We have all experienced doubts and questions about the faith. It’s hard. It’s disturbing. It makes us worry. We might even ask, “the fact that I am questioning this, does this mean I’m losing my faith?”
One thing that is helpful in situations like this is to highlight the distinction between rejecting the Word outright and struggling to accept the Word. It is a key distinction. The thing is: doubt is natural to anyone living in the sinful flesh. This side of eternity, we will never ever be perfectly in tune with all of God‘s Word, it’s just not possible… not without some doubt or struggle with what God tells us in His Word. Even though we may never give up trying, we understand that we will never be able to fully understand and accept everything God says in Holy Scripture.
It’s like that time that Jesus told a father whose son was possessed by an unclean spirit, “All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23). The father’s response? “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Certainly it’s true that this “I believe; help my unbelief” characterizes much of the Christian. We are, after all, both saint and sinner.
When we sinners approach our Lord and Savior Jesus in trust, we are at the same time trusting in Him and doubting Him.
When we sinners approach our Lord Jesus, we are at the same time trusting His divine goodness and mercy and struggling to understand how that mercy plays out in our lives.
When we sinners approach our Lord, we are at the same time trusting in the merits of the cross and wondering if all of this can possibly be true, struggling to accept all that His Word says.
We come with both: faith AND doubt. We come with both to lay both at the foot of the cross, under the authority of the Word. We submit ourselves to the authority of the Word even while we struggle to understand and accept all that is in it.
As Pastor Matt points out the key lies in God’s Word. We will not be disappointed if we look for the answers there, because it is there where we learn how to trust our faith.
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