Doubt and faith

There is no doubt that doubt can kill faith. But doubt can also deepen faith.

I have been thinking about doubt because a good friend of mine is questioning the faith he has held for decades.

He told me this week that he now rejects many of the positions he considered truth as a younger man. He did not go into detail, but it seems he is disillusioned with the church. And I suspect it is affecting his view of God.

I am not alarmed. I believe he is a child of God and that God will not let him go.

Still, much depends on how he handles doubt. It can take him into a new level of spiritual growth, or it can be a blight on his life.

As a young Christian, I was ready to throw up my faith. But, in the midst of my anguish, I found myself praying to God. For me, it was proof that God had his hands upon me and I belonged to him, no matter what.

Many of the great men of the Bible questioned God.

Job, king of sufferers, was steadfast in his faith in God despite losing his children and being struck with boils from head to foot.

But he began to lose heart after his friends started criticizing him and offering well-intentioned but hurtful advice. He tried to defend himself before God and men. In effect, he was questioning God.

God responded in a whirlwind with words that asserted his wisdom, power and his sovereignty over everything. He did not fully answer the questions that Job and his friends posed.

Job is humbled. He confesses he was wrong to question the Lord. And he moves to new spiritual heights, placing his trust unreservedly in God.

“I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes,” says Job in awe (Job 42:5).

God wants to deal with our doubts. Our job is to take these questions to the Lord and look for his answers.

His answer may not be what we expect. But he will show himself in some way – enough to restore our faith.

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