Have you ever had doubts about God?
We all have doubts about God.
Various things cause us to doubt. It could have been that college professor or a negative experience at church or the internal conflict one has after a tsunami devastates hundreds of thousands of people. Whatever the reason, we all have that dark whisper in the back of our minds from time to time.
The question isn’t “Will you have doubts?”, it’s what do you do with those doubts.
In the book of Matthew we see someone who you would think would never doubt Jesus. John the Baptist is in prison and he finds himself having second thoughts. One thing you have to remember is that John is one of the main reasons why so many people believed in Christ. John was a pillar of the Christian faith. His life fulfilled prophecy “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” to the fact that John and Jesus were related.
So for John to have second thoughts was a big deal. As the story goes, John sent some of his guys to ask Jesus “Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?”
John is asking Jesus if he really is the Son of God. Which is probably a huge shock to the guys sent to ask Jesus since they most likely believed in Jesus because of John the Baptist.
I love Jesus’ response. It is so simple and practical for you and I. Jesus said, “Go tell John what you hear and see: 5 The blind can see, the crippled can walk, and people with skin diseases are healed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is preached to the poor.”
What Jesus is saying is that he wants John’s faith fastened not what’s happening to him, but what’s happening around him. He is wanting John to look outside his current circumstances and take courage that He is at work in the lives of everyone around him. And then to top it off, Jesus tells everyone “John the Baptist is greater than any other person ever born.” The guy just expressed his doubts and Jesus is saying that He is the greatest of all men. I have to be honest, that encourages me.
A few things I heard one time when faced with doubt:
1. Look back and remember how God saved you, answered your prayers, and made financial provisions for you or your family. Take comfort in God at work in your past. Take your eyes off the here and now.
2. Look out and realize that you are 1 grain of sand in a sea of christians that spans thousands of years. There are millions and millions of people that have placed their trust in God and have seen God work across the ages.
3. Look ahead and remember that sometimes it is our vision of what could and should be, that allows us to maintain faith, in spite of what is. Sometimes in the middle of my bad experiences, it’s that vision of what could and should be that allows me to find my faith in spite of what is.
So if you find yourself wondering what to do with your doubt let me offer this simple thought. You carry them with you like the rest of us. Remember to look out at what God is doing in the lives of the people around you and your faith will be strengthened. Over time, those dark whispers will begin to fade away.
Read this passage here for yourself: Matthew 11