Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I have a confession to make.  Sometimes I doubt.  Sometimes I doubt that God exists.  Sometimes I doubt the call on my life.  Sometimes I doubt that life has a purpose.  Sometimes I doubt there's much worth doing at all.

Some people might think me a heretic for those doubts.  Some people might condemn me for that.  Some people might write me off and wonder how I can be an effective pastor having had such doubts.


Some other people are drawn to this.  Some other people find life in knowing that there are others who struggle and doubt.  Some other people will be moved at my ability to be honest and authentic.

Recently, Rick Warren lost his youngest son to suicide.  Amidst all that he has gone through, he tweeted this:

I only hire staff who've been hurt deeply. People who've never suffered tend to be shallow and smug about other's pain.

How true he is.  Some of the people that I love most deeply are ones who have lost and hurt and suffered.  A friend who lost his 6 month old son.  A friend who lost his 2 year old daughter.  A friend who has watched their wife suffer and stood by her through her decline.  These are the people who move me, or who God uses to move me.

I would dare say that these very people have also doubted.  They have most likely sat in the stern of the boat during a storm and wondered at the outcome as the storm raged around them.  They have watched the whirlwinds turn about them and questioned whether there was salvation for them in the midst of it all.

I have doubted.....


I have never stayed there in my doubt.  The writer of the book of Hebrews writes, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  I will only stay in my doubt if my eyes remain on me, but if I lift them up to the One who gives salvation, I can rise above that doubt.

I do not doubt today, but I will doubt again.  When I do, I will not apologize, but I will be confident that the One who provides hope and assurance will lift me out of my doubt and show me salvation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Jon. This is an important topic which is often ignored in our churches, since we tend too much to a type of Christian triumphalism. I think there is such a thing as healthy doubt. In fact, the very concept of faith assumes an element of doubt. If we were 100% certain about everything, we would have no need for trust. My key verse on this subject is Mark 9:24. An interesting book on my reading list is Daniel Taylor's The Skeptical Believer: Telling Stories to Your Inner Atheist.