A hesitation to believe; to be uncertain about; to consider questionable or unlikely; a distrust or suspicion. All of these are definitions of doubt. We all have experienced these feelings about someone or something that has occurred. But in order to have doubt, we certainly must first experience a belief or doubt cannot creep into our thinking. We can only doubt what we already believe! You might have met someone and became friends and as time passed, you began to doubt what they have said as their actions do not align with their words. With Jesus, his actions and words align perfectly! Or they promised you something and did not deliver on it. Jesus certainly delivered on his promises!
As I related in Sunday’s sermon, we sent astronauts to the moon spending billions of dollars and many of us witnessed it live on television. But some still doubted and still do that such an impossible occurrence could really take place. We forget sometimes that with Jesus, all things are possible!
As we learned from scripture in Mathew 28:16-20 this past Sunday, we as Christians, like the disciples before us we all experience doubt. A man whom they followed, loved, and trusted to be the Son of God, chooses to suffer a horrible death, and seemingly leaves them all alone with no leader to carry on the mission he had called them to fulfill. So, here stood Jesus in front of them, resurrected as promised. But some still doubted. They believed but were uncertain of what they were seeing. But don’t we do the same thing? We know about Jesus, but do we have a relationship with him and know him? Even then, we can doubt.
As Christian author Dan Schweitzer wrote, “We as Christians are not called to be free of doubt, but to follow Jesus in the face of it.” It is called faith. Faith is the key to who we are as Christians. Faith in the resurrection of Jesus is what we base or hope in. Without it, Christianity doesn’t exist! We all have doubts sometimes about our faith. But that is okay, as doubt is not the absence of faith, doubt is the questioning of faith! Questions lead to better understanding on our journeys down this path of faith. It strengthens our faith. It does not weaken it. As you become a more mature Christian with ever increasing understanding of who Jesus is and what he asks of us, so too will your faith increase. Others will see it in you and hear it in your words. Then you too are spreading the Good News as Jesus asked us to do.
God’s faithfulness to us never ceases. It never comes to an end as we are reminded in Lamentations. Jesus said in John 5:17, “My Father is always working, and I am also working.” Our work is to remain faithful in hope and remain in trustful waiting. The doubt will subside as we come to know that we have hope! Hope in a gracious Lord that faithfully loves us each and every day, no matter if we doubt. He is lovingly patient with our doubts.
Let us remain patient and while expressing doubt at times remember that God’s faithfulness to us is demonstrated by the sacrifice of his one and only son, Jesus, for all of us! We may doubt at times, but He still values each and every living soul worthy of being redeemed and set free from the power of sin!
We may think that our doubting makes us less of a Christian or that God will be angry with us. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:3-4, “What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! So, go out this week into the world with what you know to be true and proclaim it in word and deed. Doubting at times, but believing that yes, it is the truth!
Blessings, Rev. Tim Pearce