When Doubt Knocks on Your Door

This past year a dear friend of mine from college ended up denying their faith in Jesus Christ. Over a few year period, they felt compelled by their own research and experience to gradually fall into disbelief. To them, the presence of a Creator God who manifested himself in the 1st century Jew of Jesus of Nazareth was no longer logical justifiable.

As you can imagine, hearing this news wrecked my heart. It broke me to pieces. And, ultimately, it challenged my trust in Jesus.

In this season, I was lost and confused.

“How could this have happened to my friend? Is the evidence he found compelling? What am I supposed to do?” I thought.

My struggle through this season is something that many, many, many of us have gone through, or are currently going through. We have all gone through those seasons of doubt and discouragement. We have all felt the absence of the presence of Jesus. We have all struggle to believe that God exists and loves us.

Therefore, I want to share a few necessary steps all individuals, and especially Christians, should walk through in our seasons of doubt.

Pursue Jesus

No matter how much you are doubting the presence, love, and necessity of Jesus, pursue him. Pursue his presence! The last thing you want to do, if you aren’t sure if Jesus is real, is to not seek after him and have him prove his presence to you.

God is a relational God. He longs for community. He desires to bless us with his presence. And even when we are doubting, it is most advantageous to read your Bible, pray, listen to the Lord, and pursue his kingdom.

When I doubt the love and presence of my dad, I don’t search up on wikipedia if my dad has a wiki page. I don’t research my genetics to find out what my dad might look at.

No.

I call him. I pursue him. I chat with him. And we should do the same with Jesus.

Pursue the Issue

Whatever intellectual or spiritual doubt you are going through, pursue the issue. Some fundamentalist Christians encourage people to believe tough issues “in faith.” I don’t agree.

I believe God is a God who longs to be known. He is the Creator and Author of truth—he is Truth! Of course, there are paradoxical beliefs within the Christian faith, such as the Trinity. However, there are a overwhelming majority of Christian beliefs that can be justified scientifically, philosophically, and spiritually. And we should pursue those truths.

Therefore, if you are struggling with doubt when it comes to the historical viability of Jesus of Nazareth, research the topic until you are entirely satisfied. If you are struggling to believe in miracles, research the topic until you are satisfied.

Trust me, some of the brightest and most prolific metaphysicists, biologists, philosophers, and historians are believing Christians. Yes, some of their views might differ from yours, but they are confident in their belief in the resurrected Messiah and the eternal creator God.

Pursue the issue until you are intellectually and spiritually satisfied.

Pursue Community

You cannot endure your doubts and struggles alone. No one should be asking the most important questions in the universe in isolation.

And no, blogs, community boards, facebook, etc., don’t count.

When you are struggling through difficult issues and questions, the best thing you can do is be in community. In community you can ask honest questions. In community you can challenge common assumptions. In community, you can take an issue (that Satan wants you to deal with alone!) and work through it communally.

If you are someone who doesn’t want to be in community, then I wonder how much you truly want to deal with your doubt in a healthy and intellectually honest way.

No true engager of truth remains in isolation. And neither should you.

Pursue the Lost

Lastly, and perhaps the most important step, is to pursue those who are lost and in need of the love of Jesus.

Doubt is healthy, and good (it encourages intellectual growth!), but it is also an incredible tool of Satan to keep us off mission. Satan wants us to flee towards doubt and abandon our divine calling as ambassadors for Christ’s kingdom. Therefore, we should not cease pursuing Christ and his kingdom.

When we pursue the lost with the love and message of the gospel we usually hit two walls that we need to jump over; which inevitably help of overcome doubt.

The first is the wall of fear. This wall keeps us from sharing the gospel because, in our minds, we don’t know enough about Christianity. We are afraid people will learn about our doubts. We are terrified someone will reject Jesus because we are struggling in our own faith.

Trust me, lost people are refreshed when they hear of Christians struggling and not being “perfect.” They feel welcomed and loved. Why? Because they are struggling, too! And they want someone to join in their life but provide them hope! And we have that hope!

The second wall is a fear of rejection. We all fear someone rejecting the message of the gospel. But I have found that when I am struggling most in my faith in Christ, God faithfully shows up and brings people into his kingdom. God faithfully shows up, uses my words, and leads people to salvation.

This, above all else, is the greatest apologetic for the Christian faith. Witnessing the salvation of a lost soul turns my questions of sorrow into deep investigations into the God I love. Leading someone to Christ opens my mind and heart to the presence of Jesus in ways that don’t often happen.

So, pursue the lost in your pursuit of truth.