Ok, Ginger I have another question if you don’t mind… :)
How do you deal with doubt? – TC
TC – I don’t mind at all! Thanks so much for sending another great question. A few things stuck out to me when I first read your question.
1. Doubt is a HUGE topic. In order to try and tackle it in a timely manner I’m going to take today and tomorrow to try and touch on different aspects. If you still feel like I haven’t answered your specific arena of doubt, feel free to comment or send in a follow-up question.
2. Your verb choice was interesting. I looked up the word “deal” in the dictionary because I felt it actually had a negative connotation. Here’s what I discovered as one of the many definitions: To take action with regard to someone or something <deal with an offender>. I think that’s why I perceived it negatively. Why would you deal positively with an offender? The truth is, doubt tends to have a really bad rap in the church. Here’s what I mean…
My impression is that some of us spend a ton of energy trying to hide our doubts. We fear that if anyone else knew our thoughts that they would look at us in a totally different and negative light.
Check out the verse passage from Mark that I referenced at the end of the video.
17-18A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”
19-20Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.
21-22He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”
“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”
23Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”
24No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”
25-27Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up. (Mark 9:18-27, The Message)
This man has both belief and doubt in the same breath. He comes to Jesus with both. He doesn’t pretend. He’s desperate to see his son healed and so he puts it all in front of Jesus. Why pretend in front of God? Certainly He knows our hearts.
The truth (and sometimes very difficult truth at that) is that we serve a big God who does things that we will not understand.
“How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us; no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us” -A. W. Tozer
“All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us.” -Eugene Peterson