My faith can be so leaky at times. I mean when I’m in the midst of challenges I can suddenly start questioning everything.
“Is God real? Was Jesus really who he said he was? Is this whole relationship thing true? Will God really help me?”
How can I have so much faith one minute then get blindsided and suddenly struggle so much doubt the next? You’d think I’d learn after all these years. But then you would be wrong.
Now I’m guessing you can probably relate. I just bet you feel the same way on a rare occasion. If not I want to talk to you and find out your secret sauce.
Yet, what often happens when we’re struggling with doubt and dare to share it with a Christian friend?
Well, some are understanding and helpful.
But way too often we get sweet little platitudes. You know like greeting card snippets. And they sit about as well as a giant ice cream cone with two toppings and lots of whipped cream eaten on an empty stomach. Not that I’d know personally about that.
Yet, that’s what I love about the stories of the Bible. They’re real people struggling with the same gritty issues I do.
John the Baptist had baptized Jesus. He proclaimed him Messiah. Pointed his followers to him. Then he was imprisoned for criticizing the less than charming ruler Herod.
Suddenly, while sitting in prison, he’s filled with doubts. So he asks a couple friends to go and ask Jesus, “Are you really the Messiah? Like no kidding?”
Jesus responds, “Go back and tell John what you’ve seen and heard. That’ll be enough.”*
That encourages me. Here’s John, one of the heroes of the faith, who’s struggling with doubts too.
Yet, Jesus doesn’t chastise him. Instead he patiently tells his friends to remind John of all the things he’s seen and heard. I think Jesus knows our faith is leaky.
That encourages me that when mine is leaking Jesus understands and loves me anyway. And he patiently responds.
He tells John’s friends to simply remind him of what he already knows.
So often when I’m struggling with doubts I find this road out. Suddenly I’ll remember events that just couldn’t have occurred other than from God and I’m encouraged again.
John’s faith was encouraged. So much that shortly he faced his immoral execution with unwavering strength.
I hope I don’t ever have to face that. But I’ve found in the midst of struggles that supernatural peace return that gives me the strength to press on. And that makes all the difference.
We can rediscover faith in the midst of doubts.
When has this happened to you?
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*Matthew 11: 1-4