Summary: Everybody has had doubt, will doubt, or knows something going through doubt. The question we need to wrestle with is what to do in our doubt.
We’ve been in this series called Asking for a Friend. We all have these questions that we don’t dare ask right… So what we do is we pose the question hey I have this friend and he’s and she’s struggling/wondering, about whatever. So in this series we’ve been tackling some of those questions that pertain to faith.
Today we are going to be talking about Doubt…
We all have doubt right… We all doubt something… How many of you have ever seen an As Seen on TV commercial? You’ve all seen them and probably doubt their claim right? Every year for Life Group Christmas we do white elephant gift exchange but the catch is it has to be an As seen on TV product… Then we report back on well it worked… It’s not very often.
We all have doubts…
But what about when it comes to your relationship with God? Your faith… How does doubt play in there? When it comes to our relationship with God it becomes a little more difficult to admit, doesn’t it?
But the reality is many of us have had doubts about God. Some of you, doubt is keeping your away from faith. Others you had faith and doubt crept in… And some of you are trying to believe, you have a good faith. But you have these questions that just won’t go away.
Here’s the deal… Everybody has had doubt, will doubt, or knows something going through doubt. (repeat)
So let’s define what doubt is… Doubt - To hesitate to believe, or to question. That’s what it means… But here’s what it doesn’t mean… Doubt is not unbelief. Rather it’s struggling to believe. The truth is everybody has had doubt, will doubt, or knows something going through doubt.
And we tend to view doubt as a negative thing. But the Bible does quite the opposite, it highlights the doubters. It seems God has more of a tolerance for doubt than most Christians do.
The Bible is full of stories of doubting people. Oftentimes the “heroes” of the Bible did not earn their title because they believed without doubt. Rather they earned their title because they had faith WITH doubt.
In fact 100% of Jesus followers doubted… All of them. John the Baptist doubted whether Jesus was legit. The disciples doubts Jesus when he said he would raise from the dead and all promptly abandoned him. And one even earned a nickname for his doubt… Who we call Doubting Thomas…
Which I think is a little unfair… He was only reacting how you and I probably would.
But here’s one that I find the most shocking… Jesus has risen from the grave he’s about to go to heaven. He’s visiting with his disciples, not just the now 11, but likely many more. Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17
The author could have excluded that part right? I mean that doesn’t do much to instill confidence… Unless the author was trying to do something different. Trying to show us that doubt is normal… And that’s what the Bible does over and over again…
And here’s the good news… Jesus doesn’t toss you out if you doubt. (Leave Up on screen)
Here’s the good news… This is important. You can doubt and be a follower Jesus at the same time. You do not have to have it all figured out and have all your doubt worked out. The people who literally walked with Jesus, ate with Jesus, and lived life with Jesus didn’t have all their doubts worked out and Jesus still let them follow him. And not only follow him, but he used them. And that’s good news.
But here’s the tension… Here’s what we need to be aware of… While it’s true that Jesus doesn’t too you out if you doubt. If we don’t pay attention. If we don’t respond properly to doubt.
Jesus doesn’t toss you out if you doubt.
Your doubt can take you out. (both on the screen in separate lines)
If we don’t respond well it can destroy our relationship with God.
So today I want to look at how Jesus handled doubt in the disciples. Because everybody has had doubt, will doubt, or knows something going through doubt.
Now Peter, one of the disciples, learned these lessons of doubt that we’ve been talking about in a very dramatic way. If you grew up in church you probably know who he is, you’ve probably heard of him and heard of this story.
This one day the disciples are on a boat when this storm comes. This storm is winning. They are paddling and struggling to break through the waves. But they are losing the battle.