Doubting FaithSeries: Real Faith
Two weeks ago I concluded our “Real Faith” series with the story of Moses, dealing with anger. I thought at that point that I would be moving on from the series, but after some thought and reflection on the next couple of months of sermons, I’ve decided to add two more lessons from the New Testament to our “Real Faith” series and extend it a bit.
This morning, our series continues with a look at the story of James, Jesus’ brother. James will teach us about doubts and skepticism as a regular part of our faith. Doubting and skepticism is a topic that, when I’ve preached or taught on it in the past, has drawn interesting and very opposite reactions. Some folks can’t understand why anyone would ever doubt God. For these people, things are very simple—God is God and that’s that. They have never doubted His existence or His goodness, how He works or why He does what He does. But there is another group of people, mostly silent for fear of being labeled or viewed as less than. These people occasionally—or often—have doubts about God’s existence and/or His goodness. This doubt might come from significant experience(s) in their life—trauma, sudden death of a loved one, difficult childhood, etc.—and they look at the evil in the world and struggle to see how God could exist or why He doesn’t stop the evil.
I’m not sure we like to talk about the reality of doubt in the Christian’s life, but it does and can exist. As we’ll see this morning, doubts can actually bolster faith—if they are dealt with properly. So, I would encourage you if you are one of those who struggle at times with doubts, deal with them! Admit them! You aren’t less than because you have them. You stand in a long line of believers over years who have wrestled with the reality of life and struggled to understand God in the midst of it all.
I believe that for those who deal with their doubts, there exists a more vibrant and real faith—one that, when tested, is more sure and more in touch with the world and all of its complexity.