The Pain of Doubt
All Christians doubt. The strongest season of doubt for me came in 2011. I remember sitting in a fancy brown leather chair in a psychologist’s office, hands shaking and heart racing. I was gripped with fear over what life could look like if I turned my back on Jesus. My faith was running on empty.
Let me be clear, all Christians doubt. All Christians experience seasons of their lives when they question whether Christ is King or just a myth. I did not cope well with my season of doubt. Over two years I went to church a handful of times, held Christian friends at arm’s length, and lived a lifestyle my Mum wouldn’t be too proud of. In the end, I was diagnosed with depression and couldn’t see much light.
Today, I don’t feel that way. Today, I feel more convinced of the reality of Jesus than ever before and my seasons of doubt are brief and somehow, more meaningful. So, the question here is, how can we move forward in the wrestle of faith without doubt leading to despair?
In Colossians 1, the Apostle Paul writes that he is praying for the church at Colossae to be filled with “the knowledge of God’s will and in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”. Let me be crystal clear that Paul is not praying for an inner impression or warm feeling but rather that the Colossians would grow in the knowledge of the Word of God – the Bible. He prayed that they would receive comfort through knowledge.
A Public Word
I do believe that Christians experience a lot of unnecessary and painful doubt as a result of searching for a private word from God when He has actually revealed a very public word, available to all humankind through His Word – the Bible. Admittedly, and unfortunately, my testimony does include a season of daring God to speak to me, while completely ignoring the fact that he already had.
Charles Spurgeon said, “No one ever outgrows the Scriptures. The Book widens and deepens with our years”. Someone once said, “Don’t say God is silent when your Bible is closed”. Yes, I do believe that the topic of faith and doubt are complex and should not be oversimplified. It’s for this very reason that we should run to God’s Word. The bible is a dynamic tapestry of God’s nature and posture towards His people.
Please, if your faith is low and you’re struggling to know where to turn, please know that God has given us His word so that we might all grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Pastor Carl Robinson