26 September 2021
by Abraham Verghese
Struggling with doubts
Mark 9 : 24
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Read Matthew 11 : 2 – 19
One of the hardest things about doubt is admitting it is there. Doubts often start small. Yet one question quickly leads to another. Does it make any difference whether we pray or not? After all if God is God does He not already know? Does God bother to hear? Does God hear? Does God care? And finally, is God even there?
Atheists let their unbelief hang out while we keep ours hidden. How can you admit to doubt if you are a Sunday school teacher, a care group leader, or employed by a Christian organisation? How can you speak of unbelief when you are part of a family of “believers”?
Such doubts do exist. Just like unwanted weeds, doubts grow when left unattended. If we don’t face them head on, they will soon overwhelm us.
I grew up in a Christian family with parents who were well established in the Christian faith . At the age of 15 however I began reading a “Christian” magazine and some books that challenged some of the biblical doctrines . With no proper organised study of the Bible and limited prayer life, I soon over the years became a loyal member of a church which on hindsight was an off track cult. When the then off track church realised some of their errors and started changing for better, I became disillusioned and went off tangent into more questioning and disbelief.
God is faithful. By the grace of God, He led me back into fellowship with believers. This journey has set me more established in spirit and in truth of Lord Christ Jesus than ever.
In Matthew 11: 2-19, John the Baptist while in prison sent his disciples to Jesus with a question : “and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” As John languished in prison, did he struggle with confusion? John had the privilege of baptising the Son of God. Perhaps he wondered why Jesus had not yet freed the world of injustice and sin as the Messiah was expected to do so. Whatever the thoughts he struggled with, he took his doubts to the right person. Jesus told John’s disciples to report back to John the miracles they witnessed.
Likewise our doubts must be confronted and nipped in the bud, otherwise it might spiral out of control and lead you into the wilderness like it happened to me.
Doubt is part of being human. At times we doubt our beliefs, our reasons, our work, our friends and even ourselves. It would be odd if we never doubt God at times. Doubt is an inevitable part of the Christian experience. This is why Jesus was continually chiding his disciples: “O you of little faith!” (Matt. 8:26). In our human sinful nature, we still sin and have doubts at times. A doubt-less Christian maybe as impossible as a sin-less Christian. Sin springs from unbelief . It is not much of a stretch to rephrase 1 John 1: 8, 9 this way: “If we say we have no doubts we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our doubts, God is faithful and just to forgive us our doubts and purify us from all unbelief.”
Prayer : Heavenly Father, forgive us of our doubts and have mercy upon us. Forgive us for looking through worldly eyes instead of asking You for heavenly vision. Thank You for Your endless grace and patience. More than anything, we want to walk in Your will. In the precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
星期日， 2021 年 9 月 26 日
阅读马太福音 11 章：2 – 19
我在一个基督教家庭长大，父母都在基督教信仰中建立了良好的基础。然而，在 15 岁时，我开始阅读一本“基督教”杂志和一些挑战圣经教义的书籍。由于没有适当并系统性的学习圣经以及有限的祷告生活，很快我成为了一个教会的忠实成员，但事后看来这是一个偏离轨道的邪教。当偏离轨道的教会意识到他们的一些错误并开始变得更好时，我的幻想破灭了，转而陷入更多的质疑和怀疑。
在马太福音 11 章 2-19 节，在狱中的施洗约翰派他的门徒问耶稣：“ 那将要来的是你麽？还是我们等候别人呢？”当约翰在监狱里苦苦挣扎时，他是否在困惑中挣扎？约翰有幸为上帝的儿子施洗。或许他想知道为什么耶稣还没有像所期望的弥赛亚那样将世界从不公正和罪恶中解放出来。无论他如何纠结，他都将心中的怀疑交给了正确的人。耶稣吩咐约翰的门徒告诉约翰他们所见证的神迹。
怀疑是人性的一部分。有时，我们怀疑自己的信念、推论、工作、朋友甚至自己。如果我们从不怀疑上帝，那会很奇怪。怀疑是基督徒经历中不可避免的一部分。这就是为什么耶稣不断责备祂的门徒：“你们这小信的人啊！” （马太福音 8:26）。在我们人类的罪性中，我们仍然会犯罪，有时也会怀疑。一个没有怀疑的基督徒可能和一个没有罪的基督徒一样不可能。罪源于不信。将约翰一书 1 章 8、9 节这样改写并不过分：“如果我们说我们没有怀疑，我们就是在己欺欺人：骗自己，而真理并不在我们心里。但如果我们承认我们的怀疑，上帝是信实的，会宽恕我们的怀疑，并净化我们所有的不信。”