“I used to have a disturbing suspicion that the very existence of doubt in my life and in the lives of other Christians was surely a strong argument against Christianity. Why would committed Christians continue to question the very basis of their faith? Why would God allow doubts to cripple Christians even after they have decided to follow Him? The only reason I could think of was that perhaps God is truly not there and we are just attempting to convince ourselves of some extravagant fairy tale.”

In an article based on her book, “Making Your Faith Your Own: A Guidebook for Believers with Questions,” Teresa Turner Vining writes about Christians and doubt. You can read the whole article here. We all struggle with doubts and questions; doubts and questions that don’t seem to have answers. And I’m always asking myself, “Do I?” Why do I doubt, why do I question, do I even have the right to question God? But the interesting thing is, it’s not just me. It should be “Do we?” Why do we doubt, why do we question, do we have the right to question God? I’m not alone, eh?

My friend Smitty is struggling with questions now, and I don’t have answers; partly because I am in the midst of my own struggles, and partly because sometimes we are asking different questions. She is dealing with God and the unfairness of life and I dealt with that a long time ago. But we are both dealing with where is God and just how involved He is in our lives.

But doubt and questions are important to our faith. I like what Vining continued to write in her article:

“I couldn’t see it at the time, but looking back I am amazed to discover that it was actually my doubts and questions that drove me to become more serious about my faith and led me to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God.

I suspect that if God had simply revealed Himself to me during my experiment in the chapel, I would not have begun seeking Him wholeheartedly, as I did in His silence. Things that come easily are too easily taken for granted. I never spent more time praying or prayed more sincerely than when I faced the true implications of believing God did not exist.

“A twice-born faith, a rebuilt faith,” a Quaker pastor named Rufus Jones wrote, “is superior to an inherited faith that has never stood the strain of a great testing storm. If you have not clung to a broken piece of your old ship in the dark night of the soul, your faith may not have the sustaining power to carry you through to the end of the journey.”

Doubt actually can work to drive us toward God if we let it. It can motivate us to reexamine our foundation to make sure it is not faulty, and it can be a doorway to new insights that we never would have unlocked otherwise. This is especially important for those who have grown up in the church as I did…But the power for good that doubt can have in our lives comes only in the strength and insight we gain in confronting it…if doubt is left unaddressed, any benefit goes unrealized, and it can become a destructive force.”

Doubt can be beneficial. Questions can lead to answers. Our faith becomes our own. Why does it have to be so damn hard?

B~

 

“The reason for verbalizing doubts is not to get sympathy–It is to resolve those doubts. The reason for asking questions is not to show your deep philosophical nature–It is to get answers. The reason for risking is not to show your courage–It is to find the reality of the God of the universe.”

– Steve Brown, “Daring To Doubt”

 

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