I once thought that doubt was not good for the spiritual life. It was the unhealthy trait of those who did not believe in God. A person of faith, on the other hand, trusted in God even when things were not always so clear.
Every year then, when I would hear the story of Thomas the Apostle, I perceived his unbelief in Jesus’ appearances to his companions as a flaw or a weakness on his part. Jesus’ later admonishment of Thomas reaffirmed that judgement. Doubt was the vicious relative of faith.
It wasn’t until I studied theology that doubt made sense to me. I foolishly believed that the more I reflected upon God, the clearer my vision of God would be. I quickly discovered that was not to be. Rather, I grew increasingly uncertain about the things I examined.
Yet after a few disconcerting months of uncertainty, I realized something quite profound. Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing if we are willing to wrestle with our uncertainty. Despite his pervading sense of doubt, Thomas remained among the disciples awaiting Jesus’ appearance. He could have easily left his friends and continued on with his life. He didn’t, however. He remained with them and waited for God.
The same is true for us. Doubt can often be the gateway to faith. The key, however, is to remain with the questions no matter how uncomfortable they may make us feel and to simply entrust them to God. We may or may not get the insight we are looking for. Yet by placing our questions before God, we allow ourselves to enter into the great dialogue of faith. And that conversation may reveal something that we may have not otherwise discovered had we not placed ourselves before God.
-Don Beyers, Marketing Manager
How do we put the question to God when it’s the existence of “God” that we question?
Hi John! Great question. I am not certain any answer will do justice to your question. However, it seems to me that we can most certainly set before God our own doubts of God’s existence. Your question also makes me think of Mark 9:24: “help thou mine unbelief.”
Again, I know it doesn’t do your question justice. But I think it is worth even putting our questions of God’s existence before God.