Despite Doubt: Unbelief
What is the relationship between unbelief and faith? It is easy Many will state that these doubts will not destroy faith. They breathe and continue to believe in Jesus and can find solace in Job who declared from his despair, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” Faith might be shaken up, but it is not lost.to be faithful when there are no crises in one’s life but what happens when something happens that no one can explain?
What is unbelief? It is a rejection of God and His will for us. It breeds doubts that diminish the knowledge that faith needs to believe. This indirect challenge of unbelief is more subtle than its direct, in your face assault, and for that reason it may be even more dangerous. We all have doubts but what is it that we are doing through omitting good spiritual practices that raise our doubts? Have you stopped going to church, praying and reading Scripture? If you aren’t paying attention to where God speaks, do not be surprised when you don’t hear His voice. If you don’t hear his voice or feel His Spirit guiding you, where will this lead—doubt, sin, and unbelief.
Most people would rather doubt as it is easier than living fully in faith—less work, less stress. But if unbelief is a leading cause of doubt a key remedy to it is faith.
We are followers of Jesus and through teachings and singing songs of faith we can move from doubt to unbelief to deep faith if we remember the words we are/were taught. This is part of being a disciple of Jesus and it is through the sources of discipleship—baptism, communion, statements of faith and the words of our cherished hymn/songs that we may grow and give us the strength we need each week.
This is the discipline of discipleship- it is the practical way to grow spiritually. And when we grapple with doubt, the place where we need to be is with believers where God’s Spirit blows on the embers of your faith in the company of the faithful- the church family where one is welcomed in faith and with love.
REFLECT for a moment and respond:
Have you ever had moments of doubt and then remember a phrase from a hymn, the church’s “A New Creed” or a biblical passage that was just what you needed to help you through those moments of uncertainty? When you remembered these words give thanks to those who taught you—parents, church family and ministers in your life. This is what leads us to know we are not alone and that we grow in faith. This is what enables us to doubt and believe and grow closer to Christ. What special words do you remember?
God of grace and love, we doubt and we have moments when we are not sure what we believe. Help us O God to remember that your Spirit works in us and never leaves us. Build us up O God as we strive to be one with you and grow in faith. Amen..
Michael E Wittmer, Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith ch.11-12
PLEASE NOTE: Apparently these reflections were not sent out via email throughout the months of July and August however, they were posted to our website on a regular basis. If you would like to read the preceding reflections focusing on Wittmer’s book please go to www.glenwoodunited.com and click on for Social Media—Rev Dr Catherine’s blog and these are listed there.