Struggling with Doubts
‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams
Struggles do take their toll on a person’s body, soul and spirit. Perhaps the biggest struggle is that between faith and culture.
Our culture celebrates faith, but privately fears the one who lives according to their faith.
In the Gospel of Mark, chapter nine, we read of an amazing encounter between Jesus, His disciples, and a father whose son was demon possessed.
Many people who read this encounter focus on the miracle of the boy being freed from demon possession, but there is a greater lesson to learn.
What do you believe? Do you believe God heals people, even today? Do you believe God works miracles today? More importantly, do you believe God can heal you or perform a miracle in your life?
We read, “And He (Jesus) asked them, what are you discussing with them? And one of the crowd answered Him, Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.”
Jesus said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? “How long shall I put up with you?
Bring him to Me!”
“They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. And He asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, From childhood.”
The father of the boy said, “It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.
But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “If you can? All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:16-24).
Most of us will never come face to face with a person who is demon possessed – thankfully. However, each of us deals with doubt that interrupts and discourages our faith.
I wonder how many times the father of the boy sought help from others? The father had faith but it was weak from previous disappointments. I believe God heals people and works miracles. But my faith is constantly challenged by my doubts and failures. Is your faith challenged to the point of weakness, like the boy’s father?
Heart surgery was just completed a few hours previously and while I was standing next to my friend, he in great pain, asked me to kill him because his pain was great. I was shaken to my core. I was speechless and my faith instantly seemed to melt away. My friend was a veteran of two branches of the military, and survived bitter fighting in Korea, he had experienced a difficult life and lived a simple life not far from the church we both attended.
I have visited hundreds upon hundreds of people in hospitals having major and minor surgeries, people in nursing homes and those locked away in their private homes. Never, had I experienced a request such as his. Induced by medicine? No, his pain was real, severe and greater than he had ever experienced.
He was a Believer but he was human and he had his limits.
Humans have limits.
We have our questions, weaknesses and doubts. It is these limits, questions, weaknesses and doubts that exact the greatest toll on our faith. After we try to “fix” ourselves we naturally believe that even God cannot or will not “fix” us.
This was the state of the boy’s father – his faith was punctuated with doubts.
Does your faith have doubts? How does one strengthen one’s faith?
First, know that faith in God does not mean you will not have doubts. Consider the lives of Abraham and Sara, Gideon, King David, Hannah, and all the apostles. Hebrews chapter eleven provides a list of the faithful who had their doubts.
Read and study the Bible more than you do now.
“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Find a church that preaches and teachers the Bible, but also displays grace, mercy and discipleship.
Pray, as James 5:16 states, “…confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” In other words, find someone you trust, admit your fears and doubts, ask for help to strengthen your faith and pray – God does answer prayers.
Remember, you are not alone – “…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Christ is greater than our doubts.
Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E-mail him at claytonpadamslll@ gmail.com.