Have you ever doubted God? Have you ever thought to yourself “maybe this is all a hoax,” “maybe Jesus isn’t who we think he is,” “maybe we’ve been played and we’re foolish to believe Jesus is Lord”?
Well, I have good news for you: you’re not alone. Even an hour before writing this I had similar thoughts running through my head. I was driving in my car, feeling a little discouraged with life, and then I started wondering if God was really with me and if He really cared…or even existed. As I was wrestling with this, I thought about some of the characters we find in the story of Jesus. They obviously never struggled with doubt, right? After all, they were with Jesus in the flesh!
But here’s the crazy thing: even they doubted.
After Jesus’ resurrection (which – as a rule of thumb – when a guy says he’s God, dies, and then rises from the dead…that would be a good time to believe him), Jesus gathered His disciples at a mountain. Jesus just resurrected from the dead! And yet here’s what the Bible says:
“16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” Matthew 28:16-17
Did you catch that? Some of Jesus’ own disciples, the dudes Jesus had spent the most time with, the dudes he taught the most, and the dudes who witnessed the most miracles, some of them doubted!
Then, there’s John the Baptist. He was the man that there were two Old Testament prophecies about (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1, and Matthew 3:3 says, “This is he [John the Baptist] who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”). How would you like to have an Old Testament prophecy about you? Pretty cool huh? It’d be pretty assuring that your beliefs are valid. Even when he was a fetus, he knew Jesus was the Savior (check out Luke 1:39-45, it’s pretty interesting).
But even the great prophet John the Baptist had his fair share of doubts. John even sent some of his followers to ask Jesus “are you really the savior the Old Testament foretold us about? Because John the Baptist is having some doubts about you” (Luke 7:18, my translation). And you know what’s even crazier? Jesus affirms John the Baptist as the greatest human ever born (“I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John;”)! But this was right after Jesus found out that John was doubting!
Here’s my point: Maturity in our faith does not mean absence of doubt. Even some of the heroes of the Bible doubted.
Here’s my encouragement for you today: When doubt comes, and it will come, don’t ignore it. Take it to Jesus and talk to Him about it. His opinion of you doesn’t change. It didn’t change for John the Baptist, and it won’t change for you.
Know that you are deeply loved and your Heavenly Father delights in you, even when it’s hard at times to believe.