Last week we talked about how faith is a covenantal term and not simply “how much you believe something.” Many of us have this sense that faith is simply an absence of doubt and we talked about how “wrestling” with God is actually a healthy thing that takes more faith than otherwise. One thing that can be helpful in these times of struggle, questioning, or uncertainty, is to focus on the “real God” as we talked about during the weekend services at Real Life Church the past few weeks. When times get tough for your faith–focus on God’s character.
And that’s really the beef we have with God, isn’t it? Many of us say that we don’t believe in God, but I bet, deep at the heart of that statement, many of us are just skeptical that God is actually good and loving.
Faith is something that can withstand doubt and is actually fueled by it. It all just depends on what our faith is in. If our faith is in the “real God,” our doubts will help to see God in new, fresh, and surprising ways. If our faith is in something else, often times doubt will expose what our true God is, and if we don’t have the eyes to see, it can drive us away from the true character of the loving God.
As Christians, we’re committed to the notion that Jesus is God and that Jesus reveals the character of God in every single way. Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” And, as John says in one of his letters, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16). That’s what we are committing to in faith. When we see faith in this way, it becomes more about a relationship than anything else. It becomes a commitment to Jesus and not just what to believe and what not to believe about Jesus. In this way, our doubts and questions are welcome because we’re working them out in that relationship. Just because you have doubt, doesn’t mean your faith is in the garbage. And just because there is an absence of justice in the world, doesn’t mean that God is not just and not loving. We may not have and we most likely will never get all the right answers, but we know God loves us and everything else stems from that.
If we can’t ask questions, then we can’t grow. And if we can’t grow, then what are we doing? As we’ve mentioned, we want to be a place where questions and doubts are welcome. But guess what? That cannot happen all by your lonesome. You need other people in your life and if God is love, that love can only reside in relationships with other people. That’s your next step if you’re looking to explore faith in a way that you never have before.
If you’re still skeptical or want to know more about this notion of God’s love in community with one another, check out my new book coming out, Better Together. In the book, I address some topics that pertain to this and I think you’ll enjoy it.