I have a confession to make. There are times when my faith is overtaken by doubt. I know that kind of thinking shouldn’t come out of the mouth of a staunch Christian. The truth is, doubt has been a weakness for me. I wonder how God could possibly forgive all my sins. I doubt that I’m worthy of His love and redemption. There are times – especially as I approach another birthday – when I question the things I believe.
Oh, my goodness, I feel as though I’ve just spilled the beans on one of my greatest flaws. Well, they say confession is good for the soul. When I think of things like this, there is only one place to go for answers – to God’s written love letter to the world- the Bible.
We’re all afraid of the unknown and death holds a multitude of unknowns. What happens once we’ve passed from this world into the next? I have no doubt that we go on living. Where we wind up, is when the doubt creeps in. Since my youth, I was taught that God is a mighty judge who holds us accountable for our sins. That thought carried over into my adult life for a long time. In fact, the devil knows that flaw in my character and uses it against me. Every sin, known or unknown, is known to God. I have no excuse for them. So why would I be eligible for forgiveness?
There is only one thing that takes that doubt away. It’s faith in the God of love and compassion – the very same One who condemns has become our Redeemer. Again, another incomprehensible concept. He expects perfection, yet He loves us so much that He came up with the solution for our failures. He sent His Only Son to take our sins on Himself and carry them to the grave. WOW! There’s another impossible thought.
I can’t look into other’s hearts, but I would guess that almost every human being has questions at one time or another. We can solidly state that were going to heaven, because of what God has done for us, yet a little voice inside wonders if that’s really the case.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, they didn’t believe it was Him. They thought He was a spirit. He asked them why they doubted, even after seeing the scars of His death. Jesus was right there in the midst of them. They viewed his scars, even physically touched Him, but still questioned His existence. In hindsight we can see how foolish they were, but that’s because we have the proof written for us in the Bible.
And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” ” Luke 24:41
At this point, Jesus was demonstrating He truly was alive, for a ghost would not be able to eat. The important clue is the first part of this passage – “even while they still disbelieved” … Even Jesus’ own disciples, who spent the past three years learning from Him had their doubts.
So what happens when we doubt? We can choose to not believe or we can rely on our faith to help us believe. Benjamin Franklin once said, “When in doubt, don’t” Good advice really, because giving in to doubt leaves us without hope for a future here and beyond the grave. Doubt, then is an element of faith. Without doubt, there can be no faith. Faith is the mainstay that allows us to believe. Faith is also a gift of God, which we need pray for every day of our lives.
Lord, increase my faith, Amen!