Keep Yourself in the Love of God
“I believe; help my unbelief!” — Mark 9:24
My junior year of college I decided to take a semester off and spend six months serving an unreached people group in West Africa. I had spent months praying, seeking godly counsel, and fundraising—all confirming this was His desire for me. And then I stepped on the plane that would depart from DFW and I was overwhelmed with doubt to the point of tears. I immediately began asking myself, “What am I doing? What have I gotten myself into? Did God really tell me to do this? What if God’s not even real? What if I’m wasting my life?”
For me, it took the reality of leaving my friends, family, and all the comforts of home for six months to experience such strong of a doubt that would have me question God.
For many of us, these doubts are more often than we’d like to admit. If this is you, please hear this: That’s ok. Doubting is ok. Since that moment on the plane, I have been haunted by moments of doubt. These moments have not been quite as intense as what I experienced then, but the doubts are there.
Does this mean I’m not a Christian? Or a bad one at that? Absolutely not. Being a follower of Christ does not equate to a doubtless life. Doubting will not get you kicked out of heaven (Jn 10:28). Look no further than the Psalms for evidence of this:
“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” Psalm 13:1–2
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” Psalm 22:1–2
“I say to God, my rock: ‘Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’ As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, ‘Where is your God?’” Psalm 42:9–10
Does any of this sound or feel familiar? If it does, you might be asking yourself what you’re supposed to do with your doubt? Pastor Jim talked about this two weeks ago, he said, “When you’re struggling, keep yourself in the heart of God. Hold tight. Our tendency is to distance ourselves. Jude (v21) reminds us that in our struggle, we need Him more.”
In each of the Psalms above, how does the Psalmist respond to his doubts?
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:5–6
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.” Psalm 22:3–5
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 42:11
When the dark hours of the soul come, do not run from God, run to God. He will meet you there.