“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” ~ Matthew 28:16-17
Jesus had been arrested, crucified, buried and raised from the dead. He had appeared to hundreds of eye-witnesses after His resurrection. He ate and drank and cooked fish. Can you imagine a more significant demonstration of God’s existence?
But it’s time for Him to return to the Father. So the disciples meet Him on a mountain. Understandably, they worship Him. But did you catch those last three words? “…but some doubted.” They what? They doubted!
But they weren’t the first. Consider these others who walked by faith choosing to trust God and yet still battled with occasional doubts.
- Abraham and Sarah doubted God’s promise for a child.
- Abraham doubted God’s plans and on two separate occasions lied about Sarah telling others that she was his sister.
- Elijah went toe-to-toe with 500 priests of Baal and watched God demonstrate His power and yet doubted God and ran from one angry woman – a queen – who made a threat against his life.
- John the Baptist declared “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” when he saw Jesus. But not long after that he was in prison and sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the promised one or if they should look for another.
Or consider that 60% of the Psalms are laments with people screaming out, “God, where are You?” As Lynn Anderson observes, “Normal faith is allowed to beat on God’s chest and complain.”
But my favorite demonstration of faith and doubt co-existing comes from an account in Mark chapter 9. A crowd has gathered as a father tries desperately to get help for his son who is demon possessed. Here’s a portion of the dialog between the father and Jesus…
“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” ~ Mark 9: 21-24
Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever find yourself facing a difficult situation where you trust God to be in control yet struggle with a few doubts? If you do then welcome to the club. You are not alone. In fact, you are in rather good company. And nowhere do we see God chastise any of these people!
“Lord, as we head into a new week with untold challenges and adventures around every corner, we profess our trust in You, but help us when we struggle with doubts.”
PS - Yesterday’s sermon “Is God real?” is posted on the sermon/audio page – check it out!