Doubt Drives Us Deeper: Part 2
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
Undisclosed doubts double our disappointment.
We want to believe in God’s goodness, but life is filled with disappointments. Life feels like it is headed downhill. Meanwhile, others, who could care less about God, are on the ascent. This makes us wonder whether God is so good after all. We start to doubt.
You know what makes things worse? You know what makes it even more frustrating?
We believers can’t even begin to express our doubts for fear of what our believing friends will think of us! We don’t want to damage the ears of innocent children.
If I admitted that I was disappointed in life, what would my Christian friends say?
If I confessed feeling like the Christian life was in vain, would that undermine someone else’s faith?
If I told someone that I had doubts about God, would they conclude I wasn’t really a Christian?
Doubt smacks of heresy, and we dare not express it out loud, at least not to other believers. In disappointment, the tongue is bridled.
Of course, this just compounds the disappointment, because we have no one to talk to. Our believing friends would think worse of us for doubting God, and our unbelieving friends don’t believe anyway, so they don’t see the big deal. So we let ourselves talk to us, and the doubt magnifies.
We are consumed with questions. But where do we turn for answers? Google? The anonymity of the internet can reveal some of the most carefully guarded doubts, but it can also bring out some of the least thoughtful and most knee-jerk responses to that doubt.
Our tendency as Christians is to try to suppress and fight against these doubts. But this is the least Biblical thing we could do! The Psalmist doesn’t try to suppress and fight back doubt. He gives it his full expression! Nowhere will you find a fuller expression of doubts about the goodness of God than in the Bible itself.
If you feel like it would be un-biblical to express doubts about God’s goodness, you aren’t reading the Bible. Look at Isaiah’s doubts, and hear Jeremiah’s questions. Listen to Habbakuk’s complaints against God. They were prophets, ‘men of God’! Read the Psalms: all in vain have I kept my heart clean….
Because doubt may be exactly the thing that helps you see reality anew.
to be continued…