In one of his many books, Billy Graham speaks of times when he struggled with doubt, times when his faith was lacking. I read this, but can’t imagine that idea. However, it shouldn’t surprise me that even the most committed Christians and godly leaders have doubted and struggled with their faith at times.
Much of what I know and deal with is within the physical realm. That’s true for all of us. Most of what we experience is through the five senses that God has blessed us with. The spiritual ideas, including faith, is something that you and I must deal with outside of the physical.
Spiritual realities aren’t measurable in the same way our physical world is. They are not tangible. When life throws us a curve ball (a difficult life situation) it’s very real, it is measurable. So, pressing into the intangible, the spiritual things of God with our hearts firmly planted in faith is sometimes a chosen act that becomes radically challenged.
All faith claims are not equal. Some announcements of faith are based on someone or something that is not true. So, before any of us can find any confidence in our faith we must answer a very real question: What have I placed my faith in?
I know that there are many, many people who fall prey to the claims of miracle working, TV evangelist that say, “If you will just send me $25, I want to send you this prayer cloth.” They say, “I have personally prayed over this cloth and if you want to receive your miracle order this holy prayer cloth today!” Sadly, there are many waiting for their miracle to arrive via the USPS.
There are also many people that hold to the idea of putting their faith in faith. They adhere to the notion that, “you just need to have more faith.” Faith itself is seen as the object. Get more of it, conjure up enough, believe hard enough and “it” will happen or come true. The focus is purely in the belief of self-generated faith instead of placing one’s faith in God alone.
God is to be the object of our faith
6 “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). The Biblical purpose of faith is to bring you and I into the presence of a holy God.
I recall a time in my life when a situation brought me overwhelming grief and sorrow. The emotional pain was so great that I literally became immobilized and was unable to make it to my bed that evening. My faith was deeply challenged. I laid on the couch crying out to God in my pain, lamenting the situation, but at the same time recognizing His sovereignty over this and all of life’s difficult times.
Many will doubt what I am about to describe, but I know the validity of the event. During my prayers and brokenness that evening God spoke. In perfect and audible English His voice simply said, “It’s okay.” At that moment His peace ran completely through me and my emotional pain was healed. I sat up looking for where the voice had come. It came from nowhere and at the same time everywhere. His presence filled the room. While the loss was still very real, the power that situation had exhibited over me was completely and permanently put in check.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” I had come to the end of myself and could only cry out “Abba, Father.” That night my faith was in God alone. He was all that I had. All my self-generated ways to ‘fix’ had abandoned me. My sole passion was for Him.
The greatest power in overcoming doubt comes from the Holy Spirit of God that teaches, guides and strengthens us to live by His Holy Word. It’s not enough to just know what God’s Word says, we must be obedient to its teaching as well. Mercy demands obedience. How much pain, how many difficulties could we avoid if we were just faithfully obedient to what the Bible teaches?
I don’t know what causes doubt in your life, but I do know how to overcome that doubt.
God loves you more than you can imagine. If you will commit yourself to trust Him and obey His Word, God will fill you with His Spirit and begin the wonderful process of refining you to become more like Christ. This commitment is not a one and done thing. You must commit yourself daily to following God. Ask God to help you live for Him each and every day.
The purpose of this blog is not to debate or dissect God’s Word, but rather to encourage you to personally know what His Word says and then faithfully live it out. The Nike tag line says it best: “Just do it!” Do what His Word calls you to do.
Everyone struggles with doubt at times. However, by believing and placing your faith in God alone, asking the Lord to increase your faith by helping you in your unbelief, He will lovingly respond to your cry. As you grow in your relationship with God by the “renewing of your mind” (Romans 12: 2) and learn how much He loves you, you will then discover how faithful He is to bring confidence to you during those times of doubt. The Holy Spirit’s powerful fruit of faithfulness is the path to security because faith is love’s confidence.