Every so often, I doubt my faith.
I was raised in a Christian home in the Bible belt and have spent most of my life following Jesus. By 10, my journals would show I was concerned for the eternal fate of my friends. I never experienced a rebellious streak where I turned from my faith. For those that get to know me, it doesn’t take long to put me in the “Christian conservative” box.
But sometimes, I ask myself Is all this Jesus stuff real?
I’m a logical, well-educated person. I’ve worked in the corporate world for 15 years, connecting with people from all over the world with many different faiths. I’m Internet savvy. I’m not small-minded or close-minded.
So if I’m going to be all in all the time, of course I have taken a step or two back and considered whether it’s all malarkey or not.
I thought I’d share my thoughts when I doubt.
I’ll warn you I’m not the one that studied religion in college. I never left the church and tried life without faith. I don’t read a ton of theological blogs or books.
Certainly these steps do not encompass all the facets of my faith. These steps are meant to give a high-level view of my thought-process when I work myself out of doubt.
When my doubt is the worst, I not only doubt Jesus as God’s son but God himself.
But all it takes is a quick walk outside, a reminder of the ocean, a few pictures and facts about the solar system or some thoughts about how the human body functions and I’m back on track.
There’s just absolutely no way that this world and the people in it are by accident. Nature sings of a creator.
Remember Jesus Lived
Since I’m so entrenched in Christian culture, at times I look around and go wait a minute, this isn’t a fairytale or just a story. Jesus is a historical figure. He actually lived. Forget the Bible, there’s enough evidence he walked the earth.
But, a lot of people also walked the earth and I’m not following their religion. What’s the difference? Let’s move on to the next few points to see. The point here is you can’t ignore the fact that Jesus lived.
Remember the Prophecies
What always blows me away when I think of it, are the hundreds of prophecies that foretold Jesus’ arrival, death and resurrection.
Sure, this takes some faith in the Old Testament but Jesus himself predicted his own death. I don’t spend much time here because it doesn’t take much convincing for me to know it’s true. Many different people, hundreds of years apart all predicted many different aspects about Jesus’ lineage, life and death and then Jesus fulfilled all of them. It’s truly amazing to me.
Beyond all that, I remember who Jesus was and who he said he was.
In fact, you could forget everything before this and just sit here in your thoughts.
Jesus healed the sick, loved those in the margins, spoke truth to the legalistic Pharisees, walked on water, turned water into wine, said he loved all of us and said he was going to die for us and then he did.
As I’ve heard many times: when faced with Jesus, you only get to decide three conclusions: he’s either liar, lunatic or Lord. You can not. CAN. NOT. read about the life of Jesus and just decide he was a good person.
Either he was another liar pretending to be a Savior or a blasphemous lunatic as the Pharisees claimed, either of which makes him NOT a good person. Or, he really is who he said he was–the Son of God.
Remember Our Relationship
Throw out nature, historical books and the Bible, all I need to do is remember my personal experiences to remember that my faith is authentic.
I’ve had too many personal experiences with a holy God to believe he’s anything other than real.
I’ve been moved physical, spiritually and emotionally by some mysterious force that no one can explain, and no one should. There’s more to life than what you can see and touch. I’ve experienced it, can name it and for those, I give my life to this Jesus.
And that’s when I find myself back to my faith. I make the decision over and over again that He’s Lord.
I don’t write this to start a debate but perhaps encourage another believer in their doubt or maybe encourage someone in their utter unbelief.
I am curious though, what helps you believe? What’s hard for you to believe?