Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Doubts

It seems to me that, especially if you've been raised in a Christian family, there comes a time when everyone must really, truly decide what to do with Christ for themselves. It would be dangerous to attempt this decision without some serious study and attention to the whys and hows of what we believe. If you're in this place, I urge you to seek truth and wisdom.
Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." (NLT)

This faith we claim is not a weak wisp of reason and idealism. It can withstand honest, earnest examination, and those who seek truth will find it.

I do not believe that having questions and seeking answers means a person isn't saved. First, Job comes to mind. Here's a sample of what was going through Job's mind: "My complaint is with God, not with people. I have good reason to be so impatient. Look at me and be stunned. Put your hand over your mouth in shock. When I think about what I am saying, I shudder. My body trembles."

A complaint with God? No wonder he was trembling! But he earnestly sought an answer to his questions; Job is a pretty long book, and it's full of Job seeking truth. He didn't give up, and eventually, he was addressed directly by God in response. Granted, he didn't get an explanation. God reminded him who was boss and why, but God did not condemn him for having questions. Now, if Job had turned away from God when God responded, the story would've ended far differently.

Then there's John chapter 3, where Jesus talks with Nicodemus, another man with questions. Third, in Mark 9:14-27, we read the story of a man who brings his son to Jesus because the boy is possessed. Even this man obviously had faith issues. In verse 24, he says, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!" Does Jesus turn him away for having issues? No! The man did exactly the right thing and was rewarded; he brought his problems honestly to Jesus and saw healing. So, God has time and patience for questions.

Assuming you're still seeking with the right heart, I believe that eventually, God will respond. When he does, you will be faced with a decision. John 3:18 says, "There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God's one and only Son." Eventually, you must believe or not believe. You will either grow in your faith or walk away from it. The effect the decision to walk away would have on your eternity would take a lot more study, debate, and posts, but I can assure you it would not be pretty. Like Job, you may find that not all of your questions are answered. Still, God expects a response from you.

My prayer for you is that your quest for answers will end like Job's did: with a response from God that will bring you to your knees in awe and repentance saying, "I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes." (Job 42:5, NLT)

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