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Articles Tagged with: faith

WHAT DOUBT IS AND IS NOT

August 5th, 2015 | By admin

By Paul Holland

    When Jesus came down from the mountain where He was transfigured, there was a daddy there who had a son possessed and tormented by a demon. The disciples could not cast out the demon. Jesus commented to the dad: “All things are possible to him who believes.” The heart-broken daddy cried, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

    That boy’s dad expresses the doubt in our hearts, sometimes. “Lord, I believe, as far as I can go. But doubt is clouding the path.”

    You and I are not God. It sounds pointless to say that and yet, we doubt because we are not all-powerful and all-knowing. Doubt is not skepticism in the sense that we do not want to believe. Nor is it unbelief in that we choosenot to believe. Doubt, to quote the medieval philosopher Anselm of Canterbury, is “faith seeking understanding.”

     Doubt means that we have a pain in our heart that is drawing our attention. It might be pain relative to our own weaknesses or sin or inconsistencies. It might be pain relative to our trust in Jesus to resolve some problem we are having. It might be pain relative to our faith in God that He will, in fact, walk us through the valley of the shadow of death.

    But, as pain can send us to the doctor, so doubt should send us to the Great Physician. Think about the patriarch Job, what he experienced, and how he came through it with a strong conviction in the God of heaven. You and I, too, have to make the decision to put our trust in God, regardless of the weaknesses in our heart: fear, anxiety, confusion.

     Because we are not all-knowing and all-powerful, we have to trust the One who is.

     When you look out at the sky in the mid-day, you do not see stars. Yet, you believe the sky is still full of them. Why? You can’t see them. But you trust, based on what you know, that they are there.

     When we doubt, we feel a sense of discomfort in our heart. This discomfort is not in sync with our knowledge, our reason, or our faith. So, to which do we succumb? Our knowledge? Or our doubt?

     Doubt is a indication that we need to go back to God and His word and strengthen what might be weakened by the onslaughts of the Devil.


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