These days it’s cool to have doubts. To question everything. To challenge every assumption and pushback against every given. To rant and rave and rail against the status quo. To maintain a stance of perpetual acidic cynicism. Doubt is real man, it’s real. It’s authentic. It’s true. Questioning everything shows that I am a free spirit, an independent thinker who won’t let “the man” (whoever that may be) control my brain. I think different. I wave my freak flag. If you doubt enough things you can usually get a book deal out of it.
When it comes to my Christian faith, there is an appropriate place for doubts and questions. It can be good and helpful to ask questions like, “How do we know the Bible truly is the word of God?”, and, “Is there really evidence for Jesus’ resurrection?” We shouldn’t be afraid of these kinds of questions, and we should do all we can to answer them, both for ourselves and for others.
But when it comes to my daily, step by step (Why one set of footprints?) walk with Jesus, he does not think my perpetual doubting is cool. He doesn’t endorse my faithlessness. He thinks it stinks. In Matthew 18:3-4 Jesus says:
Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Entering Jesus’ kingdom and walking daily with Jesus requires me to have a humble, trusting, loving, believing faith in Christ. Jesus calls me to have a simple, genuine faith in his character and his promises. When I tell my children that something is true, they believe me. They know that I love them, and therefore they simply trust me. They don’t demand proof, they simply trust. In the same way, I know that Jesus loves me and always has my best interests in mind, therefore I am called to simple faith in him.
Jesus responds in mighty, even mind-boggling ways to my simple faith. When Jesus saw the simple faith of the Roman centurion (Matt. 8) he healed the centurion’s servant and he marveled at the faith of the centurion. Jesus didn’t do a whole lot of marveling in his life. The centurion simply trusted in the character and ability of Jesus, and that caused Jesus to marvel! In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says that if we have faith like a mustard seed we will move mountains. Mountains! I can have doubts the size of New Jersey and not a single mountain will be moved. I can have tiny, simplistic faith in Christ and his word and whole mountains will shift! When the paralytic was lowered through the roof, Jesus saw his faith and forgave his sins.
Jesus does mighty, breathtaking things in response to my wholehearted simple faith. He does miracles in response to faith. He intervenes in response to faith. He conquers in response to faith. He protects in response to faith. To doubt Jesus isn’t cool, it’s sinful.
Do I have a firm, childlike confidence in Jesus:
- For all the ups and downs of my marriage?
- For all the complexities and perplexities of parenting?
- For a strapped budget?
- When I don’t understand God’s plan for me?
- When it seems like everything I do results in failure?
Today I have two options. I can hinder Jesus from working in my life by allowing my doubts and questions to crowd out Jesus. Or I can walk in humble, childlike faith, trusting Jesus to care for me. I’ll take option number two.