A National Day of Thanksgiving
Reflections on the Little Children

Faith and Doubt

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I recall that a year or so ago an atheist friend of mine asked me, “How sure are you that what you believe about Jesus is true?” Fair question.

I responded to his question with a question: “When you have asked other people the same question, have they responded with the answer, ‘I have no doubt whatsoever!’?” He said that most Christians respond that way.

Before I answered his question I offered an explanation for my impending answer. I said that being a Christian is a matter of faith. Although I have solid historical evidence that Jesus lived, I cannot prove or disprove the existence of God or the resurrection of Christ. Although for me, the credibility of the gospel accounts of the resurrection and the subsequent behavior of the disciples is compelling evidence.

And then of course I have my own personal experience. But all that aside, matters of faith cannot be empirically proven. Hence, all matters of faith have some element of doubt or unproveability (I just made that word up). I told him that I am 96% certain that what I believe to be true is true. Of course, that percentage is just a figure I pulled out of the air to indicate that I am extremely convinced that Jesus has overcome death and is alive and well!

He seemed to think my response was a very reasonable one. He told me that he is maybe 99% sure that there is no God. As I reasoned about this, I chose to look at the 1% of him that is an embryonic stage of faith.

I think most people struggle with questions and doubts about the Christian faith. We are no different from the father of the sick child who said to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome by unbelief.” Jesus is so eager to meet us where we are. For me, a prayer that acknowledges the struggles I have with believing is authentic and powerful. I do believe Jesus honors this type of prayer.

So I say to all types of people, come to Jesus, talk to Him and ask Him to take charge of your life. Tell Him you struggle to believe but the part of you that does have faith welcomes Him. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” He still does…  

Blessings,

Alan