Summary: God is bigger than your doubts or questions. He welcomes your questions and will give you His answer. To work your way from uncertainty to certainty is no sin – if you’re doubt is honest and you’re willing to believe. So, doubt that leads to questions tha
Joke: A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. The lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick: "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I therefore put it to you that there is reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty." The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. "But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt, I saw all of you stare at the door." The jury foreman replied: "Oh, we looked, but your client didn't."
Have you ever had any doubts – during exams, during a sports event, during…. your life as a Christ-follower?
I. Am I a bad person because I have doubts?
We don’t like the feeling of doubt or questioning our beliefs do we? Some have stopped going to church because of the doubts they have. Some feel like they don’t fit in with those that seem to have it all together in their faith journey.
A Christ-follower may doubt God in circumstances such as a spiritual defeat or sin, sickness, suffering, injustice, opposition, economic problems, family problems, national calamity, or apparently unanswered prayers, worlds religion class, unable to defend beliefs to another person, and hypocrites.
What doubts are you struggling with this morning? Maybe you doubt that God has really forgiven you. Or you wonder whether the Bible really is the Word of God. Maybe you have questions about how God created the world or even how He’ll end it. Or you’ve said to yourself, “I think I’m a Christian, but sometimes I’m not sure.” Also, life is so busy that there’s just not time to reflect on your faith so doubts creep in.
GOD IS OK WITH YOUR DOUBT and asking Him the tough questions. The bible is full of those that experienced even the miracles of God, but later doubted. All of us will experience some doubt, but you are in good company as Jesus’ own disciple, Thomas, doubted He had risen.
John 20:25-27 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." NIV
Jesus was OK with ‘doubting Thomas’. He provided the answer so he could believe and will do the same for us as well. This was all Thomas needed, for in the next verse he says, “My Lord and My God.” (vs. 28).What do we do when doubt finds us?
II. You can be a Christ-follower and still have doubt.
John the Baptist had said Jesus is the Messiah (Look, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world). Later he is in prison for serving God and he has some doubts. So, he sends one of his guys to Jesus:
Matt 11:3-5 "Are you the Messiah we've been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?" 4 Jesus told them, "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor." NLT
Wow, what a tough question after all that John had witnessed. Does Jesus get angry and say that followers of mine are to never question, so you can’t be a follower of mine. Jesus answers: Go back and report what you see and that will ease his doubts. Jesus even turned to the crowd and told them that John the Baptist was the greatest man who ever lived. These doubts did not affect Jesus thoughts about him. He was not condemned for doubting. Doubt and faith can co-exist. We can make the choice to believe and ask God to help us with our unbelief.
Quotes: Lee Strobel says it’s like getting an immunization. “To help your body fight off a future disease, doctors inject you with a small amount of that very same disease, and your body builds up antibodies that will battle off that disease if it ever threatens you. Your body is actually stronger for the experience. Well, when we’re infected with some doubts, and we seek answers to our questions and deal constructively with the doubt, we emerge stronger than ever because our faith has been confirmed once more, and that gives us new confidence in dealing with doubt in the future.”