Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Transforming Doubt to Faith

Most Christians struggle with doubt at times. Sometimes we think of it as a dirty secret that offends God and would shock other Christians. So we pretend, by saying and doing all the right things. But God desires "truth in the innermost being." (Psalm 51:6) He wants us to come to him with our struggles, so he can help us work through them. "A bruised weed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish." (Isaiah 42:3)

I've found over the years that a number of things have helped me overcome doubt. First, when my faith is tested I lean more heavily on God. James 4:8 says: "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." The best way to grow in our faith is to abide in Christ as a branch on a vine, so his Spirit flows through us like sap. The more time we spend with God, the more real he becomes to us, and the more power he has in our lives.

Second, we need to stop treating our faith like a fragile object that must be stored away someplace safe. Although Christians talk about knowing the truth, we often act as if we fear the truth more than anything. It's okay to ask the hard questions lurking in our minds and let unbelievers challenge our faith, because God's truth can withstand our most intense scrutiny. As Christians, we have nothing to fear. So let's trust God that he is the rock of ages, including the scientific age. When we embrace all truth without fear, our faith will grow. God doesn't need our truth-twisting any more than we need a crooked attorney to defend us.

Third, God expects us to walk in faith. What are we willing to risk for God? Our money? Our reputations? Our lives? It's important to draw a distinction between walking in faith and putting God to the test. The same deed may be an act of faith by one person and recklessness by another, because the first person was led by the Holy Spirit. But often the Bible tells us very clearly what to do. For example, it tells us that if we give, God will give back to us. I've found that the best thing to do during times of financial uncertainty is to be generous. That is an act of faith. Will God keep his promise to provide? Yes, he will, and our faith will grow. When we choose integrity over popularity, we take a step in faith. God often rewards those acts of faith, but more importantly, we are building on an everlasting foundation that matters far more than his provision in this life.

5 comments:

3 Blessings said...

Annette,
Thank you for writing this. God has blessed me through your writings and through your generous heart. As you know we are on a complete walk of faith right now and He is showing us time and time again that just as you quoted, when we draw near, He draws near to us. It is a beautiful thing to completely walk by faith and I am so sad that I haven't been doing it all of my life.
Blessings,
Amy

3 Blessings said...

I am so sorry that I automatically type your name with two 'n's. It is out of habit, but that does not make it right. It is probably the exact opposite problem that my daughter Ryann will have because everyone will probably leave off her extra n :( So sorry!
Blessings,
Amy

Anette Acker said...

Thank you, Amy. I'm so inspired by your faith!

I didn't even notice that you'd spelled my name with two 'N's. I'm so used to it. :)

Ragnhild Ulrich said...

Hi Anette:
Anette:
As alway, your writing is inspiring and thought provoking!!! I am with you --- our faith is the most precious (not fragile, I agree) thing we have in our lives. In Hebrews 10:38 Paul states that without faith it is impossible to please God...interesting, isn't it!

Your "old" aunt Ragnhild

R.K.

Anette Acker said...

Old? What are you talking about, Aunt Ragnhild? :)

Thanks for your encouraging words!