But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:30-31 NKJV
“I do not believe there ever existed a Christian yet, who did not know and then doubt his interest in Jesus. I think, when a man says, ‘I never doubt,’ it is quite a time for us to doubt him.” – Charles Spurgeon
Apparently, Christians doubt. An honest Christian will say that doubt happens frequently in our Christian life. It’s part of self-discovery and growth. It builds faith and endurance, if we let it.
In fact, I read somewhere that children have a natural instinct to reach out for God. This has proven true in my life, my child’s, the children in my Sunday school class. He just is. He just loves. Some of the painful stories children have endured from cancer to abuse, naturally cling to God. They sing, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves the little children and the glowing faces when singing Christmas songs cannot be denied. It truly is innocence that’s a powerful witness! They never doubt they’re loved even in excruciating circumstances. Maybe that’s why “we must become like children.”
In the dark times of life, from being broke, hungry, traumatized, lonely, death of a loved one, our Christian faith is tested. The faith that we are eternally loved and cared for mocks us. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” seems so hollow. Some turn their back on God and I was one. I didn’t lose faith in God. I just thought if God loves me, he can keep that love! I’ve got enough bad love in my life so I turned my back on him. My faith was broken. My hope was gone. Purpose left.
I believe all Christians reach a dark night of the soul. Do we love the giver or the gift? We wrestle with what we believe. Jacob wrestled with an angel. Job continued to seek God even after he lost everything, even his health, and Doubting Thomas’ story is familiar to all.
Do we doubt that God loves us? Do we truly believe God is involved in our life? We no longer feel the love of the Father. Where did our blessings go? Doubt. The only way through is through. Usually, in hindsight, we see the Father’s work in our life and our faith is strengthened. The Bible is filled with persons who doubted. Many Christians can come alongside and help. The Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings to deep for words. Time to make a list of all the things our Father has done for us. Give thanks and ask.
You may not receive answers. Some trials I’ve been through still baffle me. Job didn’t receive answers. And Jacob would not let go of the angel he wrestled until he had his blessing—not answers. Some things are a wrestling match with no clear cut answers. Just like Jacob, do not let go until you have the Father’s blessing. I encourage you to ask and don’t let go. Your faith will be stronger. Ups and downs will become still waters and green pastures. Your heart will grow like the Grinch’s on Christmas morning. You will be a bit more like our Father’s son.
It seems like the hardest test is to believe that our faith “is the evidence, assurance, confidence of things not seen.” Certainty. Promise. We hang on to this. We cling to you. We wait for you. We give you our doubt. We remember all hope was gone when Jesus died on the cross. We remember the great joy when he rose. And we thank you.