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Posts Tagged ‘doubt’

Reasons for Hope

I’ve never posted a sermon before.  What I’ve always written were my own words, thoughts that were delivered to you through my keyboard to your screen, hoping to convey some of the ponderings of my heart to yours.  But as I sat in church two weeks ago and listened to this message being delivered, I thought of you.  This touched a very deep place in my soul, and I hope it may do the same for you.  (Thank you, Doug Bullock, for your skill, care, and honesty.)

I don’t mean to suggest that the music is not worth listening to, or even singing with, but if you want to scroll straight to the message, you can find it around the 37-minute mark.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please click on the link above, take your time, and enjoy!

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Have you ever has seasons of doubt?  I mean, I know very smart people who don’t believe in God, or who believe in a “higher power” without getting specific about what to call it.  These are people I respect, and I’ll admit that sometimes they seem to have good arguments.  So, yes, I admit to doubt at times.

Let me first explain why I believe in the first place.  To me, it just makes sense that there would be a Creator who started all of this.  He doesn’t have to have a creator.  He just IS.  Somehow I don’t think I would need the Bible to tell me that, but I can’t say for sure because it already does.  I just believe it.  It makes sense to me.

During those times of wondering, though, I think maybe there is a more “reasonable” explanation for all of it.  Science has some stuff to say, and philosophy, and even the fatalistic “oh well” folks seem to have a level of satisfaction.  But then it doesn’t seem like all of these beliefs have to conflict with the biblical one.  It seems to me it can all still originate with God.

There’s another source of doubt for me, and that’s when my experience doesn’t line up with my expectation of how life should be.  At those times, I have to examine what God really said, like I mentioned in my last post, “And I Quote…”  I do believe the Bible is true, but there are times when my false interpretation of it has skewed my sense of justice or has not satisfied my immediate desires.

One day a thought, a mental image, flooded my soul, and it was not pretty.  It was a picture of what life would be like without God.  Let me tell you, it brought me to tears as I almost experienced the utter purposelessness and hopelessness that His absence produced.  Nothing made sense and I felt worse than empty.  I say “almost” because in the next moment I knew that none of what I just saw was true!  My doubt had turned to certainty and I once again knew what I’ve always known.

What is my point?  Don’t be afraid of doubts.  They help clarify what is real.  Don’t deny them.  Face them head on.  Ask questions.  Stubbornly pursue the answers.  I once raised my fist in one of those moments when God wasn’t doing what I thought He should.  I attempted something like a break up, telling Him I couldn’t hold on to Him anymore.  His response?  “You never were.  I’ve holding on to you, and I’m not letting go.”  That was 30 years ago.  He never has.

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