Growing up in the church for the entirety of my life thus far, I have had little “exposure” to life without faith. My perfect attendance surely did not mean I believed in God or knew what it meant to follow Him, yet I had many opportunities to learn about His faithfulness.Then, when I was about 16 years old, I decided to commit my life and fully rely on Him. He freed me from addiction and affirmed my worth in Him as I began my journey as a Jesus follower.
Through this journey I have lived through many seasons, some wonderful and exciting while others depressing and stressful. I know God has been with me through them all yet, in the low points, I still find myself doubting Him.
Why do I find myself questioning God’s goodness?
We all have highs and lows. It is easy to trust in the highs, when all is right and everything seems to be in our favor, but the lows… oh the lows. They hurt in themselves and seem to be without an end. In these times, it is easy to let our questions turn into doubts, and if unaddressed let our doubts turn into walls of unbelief between us and God.
If you're like me and you grew up in Sunday School, you have certainly heard the term “have faith”.
Faith means, “a complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”
So, God is like invisible, how am I supposed to have faith in someone I can’t see? I hear you. This is hard. Although we can not see God, we are not made to have a “blind faith”. That is a faith in something we have no idea anything about. That is why we have the Bible. We have the story of redemption available to us to give us a glimpse at who our God is.
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
- Hebrews 11:1
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart - Hebrews 4:12
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” - Matthew 4:4
If you don’t know who God is, how can you have faith in him? An accurate understanding of the attributes of God can help us with our questions and doubts. Seek Him in His word.
Faith isn’t Feelings.
Feelings can be swayed by many things: blood sugar, hormones, sleep, etc... Our emotions and feelings can reflect our heart position toward God, but they are not always an accurate tell of who our God is. We may feel elated and excited to worship God one day and the next feel distant and lonely. Our feelings don’t change the goodness of God. God doesn’t change. Therefore, believing / putting our faith in God is not solely an emotional response. Sometimes we need to go against what we feel and cling to the truth of who we know God to be.
So, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord. -2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Character and Nature of God
When we have a lack of understanding of the character and nature of God, our questions can lead to deeply rooted doubts. So, here are some basic truths I need to be reminded of often.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." -John 4:24
-Unchanging in duration of life, nature, will, and character
God will hear and answer them—
Even the one who sits enthroned from of old
With whom there is no change,
And who do not fear God. - Psalm 55:19
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. -Isaiah 40:28
“Can a man hide himself in hiding places
So I do not see him?” declares the Lord.
“Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 23:24
-Complete: He is all love, all light, all wise, all just, all holy, all merciful, etc.
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:7-8
-Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. - 2 Corinthians 13-14
Doubt can be a door, but is a devastating destination.
Life is full of unanswered questions. When it comes to the character and nature of God, we have an incredible resource for our questions. The Word of God is the redemption story of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in order to save us.
Questions are not bad in themselves, in fact I implore you to seek to know more. Yet, unattended questions can leave areas of deep doubt in our lives. Whether your doubt stems from a trial, or lack of understanding, or anywhere in between, you have an opportunity to address it now with God before it becomes a stronghold.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubt, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. - James 1:6
You Are Not Alone
I’m not saying that everyone of your questions can be answered on this side of eternity. They can’t. I am asking you to seek truth through your questions. Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask God. Ask your pastor. Seek the truth. Don’t let your unanswered questions create distance in your relationship with God. You may get an answer you weren’t expecting. Take the risk and dive in.