This past weekend we continued in the next part of our “Living in the tension” series and we examined the relationship between Trust and Doubt. We all understand how trust builds stronger faith but how can doubt? First we must understand that there are two specific types of doubt. When we talked this week about doubt, we were referring to questions that we all have in times where circumstance dictate that a certain thing will happen. When all the signs point to a specific outcome that doesn’t seem to be in line with what either God promised or for what we hoped for, we can have doubts. This type of doubt can be resolved with faith. Faith is then not some sort of magical spell we cast over our hearts and minds, but a decision to trust what God has said, over what we think or feel. The key to this type of doubt is that it can be resolved because it desires to be. There are times where I have grown in faith because I have doubted at first, but God either proved himself faithful or I changed my mind through the reading of the word, prayer, worship and being in community with fellow Christians.
The second type of doubt is one that the Bible warns against exuberantly. This type of doubt is one that seeks to not be resolved. This is often the position of atheists. They do not desire to have their doubt relieved, in that no answer will suffice. When conversing with atheists about proving God’s existence for example I often ask them what evidence they would be willing to accept. Depending on the person we usually get to the unpleasant reality that there could never be any evidence worthy of acceptance.
In a similar fashion many professing Christians are actually practical atheists. They say they believe in God but their actions and daily choices don’t reflect the character of Christ nor the power of His Holy Spirit. The truth is, God will often lead us to places where we will experience all sorts of testing, even Jesus was not spared this when He fasted in the desert and was tempted by Satan. However we must remember that God never leads us to a place that He doesn’t also intend to lead us through.
It just might take longer than you want it to, but have faith.