My boss is a wise man. We have devotions before we start work every morning, and every now and again, the word he brings is so spot on – for me anyway! This morning was particularly significant:
“The opposite of faith isn’t doubt. Unbelief is the opposite of faith.” Alex Jacob
I am walking through a crazy difficult season, which really begs the question to be asked, “Where is God, right now?”
To doubt, is natural, to ask questions is important, for how else can our faith be tested and deepened, unless we ask questions? We may as well be living according to religious rules, if we don’t allow ourselves or each other the freedom to ask questions – especially when life sucks!
And – as Jesus was Jewish – it’s a curious fact to note that within the Jewish culture….questions are perfectly normal and acceptable for the development of faith and understanding the Scriptures. Look through the Gospels at what Jesus said, and you’ll notice a lot of questions get asked.
But in much of Christian culture today, asking questions of our faith, of God, seems to be forbidden! We condemn people for asking the “why?” quse toon of God, we criticise those whose faith is challenged and they search for deeper meaning.
You know what though? God is more than able to handle our questioning of Him. In fact, it’s relationship to ask and discuss rather than blindly accepting without any thought or consideration. When a friend or partner does something we’re not sure of, we ask them about it, at least we should do. We don’t just ignore what they’re doing or blindly accept it without challenging them, because how is that relationship?
So why should we treat our most important relationship with God any less than this?
I have found in my own life, that when I throw questions to God in my own confusion or distress, this has led to a closer sense of God carrying me through. It hasn’t alienated me from Him. It has given God the opening to meet my deepest hurts, fears and thoughts in a way He couldn’t do if I was in a constant state of “blind acceptance”.
Faith is constantly changing. Doubting in the midst of an incredibly challenge season is not demonstrating unbelief. Doubting causes us to ask questions which allows God to respond to our heart-cry. Doubting doesn’t equate to unbelief. It leads to a deeper faith. Don’t be afraid to release those deepest questions you have to ask God….and don’t be closed off to hearing how He responds to you.
Dont focus downward when you’re in a difficult season, except to admire your shoes or check your footing. Don’t slouch and hide away from the thoughts which threaten to pull you away from Abba. Ask Him and look up. You can’t slouch when your eyes are fixed on God.