Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 14, 2017
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
When it comes to faith, doubt has kind of gotten a bad rap. It’s like a naughty kid that no one wants to bring to church. But the truth is that many of us struggle with spiritual doubt at some time or another. The great news is that we are not alone. Many godly Christians have wrestled with doubt too.
C.S. Lewis, the beloved author of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, struggled with deep spiritual doubt and trusting God’s love when his wife, Joy, passed away from cancer. Mother Teresa occasionally battled doubt and wrote raw, honest thoughts about it in her journal. Martin Luther sometimes had doubts about God’s character. In a sermon entitled, “The Minister’s Fainting Fits” he wrote, “The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.” And even John Calvin once said, “Surely, while we teach that faith ought to be certain and assured, we cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety.”
In my own life, when I have wrestled with doubts about spiritual things that I once felt certain of, I knew that I couldn’t do anything to save myself from that which plagued me. But I did hold onto the comfort that even when I felt that I wasn’t holding tightly to God, He was holding tightly to me.
“He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
In his article, Am I Losing My Faith or Just Losing My Mind? John Pavlovitz provides us with some encouraging words about doubt:
“. . . in those times when you are filled with doubt and guilt and worry, be okay with both the questions that come and the emotional upheaval they bring. You are being stretched beyond what you are currently capable of understanding, and these are the soul’s growing pains.”
Author Peter Enns echoes John Pavolitz’ sentiment:
“Sometimes we think of our faith as a castle—safe, comfortable, familiar. But what if God doesn’t want us to be comfortable and safe? What if comfortable and safe keep God at a distance?
“Doubt tears down the castle walls to force us on a journey. It may feel like God is far away or absent when in fact doubt is a gift of God to move us to spiritual maturity.”
“Doubt is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth.”
“Doubting God is painful and frightening because we think we are leaving God behind, but we are only leaving behind the idea of God we like to surround ourselves with—the small God, the God we control, the God who agrees with us.”
When doubt does its job, it can cause us to seek answers for questions we have never asked before. Certainly, our Adversary would love to use doubt to drive us away from God, but God wants to use it to drive us closer to His heart. Are you experiencing doubt today? Ask the Lord to work in your life and allow doubt to do a good work to push you further into His arms. Then trust that He is doing something good in you.
PrayerLord, when I wrestle with doubt, remind me of your love and help me to rest knowing that it’s okay that I don’t have all the answers. Remind me that you love me and that I can trust in your grace that will never let me go. Amen.
ApplicationTalk with someone you trust about what you learned today if you are wrestling with doubt.
Related ReadingRomans 8:31; Luke 12:32; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 27:1
Post/Tweet todayOur adversary would love to use doubt to drive us away from God, but God wants to use it to drive us closer to His heart. #WisdomHunters #healthydoubts
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