Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Opposite of Faith isn't Doubt

Photo Credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle (Creative Commons)
At a recent youth group, our topic of conversation was faith and doubt. I invited a friend, Calvin, who is writing a book on the subject (more on that in a later post), and he shared his story of growing up in a Christian home, wrestling with some deep questions about God and science, explored life outside of God for a brief period of time, and came to the conclusion that God is real and good and worth following. He said this:

"The opposite of faith isn't doubt. The opposite of faith is fear."

Faith and doubt are two sides of the same coin. While doubting and questioning God often elicits a response of anxiety and concern, I'm quite certain it's a normal part of our spiritual cycles.

When I look at the major characters in Scripture, they all experienced a time of questioning God. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Job, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Peter. They all question God. David's psalms in particular are full of questions, wondering, and doubting, all leading to a richer and fuller faith on the far side of doubt.

Even Jesus. He wandered the desert for forty days. He cried out in the garden of Gethsemene. He languished on the cross. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? It's not that Jesus ever abandoned the Father or ceased in His trust or faith. In fact, His deep trust allowed Him to question freely, knowing the love and grace of the Father would be sufficient, even when that obedient trust would ultimately l

I have a lot of questions, and I don't have all the answers. That's okay. I don't have to. I'm learning to embrace the tension of faith and doubt.

What questions are you currently asking God? What doubts are you pondering?

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