Do you face your doubts, or do you try to ignore them, hoping they'll somehow go away on their own?
We singles are natural doubters, but married people have misgivings about things too. Many Christians are ashamed of their doubts, believing they show disloyalty to Jesus.
Except Jesus isn't petty. He understands the human tendency to doubt, because he was tempted with it in the Garden of Gethsemane, before his crucifixion, and when God abandoned him on the cross.
We don't talk much about Satan at inspiration-for-singles.com, but we know that he does exist, because Jesus warned us about him. Doubt is just one of the many tools Satan throws at us to try to pull us away from what we know in our heart to be true.
Some Christian denominations teach that you should never ask questions, that you shouldn't deal with uncertainties about your faith out in the open. In fact, they think you shouldn't have any doubts in the first place!
As flesh-and-blood beings, we naturally have a hard time believing things we can't see. Atheists are famous for demanding evidence and scientific proof. God is not moved by their demands. He does not change his laws to accommodate them. He gives us his truth in the Bible, a book rejected by unbelivers.
It's a simple equation, however. The truth can stand up to questioning, and Jesus said,
"I am the way and the truth and the life." (John 14:6)
Jesus, who embodies truth, can stand up to questions and doubts. He is not offended by them.
Faith comes from God. We cannot whip it up ourselves on demand. We can, however, ask God to give us more faith and stronger faith. Our weakness is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it should motivate us to greater dependence on God.
Growing in Christian maturity means learning to trust God over time. It also requires honesty in prayer. We don't get everything we ask for, the second we ask for it. When your prayers aren't answered the way you'd like, instead of doubting God, remember that he is all-wise.
Many times I have looked back, years later, and thought, "Boy, am I glad God didn't give me that!"
When you face your doubts, it's like admitting a skunk just walked through the ballroom. Whew! It's too obvious to ignore. Something's wrong. Besides, God already knows about your doubts anyway.
Most of the time, God's not going to swoop down, solve all your problems, and give you a happily-ever-after life.
At least, that hasn't been my experience.
Insisting that God work on our timetable, in our way is trying to reverse the given order. God is in charge; we're not. The Bible is full of stories about people trying to get ahead of God. The consequences were always bad.
When you don't see instant solutions, that doesn't mean God isn't working behind the scenes. His timing is not our timing, and that can make you feel anxious. You'll learn to trust him, however, by recalling how he helped you in the past.
You didn't get this far on your own. God has answered your prayers in the past, and the Holy Spirit, who lives inside every Christian, has been guiding you, even when it's not obvious.
God's intervention in your life will not be through jaw-dropping miracles. Instead, he'll work through people and circumstances to carry out his will for you.
So what will happen when you face your doubts? Often, you'll see them in a different light, as less threatening and even acceptable. The Holy Spirit may assure you that you're not a bad person for having doubts.
You'll enter into a more mature, more realistic relationship with Jesus. You'll understand that he doesn't condemn you for having doubts, just as he did not condemn John the Baptist or his apostle Thomas.
The Christian life can be very difficult at times. We get frustrated because things don't go smoothly for us. The mature believer knows we will have trouble but that Jesus is with us throughout the storms.
Sometimes God's sovereignty--his total control over the universe--does not seem obvious. When you commit to believing what God says instead of what you see around you, you'll take a big leap forward in your faith.
A sense of relief will come over you when there is no punishment or chastisement for your doubts. Christ's love and acceptance of you, in spite of your shortcomings, is an astounding feeling. You'll wish you had done this sooner.
So face your doubts today. Come clean. Be honest. Lay them all out before Jesus. It's one of the wisest acts you'll ever do as a Christian.