Faith vs. Doubt
I keep running into the same situation. It just seems that many people are searching for something bigger than themselves. If they aren’t then they are very often driven to prove what is not there. Another thing I have seen very often would be highschool grads who also graduate from their faith. These are the kids who prayed, read their Bible, went to church, told others about Jesus and now they are agnostic or atheist.
Why is this the case? Often is it because they have begun to doubt that God is still active in their lives, they feel that he has abandoned them, left them, or maybe they belive that he was never there at all because if her was really there, he would,… _________________fill in the blank.
So they doubt, and they leave behind the church and often times the relationship and connections that went with them. Many times they have left the church because their doubts quite frankly are NOT welcome, they are seen as divisive, rebellious, sinful and they are told to shake it off and just believe.
Is this really what God wants? Is this really what God expects of us? Does God expect blind faith?
Is Doubt the opposite of Faith?
However disobedience is. We are acting in opposition to faith when we fail to act in accordance to faith. So many great men of faith had doubts at times. Abraham, Moses, David, Gideon,… and the list goes on and on. What set them apart was that they did not let their doubt keep them from acting on their faith, or what they knew. Here is a great example from the book of Mark.
Mark 9:24 (NLT)
24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24 (BBE)
24 Straight away the father of the child gave a cry, saying, I have faith; make my feeble faith stronger.
This Father pushed through his doubt to come to Jesus and admitted his weak faith. This is why Jesus said that you only need faith the size of a mustard seed.
If you are a believer:
Create a safe place for people to doubt, be there for them and allow them to work it out in their time. Listen and hear what is at the core of their doubts, don’t simply just dismiss it, telling them to “just believe”. That will never be good enough.
If you are an atheist or a doubter:
God loves you hands down. He is working in your life to draw you to himself. (John 12:32, James 4:8) It is okay to have doubt, in fact, those doubts can push you to look for answers, I hope that you choose to do so. If you do, than you are much more motivated than most others. Push for answers to your questions, look for a church that isn’t afraid of your questions.