Sunday, April 2, 2017

Doubting and Its Importance in Faith-April 2. 2017

 What can we really be sure of?

As a teacher I face doubts of others every day and sometimes feel the overwhelming burden of doubt in myself when a task seems too large to conquer. Doubting and uncertainty are human traits. Should our walk of faith be any different?

Everyone, if they examine their hearts closely, has experienced doubts in their belief from time to time. Most people of great faith have admitted periods of doubt and uncertainty in their own walk.

Living in a world of darkness and seeing humanity at different levels has led me to doubts from time-to-time. I have weak times and stronger times when it comes to my faith.

Is there a place we are supposed to "reach" where we are sure what we believe and how we believe is the correct way? Or is there a single answer to how God wants us to live and what He wants us to believe?

Being "Christian" is a messy proposition, with many twists and turns. God builds us by helping us through crises like doubt.

Pope Francis recently discussed his own doubts and said, “We do not need to be afraid of questions and doubts because they are the beginning of a path of knowledge and going deeper; one who does not ask questions cannot progress either in knowledge or in faith.”

Billy Graham reached a crossroads in his evangelical career in the late 1940s when he faced questions of his own direction and calling from God.

It was revealed that even Mother Teresa had doubt in God's presence in her life for nearly 50 years. Yet, she still worked faithfully as God's servant tending the poor.

So what can we do? Scripture speaks of many people who had doubts in their faith.

Abraham doubted God in Genesis 17:17, Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

Jesus chastised Peter in Matthew 14:31, “Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”

And probably the most well-known doubter from the New Testament, Thomas, from John 20:27; “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Will we all leave here today with strong spirit and iron will? I doubt it. In fact, I will continue to doubt many things, as will you. But let's remember that doubt is a part of growing faith. We just can't leave it to grow, we must nurture it with prayer and a conversation with God to allow us to become stronger when we face it!

One more verse I had written down awhile back to finish, Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; It gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

Let hope be the way our faith helps us defeat doubt.