Have you ever doubted God is real? And if He’s real, is He near? And if He’s near, is He good?
Have you felt like a broken Christian as you questioned?
I struggled about writing those sentences. I don’t want to cause anyone, who hasn’t questioned, to question. But, I know, for most Christians, there has been, or may come a time of questioning.
And, whether we’ve ever voiced aloud our doubts to another, or simply anguished quietly on our own, our Father knows about it.
Let’s remember, God already knows our deepest thoughts (Psalm 139:4), and it’s hard to be right with Him unless we are also real with Him.
What’s more, God not only knows we will have these times, He graciously planned for them by giving us help in His Word.
God inspired, the man after God’s own heart, King David, to pen his emotions in the Psalms. We see him go from wailing to dancing again and again. He details his thinking, then, refutes his thinking with truth over and over.
God knows His children. Why else would His word include such spiritual highs and lows? Why would He let us see others question His nearness and His goodness except to help us get through our own times of wondering the same.
The truth is, even as believers, we can temporarily believe wrong things about God.
BUT, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit inside of us to help us, and to help each other through such times.
Just recently, I faced a crisis of belief. I was reeling from a circumstance. I was angry. I was doubting. I even thought, “I’m done. I’m done writing. I’m done serving.”
Honestly, I was thinking God was not near or perhaps that He did not care about what was breaking my heart.
I had no more thought these thoughts when my brother called to tell me he had felt led to reach out. He had no idea that anything had happened, He just felt an urge from the Lord to call me.
My brother is a safe place for me. I told him what I was thinking. His response, was to not to tell me anything spiritual, in that moment, but to simply tell me, he loved me. Though he knew I was too upset for him to say it, I knew he was also praying.
And as he prayed, God was refuting the lies I was believing with truth from His Word.
Though I was angry, and deeply hurt by some circumstances I thought God should have prevented, I still attended the Bible study my husband and I are doing “for” our adult sons.
Wouldn’t you know, every word seemed to be just for me.
God spoke through Lamentations 3:1-11 (how I was feeling) and then the words of Lamentations 3:19-24 began to help my heart to remember truth.
The Holy Spirit reminded me, once again, that we, in truth, are not home but live in a war zone that God has allowed, because of our sin, to be ruled by the prince of darkness… but (and hallelujah!), “God is not dead nor doth He sleep!” (Longfellow)
Longfellow goes on to say, “The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
And it’s true.
One day, every wrong thing will be made right. The evil one will be no more.
But right now, we are living in the “not yet” with only two choices— we can keep trusting a God who knew we’d have times of doubt and gave us His keep-you-going Word, or we can shrink back.
But, as the Lord tells us in Hebrews 10, we are not of those who shrink back!
“But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (Heb 10:32-39)