February 18, 2021
Doubts and Questions
October 7, 2021 | Leah Lynch
It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when; we’re human. In some capacity, doubts and questions are inevitable.
There’s this tension that we often feel when it comes to our doubts and questions, specifically regarding our faith and our relationship with Jesus. Why? What if? Is it really true? Can I trust Him? When we struggle with believing and circumstances seem to force us to ask these questions, many times we are left wondering if there’s something wrong with us or if we’re the only one.
Here are the short answers to those wonderings – no and no.
But let’s not stay there; let’s go a little deeper. In transparency, I come to this conversation having struggled myself. Countless times I’ve wrestled with doubt. I’ve wrestled with questions and with whether asking those questions meant there was something wrong with me.
In his book, Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey says this: “One bold message in the Book of Job is that you can say anything to God. Throw at him your grief, your anger, your doubt, your bitterness, your betrayal, your disappointment—He can absorb them all.”
We serve a God who is big enough to handle our questions. He’s big enough to handle our doubts. And He’s not just big enough, He wants to.
Doubts and questions can be crippling. They can come with feelings of uncertainty or confusion. They can also conjure up shame, and shame enables lies. Start with letting go of the lie. In doing that, Jesus can speak truth to your heart. Instead of the shame see your doubts and questions as a means of growth, not as something that defines you. Taken to God they offer an opportunity for Him to speak to your heart and show you who He is and who you are in Him.
If you’re wrestling with doubts and questions, you’re in good company. When we look at the life of Jesus, his disciples, men who were with Him 24-7, asked countless questions and many times struggled to make sense of what Jesus was teaching or doing. And yet, Jesus never gave up on them. He didn’t say, “You’ve asked one too many questions. You’re no longer fit to be my disciple.” Instead, he encouraged them, taught them, answered their questions, and never gave up on them.
He does the same for you, and He does the same for me. As I’ve wrestled with doubts and questions, God brings me back to the truth that, while He doesn’t want me to wallow in them, it is okay to wrestle with them. Yancey continues in his book: “As often as not, spiritual giants of the Bible are shown contending with God. They prefer to go away limping, like Jacob, rather than to shut God out.”
So, go ahead, wrestle with the doubt and ask God the hard questions. He’s ready to meet you there.
This month we are walking through some of these hard questions with our middle school and high school students. If you are a parent, grandparent, mentor, or lead students in some capacity, we encourage you to do the same. In your conversations, support your students by letting them know it’s okay to ask hard questions. Day in and day out they are faced with so many voices trying to speak into their lives, their identity, their value, and their worth. The reality is, a lot of those voices only produce muck. Offer your students a safe place to wrestle with the muck. In doing so you are fostering an environment where doubts and questions aren’t met with shame but with love and acceptance. Shame will only deepen the doubt. Love and acceptance will point them to the one voice that is worth listening to, the one who is bigger than any doubt and question, and the one who desperately wants to speak truth to their heart.