’s prison time became longer and longer, he too doubted. And all can give examples of Peter’s doubts. They, too were people living in their time, dealing with their issues and fears and struggles, and at times doubted. We also have a sense of time and urgency. God works only on “His time” and we certainly do not like waiting.
Doubting can happen when we go through periods of not hearing from God, when unconfessed sin separates us from God, when we are walking on the right path and God is not ready to give us new direction. We are an impatient and arrogant bunch who tend to take things into our own hands if we do not get a message that gives clear direction from God. If we have messed up, we often still try to blame God—“where were You? You did not answer me. I waited, asked, sought You, and had to make a choice….”
Periods of doubt are stressful, but His love and faithfulness is deep and wide, long and high. We need to remember that. We are working and living on His time, and need to hold that when our faith feels wobbly.
God, You know I have had my doubts, my faith has been shaken and I have been totally feeling alone and overwhelmed. But those were MY feelings, NOT YOUR truth. Thank You for reminding me of your steadfastness which strengthens my faith and knocks many doubts away. My faith is sturdy remembering all the times You have blessed me and’mybellaviews.’