Skepticism is the trendy way culture evaluates everything these days. Healthy skepticism is good. It stops us from clicking on an email sent by a savvy criminal trying to get into our bank account. It can include a gut-check to slow down on making a decision that has enormous future impact and requires more time for second thoughts. Healthy skepticism is good.
But, when it comes to the Bible or our belief…skepticism will derail a robust faith in a New York minute. WHY? Several reasons come to mind: 1. We underestimate the Adversary. 2. Our ego gets in the way. 3. We aren’t confident about what we believe. 4. We don’t know how to defend our faith.
Everyone experiences times of confusion, doubt and uncertainty. Often, when we are most vulnerable, we are faced with a situation or circumstances that test our faith. A child dies. A family member gets mixed up in a court battle. Your marriage is in trouble. Mental illness is taking over the life of a family member. Something or someone was taken from you and you feel abandoned. Your past keeps showing up in your present. Few of us are prepared for the battle of a faith crisis. Even fewer of us know who to turn to when we have questions or doubts about faith, the Bible or Jesus. Most often…we say nothing or do nothing while we suffer in silence.
Often the path to intimacy with God is paved with honesty. If you have doubts or are losing faith in God, start by telling Him. He won’t shame you nor condemn you. He will meet you where you are—in your confusion, doubt and uncertainty.
Remember that your faith will be investigated and tested. Think about the disciples. They all fell away! Yet, these were the guys whom Jesus loved and hand selected to follow through with His kingdom plans and agenda. Your faith isn’t a checklist where you get points for doing the right thing. Doing the right thing has its own rewards. Following Jesus is identified as ‘The Way’ because to know Jesus is to know how to live in a greater, God-honoring, purpose filled life. His life, death and resurrection paved a way forward. But, you’re guaranteed to experience some difficult faith building challenges.
You’re not a bad Christian if you are feeling distant from God, having doubts about what you’ve been told or confused about what you believe. Trust that He is not absent from you. Call out and He will answer. Bring Him your pain, frustration and unmet expectations. God knows what’s going on. God cares about what’s happening and He will show you The Way.
Here’s something to practice this week:
Be honest with God. When you feel angry, empty or resentful—tell Him about it. Write it down. Share your situation with a trusted friend. God can handle your hurt, your anger and your skepticism. He’d rather you be honest with Him than walk away from Him.
In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me. Psalm 86:7 ESV