“And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?’”Luke 24:38
Have you ever struggled with doubt? While we expect this of lost people, even true believers can descend into doubt when God acts in a way that doesn’t meet our expectations, or He doesn’t answer in the way or time period we want. We can find ourselves disappointed and dejected, doubting God’s love or concern for us.
In Luke 24, after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared on the road to Emmaus to two men who were discussing all the recent events in Jerusalem. Sad and despondent, they confessed, “But we had hoped that He [Jesus] was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They knew all the correct facts and even heard about the empty grave, but doubt clouded their ability to arrive at the right conclusion. Jesus told them, “O foolish ones and slow to believe” (Luke 24:25).
In Matthew 11, John the Baptist was in prison and sent some of His disciples to get clarification about whether Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus replied, “…the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by Me” (Matthew 11:5-6). This unusual response made it clear that Jesus understood that God’s good and perfect plan may work itself out in a way that challenges human reason, and we are simply left to trust. Despite the wonderful things that were happening, John was stuck in jail.
I spent some time in college sharing my faith with a confessed atheist. His initial response was, “That’s great. I’m glad that works for you.” As I continued to talk with him over the next several days, he finally shot back, “If there is a God, why did he let my little girl die?” His response amazed me. Someone who at first seemed like a hardened unbeliever was actually letting hurt and anger keep him from the God he held responsible for his loss.
The level of trust God requires involves death to self. Paul tells us, “…I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). God’s relentless insistence on this high standard can make Him seem like an uncaring friend, and the enemy can begin to wedge a foothold of doubt into your life. Know God’s promises. Cling to them in the way Job did when he declared, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him!” (Job 13:15)