“What if God isn’t real?” He asked, almost in a whisper, as if the question would offend me.
Pausing a moment to consider, I reached for another fry and decided the best reply was the truth. “I have had many doubts throughout my lifetime.”
He tilted his head, surprised and interested in what I was going to say next.
“I would go as far as to say that every Christian has had doubts, at least once. I mean, we’re human… ”
“I may doubt,” I continued, pushing my plate aside and looking directly into his eyes. “But at the end of the day, my belief is bigger than my doubts. Whenever I have had a season of doubt, God has faithfully and gently answered them in a way only He could. He has come through and done things that I have no other explanation for.”
Sharing our doubts
Something wonderful happens when we are honest with unbelievers about our faith and our doubts.
In those moments of honesty, they see that this faith is all-inclusive; it’s not meant for the über religious. It’s intended for all of us doubters, sinners, and skeptics. When we share how Jesus works despite our doubts, we encourage them to step into that faith for themselves.
I don’t believe we should “hide” the places where we struggle in our faith with the world. What would this prove? We are not perfect. Seeing our imperfections while we walk this road shows we are aware of our shortcomings and that Jesus is still the answer to them all.
Yes, Christians doubt.
What if God isn’t real?
We love Jesus, but we have moments of doubt because of this world we live in and our humanity. Maybe some of you can’t relate, but I know some of you absolutely can.
There needs to be a space for understating and encouragement within the church while we share our struggles with doubt. Then, we can provide hope and lift each other up while Jesus meets us in these rough places.
And really, doesn’t it feel like a sweet relief when someone speaks out loud a fear you are internally wrestling with? It certainly does for me.
Why do we as Christians behave as though none of us struggle with this?
Because we do.
We doubt because we’re human. And God isn’t holding it against us.
Everything I have learned about His character is that He longs to show us more of Himself. He isn’t mad at us when we stumble into a pit of doubt.
Remember “doubting Thomas?” Did Jesus scold him and tell him how awful he was for doubting? Nope. He showed more of Himself to Thomas.
He offered for him to look at His wounds, inspect the evidence, and then call on him to make a choice.
I think many people assume that faith in Jesus Christ is blind faith. It’s not, and this scripture proves that.
He gives us evidence, and then asks us to choose based on that evidence.
“Reach here with your finger, and see my hands; and reach here your hand and put it in my side; and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” John 20: 27
I have always loved the story of Thomas in the Bible—it’s just so me.
I can completely relate to wanting proof. But more than this, there is a particular blessing from Jesus neatly tucked within in this story, meant specifically for us.
“Thomas answered and said unto him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed?”
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
How beautiful is that? That’s for us, friend! Jesus spoke these words over 2,000 years ago about you and me. We have a special blessing because we have believed explicitly without seeing.
He knows our faith is hard. He knows it’s not easy to walk by faith and not by sight. He knows we will be tempted with doubt. And he’s not upset with us for that.
I doubt. I am a Christian. I believe in my Lord Jesus Christ, and I love him. But I doubt.
In some of my darkest days of anxiety, one of the greatest fears that nagged at me was the very question my unbelieving friend asked me.
What if He isn’t even real?
I have come to find that we have a God and a faith that can stand up to the questions we ask and the doubt struggles we have. Some of my greatest faith-strengthening moments have come from Him meeting me in my times of doubt.
There are six words I pray when doubt enters my mind.
“I do believe, help my unbelief.” Mark 9:24
I have whispered these words, and He has answered in incredible ways. They carry truth and power in the fight with doubt because we are coming to the only one that can cure our misgivings.
And He is faithful to do so.
So, I suppose in the end; it’s not our questioning that matters—It’s what question are we asking?
The more important question isn’t, “What if He isn’t real?”
It’s: “What if He is?”
The evidence is there to answer the question, each one for ourselves.
**Want to read more? John chapter 20 and Mark chapter 9 are the scriptures I mentioned in this post. Some other great scripture in times of doubt; John 4:39-42, John 14, Psalm 28:7, 1 Peter 1:8-12