Dealing With Doubt
A few months ago, I was preaching on the subject of faith at one of our campuses and I used an analogy to describe what faith feels like.
To a lot of people faith feels like jumping into this dark abyss. It’s terrifying, you don’t know where you are going, and you feel like you are heading into the unknown. It’s a leap of faith that doesn’t seem worth it.
To me though, faith is more like jumping off a cliff into a crystal clear body of water. Is it still terrifying? Yes. But it’s also the greatest thing ever. It’s the most fun you will ever have, the greatest thrill you will ever have, and for the first time you will feel like you are truly living.
That’s where Mark’s quote really hit me, “The resurrection of Jesus is the only sufficient evidence for faith. If you believe in that, nothing else matters; if you don’t believe in that, nothing else can convince you.”
Yes – all the historical evidence of Jesus, biblical accuracy, and theological truths are extremely important… They all point to the right thing…. However, if you don’t cross the barrier that Jesus is God through the power of the resurrection. Then ultimately all of that evidence doesn’t matter.
But people get hung up on doubt right? And doubts are a bad thing.
At least that’s what you’ve been told right? I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. In fact, I think if it’s approached in the correct manner, doubt will actually strengthen your faith. The problem is most don’t know how to correctly approach it. What I want to do is take this intersection of doubt and faith – and help you wrestle through it so that it doesn’t feel like a dark abyss, but a leap of faith off a cliff into some clear water.
Here are 5 tips for you.
- Drop your anchor.
Mark said it and it couldn’t be more true. As you are wrestling through those doubts recognize the most important thing…. That Jesus is God because he raised himself from the dead. That’s your anchor, that’s the thing that’s going to hold you in place. If you believe that – well then you have plenty of space to move around and wrestle with everything else, doesn’t matter how strong the current is. You are going to be locked in. If you don’t believe that – prepare to drift off. If you are doubting that – keep coming to church, having conversations, and investigating. It’s my prayer that it will become an anchor for you.
- Find people to do life with.
We aren’t designed to wrestle with things alone. There is a reason why the church, a community of believers, exists. It’s to help one another gain a greater understanding of who Jesus is. I have to challenge you to take it to another level though. Don’t just come to church, be a part of the Church. Get on a team, get in a small group, serve with people. If you just walk in, listen, walk out, you are missing a major part of this journey. Get people in your life because community matters and you will be able to wrestle with things with other people and have others speak into your life!
- Ask questions.
Questions get such an unnecessary bad rap. It is only by asking questions do you truly learn. People fear that asking a question is going to make them look unintelligent, pushy, and filled with doubt – but it doesn’t work that way. If you are willing to ask a question, that will help you find the answer. I think about it this way – If I wanted to drive to Seattle right now from South Carolina, there is no way I could without a map. Am I dumb for that? No! I just haven’t been shown the way and the only way I am shown the way is asking how to get there.
- Do your own research.
Ahhh you didn’t expect this one did you? The problem with many people’s doubts is that they blindly follow whatever they were told when they were younger or by a leader in their life. In a lot of cases that’s a good thing! But there are times, where you need to formulate your own convictions on specific doubts that you have. When you begin to do your own research. It becomes concrete for you because rather than just hearing what someone else believes, you believe it because you have done the study.
- Ask God to reveal himself to you.
I wanted to finish with this because it seems like such an obvious one. When you are dealing with doubts, simply ask God to reveal himself to you and give you the truth that he is.
John 16:13-15 says this, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.”
If you are doubting today, don’t sweat it, it’s normal. Take these steps and see where faith takes you. It all circles back to Jesus’ resurrection. That’s the most important thing. Wrestle with that first, then deal with the other doubts later.