Tuesday, August 06 2019
“Why do I doubt my faith?” People doubt in different ways. Some honestly doubt by asking questions and struggle to find answers. Others doubt because they do not want to believe something that goes against their desires and ambitions. While these two types of doubt are often very far apart, someone may experience both questions and temptations to sin. In the case of questioning, John the Baptist questioned if Jesus was the Christ but that is not necessarily doubt (Matt 11:1–7).
Doubts vary. Some doubt is very harmful. James revealed that the person who doubts God is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind (Jas 1:6). However, some forms of doubt are a part of growing as a believer. The father of young boy pleaded with Jesus to do anything to save his son. Jesus urged him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). The father cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
While walking on the sea, Peter doubted and began to sink when he experienced the winds in the midst of the storm (Matt 14:28–33). Jesus spoke to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Those who doubt in a manner of questioning often feel anxiety that can result in disruptive doubt and fear causing obsessive behavior. A person may be overly concerned with “What if this happens?” For example, some people live in some fear or anxiety of crossing bridges in fair weather and avoid bridges. Many reasonably fear to see hurricane-like winds beat against a bridge. Most people live according to probability based on common experience, so they don't fear what some do.
Some Christians doubt the faith that their parents and Bible teachers have delivered to them. They think that they might be wrong. Sometimes, they struggle with the possibility that the universe popped into existence from nothing, life spontaneously generated and evolved, and Jesus could have been an exaggerated figure in history. They seek and struggle to find answers. However, most come to see that these skeptical ideas are not reasonable and not the best explanation for reality.
Christ has given evidence of Himself if a person is ready to accept a reasonable view of God (cf. John 5:30–47; 8:17–18; Acts 1:3). Jesus declared, “If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority” (John 7:17).
Thomas doubted Jesus’s resurrection but he was ready to accept the evidence. Thomas declared, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20:25b). Jesus responded to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27; cf. Luke 24:38). Therefore, Thomas confessed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). However, Jesus concluded, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
The apostles first doubted the evidence of Jesus’s resurrection that they would declare to the world, and Jesus rebuked them for not believing the evidence of witnesses (Mark 16:14). Both Peter and Paul would preach the predictions of Jesus’s resurrection, the empty tomb, and the witnesses of Jesus’s resurrection (Acts 2:14–36; 13:26–41; 1 Cor 15:1–11).
With a reasonable view of God, everyone is reasonable to believe that Jesus is the exact image of God. Thank God that Jesus has given many proofs!