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How to Work Through Doubts + Questions Towards God (hint: doubts aren't a bad thing!)



We've all had moments in our faith when we read something in the Bible or experience something in our own lives and begin to question why God would do something, what His character really is, or if God actually exists. We don't talk about it very much, because we like to look "put together", so I'm here to tell you that it's okay to have doubts and questions! I have them (that's what inspired this post) and so do other people within your church, small group, and community. It's normal, and it's actually a good thing!


If we never ask questions, never dig a little deeper, then there's nothing actually rooting us to our faith. We're holding on for no reason, with no evidence, with no conviction. I truly do not believe that that's the way God has called us to live our lives or walk out our faith.


You see, questions and doubts can fuel us to press deeper into God and our faith. Questions and doubts challenge us to investigate what we believe and why we believe it, and if we take the time to really reflect on those questions and find answers, then our faith will walk away stronger. Questions and doubts don't have to shake your faith, and it doesn't mean that you aren't a strong Christian, it just provides a new learning opportunity!


I was just reading about all of God's punishment on Israel's enemies, and as I was stepping back and thinking about all of the destruction (not only from this portion of Scripture but the entire Bible), I began questioning why God would initiate so much harm to these nations. We all know the God of grace because that's what we like to hear, but it's harder to think about the God of justice and revenge.


But instead of brushing away those questions, I chose to get a little bit uncomfortable, reread the passage and reflect on the God I know and have experienced in my own life. I know that God's actions do not contradict Himself at all. I know that God fulfills His promises, and He had made many, many promises to the Israelites that these nations would receive payment for their violence towards the Israelites. I know that God has punished the Israelites themselves plenty too, so He's not playing any favorites here.


And I also know that God is perfectly just and perfectly righteous. I know that I may not always understand why God does what He does, but that doesn't make Him any less God. That doesn't change His supreme hand in my life, His lavish love, or His faithfulness. Not fully understanding God does not change who God is.


That means that it's okay to bring all of your questions and doubts to God! He's not offended or altered by them at all, because He is still the same, ultimate, perfect, unchanging God that He always has been and always will be, whether we can wrap our minds around that or not. It's good to get uncomfortable sometimes and really dive into our faith, what we believe, and why we believe that. When we do this, our relationship with the Lord deepens, our faith is strengthened, and we become more mature.


Okay, cool.


So what do we actually do with these questions and doubts if we aren't supposed to brush them aside?


Acknowledge + surrender.

Instead of simply pretending like our faith is perfect and our relationship with God never has highs and lows, we have to be honest about the doubts that we're facing. Bring the questions and doubts you have to the Lord and ask Him to teach you and strengthen you through them. Open your hands and surrender these difficult things to Him and allow Him to show you whatever He wants to show you as you explore these questions.


If we never bring our doubts and questions to Jesus, then He can never help us process through them or learn the truth about who He really is. It is so important that we acknowledge whatever we're struggling with to Him and ask for His wisdom and guidance through it, because I promise you, you will find much more peace and growth when you walk through doubts with the Lord.


Do your research.

Don't stay in a place where you're questioning and doubting God - get to the bottom of it! When I don't understand what I'm reading in Scripture, I try really hard not to leave my Bible study without finding some clarity. My favorite resource is the Enduring Word Commentary, but if I can't find an answer there, I look at GotQuestions or Google it! There are so many resources out there to help you answer questions and debunk doubts. Use those resources to learn more about whatever you're wrestling with and find context to the situation. And when you do, you'll have a much deeper, genuine knowledge of God and relationship with Him.


I want to encourage you with this: nothing in Scripture will contradict anything else in the Bible. All of Scripture is cohesive, working together to illustrate a beautiful picture of Christ's character. And when you dive into whatever it is you're struggling with, your eyes will be opened in a new way to how very true this is.


Reflect on your personal experience + what you've learned in your faith so far.

A lot of times, my testimony is one of the biggest encouragements to me whenever I'm doubting God. I have experienced the goodness and faithfulness of God, time and time again, and when I'm questioning what He's doing or if He's still present, I remember the times before when I've questioned those same things and He came through for me in major ways. I would challenge you to do the same thing - think back to the "mountaintop" experiences you've had with the Lord and the ways He's taught you and transformed you. If He's brought you through hard times before, He can do it again - and He will, friends!


Or, talk to other people about how they've experienced God move mountains and answer prayers. Listen to their testimonies and stories, and let that encourage you as well. Sometimes there is nothing more powerful than hearing how Jesus has changed someone's life, and that is often such a needed reminder to us when we're questioning if He can bring transformation in our own lives.


Keep asking questions!

If we never ask questions or experience any doubts, then we're settling for a surface level religion instead of a true, personal, relationship with God. Continue digging into the things about God and your faith that you don't understand, and never stop learning. Allow the uncomfortable thoughts and questions to fuel you into knowing the Lord more intimately, never settling but continually striving to grow in your faith.


Decide for yourself.

At some point, we have to make the decision - will we continue to trust God, even when it doesn't make sense, or will we walk away from Him? We are not forced into a relationship with Jesus, nor are we required to pretend that everything makes sense and is perfect. We can choose to walk with Jesus, or we cannot. I believe there's only one answer that will lead to eternal life and joy.


But friends, I want you to know that you are not a bad Christian for having questions or doubting God. God doesn't hate you for that, nor is He mad at you. This is part of learning and growing, about being real in your walk with Christ, and it's something we'll all wrestle with at some point. I'm walking through it right now, and it's not fun, but it's essential for me to daily choose to keep trusting and surrendering to the Lord, because I know that at the end of the day, no matter how I feel, He is still good, still God, and still going to make a way in my life.

 

The truth is, all of us are going to face doubts and questions towards God as we walk with Him, but how we respond to those doubts and questions will change everything. We can choose to dig in, do our research, and trust God even when we don't fully understand, or we can abandon our faith all together - but only one way will lead to true joy and peace. If you're struggling with doubts and questions, I'd encourage you to lean into that and use this as an opportunity to learn and grow in your faith; don't simply walk away because it gets hard or confusing. Allow the uncomfortable moments in your faith to develop a greater intimacy and trust between you and the Lord.

How do you deal with doubts towards God? What have you experienced that has helped you trust God in moments where you're questioning Him? Do you have any advice for someone currently going through that? Let me know down in the comments below; I love to hear from you!



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