Dealing with Doubt: Growing Closer to God through Doubt & Fear
We all have questions. We are often faced with worry, distractions, and sometimes doubt. And this is okay - it is good, even, to develop complete and total openness with God in the questions we face and worries we battle.
Thankfully, God is not threatened by our doubts and questions, or even by our fears and frustrations. He wants us to trust His love enough to tell Him what we are truly feeling and thinking. Think of David, the shepherd-boy turned king. He doesn't hold back in pouring His heart out to God. In Psalm 62:8, he invites us to do the same: " Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."
Did you catch that? God is our REFUGE! He is the Comforter above all comforters. He wants us to come to Him with our questions, to pour our hearts out to Him.
There are several lessons that are crucial to understanding when encountering Christ and pouring our hearts out to the Father.
The first is this:
We can and should bring our needs to Jesus at anytime and anywhere.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus reminds us, "ask & it will be given to you." We are free to ask...and to keep on asking! We can't tire out our Lord with requests -- we cannot wear Him out, He's never too busy to hear our heart's cry. He is fully available for us - take advantage of this gift!
The next important lesson to understand is that Jesus really cares about what concerns us.
We can be sure of this because the Lord didn't create us to be robots. He actually created us to be in personal relationship with Him. In all of my other personal relationships, I care deeply about the worries and concerns of the other. I can't imagine it would be any different in Jesus' care for us. Well, actually, it is slightly different, because if we're being honest, He cares for us boatloads more than we could even try to care for others. In the Scriptures, we are reminded that His care for us is so thick and real. Take for example, 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." Jesus won't laugh off your concern, but instead He will speak in gentleness and tenderness, understanding the pain in your words.
Finally, Jesus loves us enough to confront us when our attitude is wrong.
Wait, didn't you just say that He won't laugh off our concerns? That He cares deeply? Yes, I did. And it's true. But let's paint a picture. If a child is pouting because He wasn't allowed to have a second bowl of ice cream, would a mother not explain to the child that too much ice cream is bad for his health? Because she loves him, of course she cares deeply and therefore has to correct the child's understanding and attitude toward not getting something he wants.
It's the same way with Jesus. In Revelation 9:9 He reminds us, "Those who I love I rebuke and discipline."You see, He intuitively understands our pain, just as a mother does with her child, but that doesn't stop Him from telling us what we need to hear.
When we love Him truly, we are more willing to listen.
Too often we hold on to doubt and confusion until our questions explode as accusations against God, shaking our fists at Him in pain and frustration. Then human nature makes us want to run and hide, nursing our perceived injustice and healing our wounds.
We need to come to Jesus in all the little questions and concerns. This isn't a sign of weak faith. It is actually a sign of strong faith - of an open and humble heart. But then, we must also be willing to stick around and listen for His response. We must be willing to leave the outcome in His hands. Sometimes He loves us too much to give us what we want, but instead gives us what we need - an invitation to draw closer to Him. To fall into His open arms, to leave our troubles and cares, and find refuge in Him alone.
Rest assured, God will answer. He wants to reveal His love to you. But you won't find it by shaking your fist in His face. You won't find it by barging into His presence and demanding that He fixes everything.
It is okay to doubt, to question, to be concerned. But the bottom line is this: we can doubt many things. We can misunderstand many things. But we cannot doubt God's goodness.
Until we stop doubting His goodness, we cannot experience His love.
You will find your answer by sitting at His feet, remembering who He is, and resting in His love.
If you listen closely, you will hear Him say, "Trust me, Child, I have your ultimate good in mind."