“Is this even worth it?” I’ve been holding onto my purity. I’ve been tithing. I haven’t retaliated. I’ve been making money legally. I stopped going there. I’ve stopped hanging out with those people. I don’t do that anymore! I’m going to church.
“God, if you don’t ________, I don’t think I can do this much longer.” “If one more _________, I’m done.” Does that sound familiar?
We all have situations that make us doubt…question…What is this walk about? Is this Christian life even worth it? If you’ve been following my blog, you know I was in this spot last year. I was tired of praying, and I was tired of holding on. As Lecrae said,
“I’m hanging on by a thread…And all I’m clinging to is prayers”
It seemed as if this particular issue was always reoccurring. It was my breaking point. And I know some of you may be at your breaking point or close to it. That’s why I’ll Find You by Lecrae featuring Tori Kelly is my music worth mentioning.
Now, I know what I may be going through may not be comparable to what you’re going through, whether it be finances, health, depression, career, family, legal matter or anything else. I understand what it feels like to want to give up and this song shares in that sorrow with us. Don’t. Give. Up.
I’m smilin’ in everyone’s face
I’m cryin’ whenever they leave the room
They don’t know the battle I face
They don’t understand what I’m going through
Recently, I’ve conversed with people who have doubts about their faith. These conversations have reminded me of two people: Thomas (Most notable as “Doubting” Thomas) and Peter. And what are they known for? Their doubts. At least that’s what I love about them–their vulnerability. Their courage to question their faith, admit it and seek the truth.
Let’s turn to the scriptures: Matthew 14
In verses 22-33, Jesus is walking on water and when Peter sees, in order to believe, he says, “If it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Notice that word? “IF” Isn’t that what our doubts start with. “If you’re good, why did he die?” “If you have a plan, why am I single?” “If you see all, why did you let that happen to me!?” If…If…If… However, Peter takes that step when Jesus tells him to come, but when he saw the wind he was afraid and began to sink. What’s your “wind”? Death? Pain? Fear?
And death’s knockin’ on the front door
Pain’s creepin’ through the back
Fear’s crawlin’ through the windows
Waiting for em’ to attack
Like Peter, many of us took that initial step of faith. We believed in the saving Gospel, but the cares, worries, and concerns of this world have caused us to doubt. However, we’re called to a continued faith, not a one-time faith. And doubts may not always be bad, because sometimes it’s those doubts that strengthen our faith.
They say fear haunts
And pain hates
I say pain strengthens
And fear drives faith
Like Thomas, his doubt led to his reassurance because Jesus met him! Just like he did with Peter. IMMEDIATELY when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, Jesus reached out to save him. Yet, I know for some, your doubts aren’t pacified as soon as they come. Neither were they for Thomas. It wasn’t until 8 days later that Jesus came to him. Why? What was that time for? I don’t know. My friend told me 8 was the number of new beginnings. Maybe that was the time needed for him to wrestle…to see if his faith was strong…if it would push through. The first question Jesus asks Peter after rescuing him is,
“O, you of little faith. Why did you doubt?”
We think of temptation as outward sin, but can we be tempted to doubt? Is that a sin?Temptation is necessary, according to the Word, but to give into it…well that just may be the sin. Back to Peter–Let’s be honest, this wasn’t Peter’s first time doubting. When we first read about Peter, he was doubting! (But that’s a post for another day.) The point is, it seems Peter was constantly doubting some aspect of what the Lord had already told him. We may argue, the disciple had Jesus there with them, so thier faith was easy, but clearly it wasn’t. Jesus even said to Thomas, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. –Hebrews 11:1
At one time, even ALL the disciples abandoned Jesus. And Peter, the main one who valiantly said he wouldn’t, did too. But the one thing of key importance is he didn’t stay there. Each time he continued. He came back. So much that when he died, he was crucified upsided down because he didn’t feel worthy to die the same way his Savior did.
So earlier I told you, I, too, was having doubts. But I was able to make it out, by the grace of God, and friends telling me,
” Just fight a little longer my friend…it’s all worth it in the end.”
Let your doubt strengthen you, not take you off course. Remember the way. I’m praying for you!
Lord, be with my friends. Lord, right now I know they feel like there’s no use in praying. So, I’ll pray for them until they can again. Make them aware of the ways you’re reaching out to them, like you did for Peter. Surround them with friends who will continually remind them of TRUTH when the lies and seen things of this world seem so real. Father, comfort them. Keep them, Jesus! I know they believe, or they want to. Increase their faith.
In Jesus name, amen.
Questions about doubt? Check out these resources: