“I used to believe but then I had questions that couldn’t be answered and so I couldn’t believe anymore. You just have never doubted or questioned what people told you about God and the Bible, that’s why you believe.” This was the comment I received at work when a client discovered that I was also a local Pastor. What the man didn’t know was that I had asked questions and continued to ask questions. Questioning is an important part of the Christian faith. In the book of Acts we are told that the ones who heard Paul’s message and rigorously tested it against Scripture were considered to be noble.
“The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
But what about when our questions turn into doubts? Lets take a look at some ways that, as Christians, we should deal with doubts.
- Rely on the Holy Spirit
“These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:10-11
Remember that when we are reconciling our doubts we are not going alone. God has blessed us with the Holy Spirit, and He is working within us to reveal all wisdom and Truth. A common mistake made by those who have allowed doubt to devour their faith is that they rely entirely on their own intellect. We have the Holy Spirit abiding within us and we should rely on Him while we vigorously pursue truth. Pray continuously and ask God to make clear to us the answers to our doubts. Don’t be satisfied with blind faith. The Holy Spirit works within us, as we pursue truth, to bring our entire being, our heart, body, mind, and soul into harmonious agreement with the Creature. Intellect does not need to be sacrificed in order to have Faith, in fact when it is lead by the Holy Spirit our intellect will deepen our Faith.
- Know You Are Not Alone
“Righteous are you, O Lord,
when I complain to you;
yet I would plead my case before you.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all who are treacherous thrive?”
I can assure you no doubt about God or Christianity you have ever had is new. People have been asking questions since Christianity began and people have been working through their doubts for just as long. Maybe you doubt the morality of Hell or struggle with the idea of suffering. These are age-old questions that have been asked in Scripture and by countless individuals including Church Fathers and theologians. Again you do not need to rely on your own intellect solely, read what the Bible has to say about your questions. Read the great men and women who have faced your same doubts and come out with a more concrete faith. Talk to your Pastor and/or trusted Christian friends who can pursue truth along side you.
- Follow Truth Wherever It Leads
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”
I am not afraid to have this as my final point, because if we honestly pursue truth, rely on the Holy Spirit, and look to the faithful who have gone before us we will be lead into a deeper relationship with Jesus who is the Truth. We may be challenged and we may be uncomfortable but we will come out the other side with a deeper faith then we had before. That does not mean it will be easy. Perhaps we will learn that our theology or understanding needs adjustment. Perhaps we will need to change the way we behave or the way we believe, but one thing is sure, God who is the source of all knowledge and wisdom will be glorified and our love for Him will be magnified by our honest pursuit of truth.
Author:Nathan Phillips – Associate Pastor at the River Church