PC-USA 1997-10-31 - Practical Measures

The Okay to Doubt Series, Part 3

Almost all Christians go through times when we doubt God's existence or His love for us. What do we do when we are struggling with our faith? What do we do in the interim period before our faith returns, and to hasten that return? I have culled these hints from my own as well as others' experiences.

  1. As I have previously said, we need to pray to God about our doubts. Although He already knows our thoughts and feelings, He wants to hear from us what is in our hearts, just as we yearn for our families and friends to share with us. (Psa 62:8 NNAS) Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Even if we don't feel there is Anyone listening, we can pray "Dear God, if you exist.." God honors our heartfelt, honest prayers. The Psalmists are excellent models of candid prayer:
    (Psa 22:2 NNAS) O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. When we are struggling with our faith, it can be very hard to pray. But we can't afford NOT to pray during dry times in our walk with Christ. When we do not feel like praying is exactly when we most need to pray. We are not promised that we will always feel God's closeness. In fact, the Bible indicates that sometimes we will need to seek God's face. He promises to reward that:

    (2 Chr 15:2 NNAS) and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the LORD is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. Jesus' disciples, who knew Him better than any humans during His Earthly stay, were not always stalwart in their faith:

    (Mark 4:38 NKJV) But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" The Psalmists at times felt abandoned by God:

    (Psa 77:7-9 NNAS) Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Then I said, "It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed." But check out the next verse.

    (Psa 77:11 NNAS) I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

  2. We should think back on how God answered prayers in the past. Remembering prayers of our own that were answered, as well as those of others can strengthen us. We need to remind ourselves of times when our faith was strong, when we walked closely with God.
  3. We need to fellowship with Christians who are in strong phases of their faith; we can build each other up that way. Hearing how God is working in their lives can confirm that He is there and He is working still and give us hope of being close to Him again in time. Dear Father, please help us to seek You and find You. Please use this devotional to encourage and strengthen those who are struggling with their faith. In Jesus' name amen.

Jan

cfdevcfpray@hughes.net