March 11, 2011

Doubt vs. Disbelief

Here's an interesting thought. I had never thought about it until my dad mentioned to me this week that there is actually a difference between doubt and disbelief.

"Then John's disciples told him about all these things. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, asking, 'Are You the One who is to come, or should we look for someone else?'" Luke 7:18-19

John the Baptist is the one who had been appointed to prepare the way for Jesus. The one who knew before Jesus came on the scene that he was to announce the coming of the Savior. John the Baptist is the one who said "Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I told you about: 'After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.'" (John 1:29:30)

And now John is in prison, and he is starting to doubt. He wonders whether he had it all wrong. Had he wasted his life? Had he 'prepared the way' for the wrong guy?

John believed that Jesus was the Messiah. He believed that Jesus was the one who would save the world from sin. But when things didn't quite go according to his plan, he started to doubt. He began to question Jesus - "Are you the one, or should we look for someone else?"

The pharisees and religious leaders, on the other hand, never even believed that Jesus was the one. They believed he was a liar and a blasphemer. They chose to reject Jesus from the beginning.

We do this all the time. Think about it. Do you like to ride roller coasters? I do. I love the rush, the thrill, the ups and downs. It's a total rush. I believe that the ride is safe. I believe that if I strap into the car, I will get out unharmed at the end of the ride. But I have to say, I tend to have my doubts as soon as we hit that first big drop. "What if this thing crashes?" "What if my seat bar comes undone?" There are a lot of things that can cause doubt. I got on the ride. I believe the ride works, but that doesn't guarantee I won't doubt.

As we go through life, we face tough things. We believe that God is directing our lives. We believe that God is in control. We place our trust in Him. We choose to give our lives over to Him and follow his leading. But that doesn't mean we never doubt. That doesn't mean we won't sometimes question. The important thing is, that even though we doubt, we don't try to get off the ride! Suppose you were riding that roller coaster and you started to doubt. What would happen if you tried to get off in the middle of the ride? The results would be disastrous. Better to hang in there, rely on the faith that got you there in the first place, and finish the ride.

I think faith in God works a lot like that. It's easy to believe when things are good. But when things start to get tough is not the time to abandon your beliefs! When doubt creeps in, that's the time to embrace your faith all the more.

Whatever you are facing, when doubt creeps in, keep your seatbelt on and keep trusting Jesus to get you to the end of the ride.


Anonymous said...

Good morning dear family! I do not like roller coasters, but, regardless of the event that required a step of faith, one must rely on that faith, even if it seems questionable....I am so glad that your "faith" is in is evident in all your postings...even when you are scared, you still choose to trust God....we will continue to pray...and for every baby step forward, or backward, God has it all figured out...we (your church and community) are behind you...please finish strong...lean on God, each other, and all of us to help you in any way we & prayers, Sandy & Russ

Anonymous said...

Wow. You guys are a great example of living out your faith. We love you so much and continue to pray for Garren and the whole family. Your dad also is obviously a man of faith and Godly wisdom. You did a great job of putting into words and painting a picture of what it is like trusting God through great trials. Keep on keeping on its what this journey of life in Christ is all about. Love you, Cecil and Karen

Tasha Via said...

I dreamed about Garren last night. We were in the hospital at the same time, sharing a room. He just kept joking around with me and couldn't seem to keep still, like he had a ton of energy he just HAD to get out:)

It's been so long since we have seen you all, but that dream made me feel like it was just yesterday!

Praying for another GOOD day today!

Mauri said...

Aren't Godly parents such a treasure from God? Guess what, that's exactly what you and Nancy are too! Even through this time of growing your faith and stretching you like rubber bands, you are standing firm in your faith. You have such deep roots, and I can't help but picture Jesus and God up in Heaven smiling down and saying, "well done!" Look at the heritage and legacy your are passing down to your family! total dependence on God! We love you guys and daily take you to our Father!

Anonymous said...

Great post, Geoffrey! One other thing that I've found is that doubt can actually be used for good (God does work all things for the good of those who believe).

Instead of letting our doubts consume us, if we use them as an opportunity to dig into our beliefs and find the answers, we can come away stronger than before. After all, if you've investigated something and found the truth, chances are that doubt will not haunt you again in the future, and you'll be able to help others find their way through that if it creeps up on them...

God did not leave us with a blind faith. Rather, he left a ton of evidence that points to the fact that our faith is real. God is not afraid of our doubts or our questions. However, He does want us to handle them in the right way - just like any other trial in our lives.

So, the next time we have doubts, let's consider it joy and an opportunity to grow in our faith!

Bob L

steve said...

I totally agree with your post .yes we all have Doubts in our lives but we get stronger because of them..I for one am not ashamed to say i have had doubts in my life .But I had to keep the faith that this was and is Gods will for me .This is his Plan..I am so excited that Garren will be going Home soon to his new room and God will be there leading you and your family .I will continue to pray for Gods healing power for Garren ..God Bless .jsteve

Anonymous said...

If you have no doubts, why do you turn to hospitals and science when your life is on the line? True belief would have no doubt in God helping them or that gods plan was for them to be sick and he was calling them home.