Is God real? Is He really there? Can I trust Him? If you are anything like me, and I’m guessing someone reading this is, when you are faced with ambiguous situations your mind defaults to these questions.
When we are faced with difficult situations or ambiguity in our lives, it can be difficult to know what to think or feel when it comes to God and His role of what is going on. Many of us have felt pain inflicted on us from other flawed human beings, and that pain can affect how we trust in God. We learned early on that trusting another can lead to disappointment, so we protect ourselves by not trusting again. As a result, for many of us we meet any ambiguous situation with suspicion about His intention for us.
I do not have what I am about to say mastered, but what I have learned over the years, is that the presence of fear is not the same as a lack in faith. It is an indication that you are human, and you have experienced disappointment in your life. When we say, “I believe” we may still have doubts. In Mark 9:24 we are told a story where a man asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus replies “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The man replied, “Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief.” The man’s confession that he was struggling had to have taken a lot of courage, but it was honest. He didn’t pretend that he didn’t have doubt, he asked for help where he had doubt. His lack of full faith in the moment did not get in the way of his miracle; the boy was healed.
Our honest confession when we are struggling with our faith is powerful. God can work with authenticity. When we aren’t honest, he knows anyway. Psalm 139 says that God knows our inner thoughts; nothing is hidden from Him, not even our questions or our wavering faith. So why hide it if He knows it anyway? Nothing will surprise Him.
So then what do we do when we have questions? How do we hold onto our faith when it is wavering? I believe that talking to God like He is a friend is helpful. Tell Him about your fears that He does not really exist. Tell Him your fears that He will not work things out for you. Tell Him you are afraid you have been forgotten. Ask Him to help you find the truth of who He is, and then hold onto the little faith you have. Stand firm that He will show up, and keep standing. Let Him prove Himself. Just like the man who needed help in his faith when he asked Jesus to heal his son, you will see His glory at the right time.
I have experienced it enough times in my own life to say that with confidence. I still question Him in my scared moments, I wish that was not my pattern, but it is. In spite of my fears, I can look back many times over and see His sovereign hand in every situation that brought me fear. He will do that for anyone who invites Him in.
Olive Chapel is not currently meeting. We would encourage you to reach out to us if you are in need of spiritual support in this time where life feels ambiguous for our world. 574-654-3615