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Doubt Is Not Something We Should Fear
“When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? “ (Psalm 8:3-4 KJV)
During my teenage years in a Church School where all the teachers were Christians, my Head Teacher would quote these words often, adding, “If you ever doubt the existence of God, go outside on a clear night and look up at the Heavens...” He loved to teach us the wonder of our Creator God who reveals His glory everywhere and who keeps every planet on its correct course to give us our times and seasons, and what we see is only a tiny microcosm of the Universe!
Doubt is often viewed as a negative thing in the Christian life, and we tend to push it aside whenever it rears its ugly head. Doubt seems to be the antithesis of faith, a seed sown by satan who is ever seeking to destroy our faith in God. But is it? Even the Psalmist was heard to cry out, “How long will You hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13)
In my own struggles I have come to see that doubt can be the means of flexing our faith muscles, since it plunges us into questioning, which in turn can deepen our faith as we search the Scriptures, and spend time seeking the face of God in prayer.
Even the well known Alpha course uses a question mark as its symbol, inviting doubters to come and explore. Often it is in our struggles and questioning that we strengthen and grow. Indeed, even Jesus identifies with our doubts and fears, and we see this most vividly displayed in the Garden of Gethsemane where our dear Lord doubted whether He could face the pain, humiliation and torture He was about to endure. We’re told that three times He cried out to His Father, asking that He would remove it from Him and He sweated blood drops. Yet despite His fear and wrestling in prayer, He conceded, “Yet not my will but Yours.” (Luke 22;39-48)
When Jesus died and was buried, His disciples doubted and thought it was all over, even though He had told them this would happen, and despite all they had witnessed in His mighty miracles. Peter denied that He knew Him, and Thomas doubted big time! Yet Jesus did not give up on them, and He doesn’t give up on us when doubts and fears creep in. Instead He looks on with compassion, identifying with our humanity, and He asks again, “Do you love me?” He meets with us on our Emmaus Road, and as He opens up the Scriptures to us, our hearts will burn again within us, and faith will be restored. (Luke 24:13-35)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when doubt comes knocking at the door of my heart, I will look again to the ways you have shown Yourself to be true, knowing that You will use my questioning to deepen my relationship with You. Thank You for sending Holy Spirit to open my eyes and ears, and to pray and intercede for me when I have no words of my own. (Romans 8:26-27)
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Saviour, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power,
Both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1:24-25)