Do you ever have doubts? Are there days when you think, Lord, where are You?” Are there times when you feel alone and find yourself wondering if maybe you are wrong about your belief in God. Well… you’re not the only one. The problem is not that doubts arise, but the uncertainty that can linger and the guilt that can come after we’ve thought about it. You can be absolutely sure of something, yet still face a time in your life when you wonder if it is true.
In John 6:66-69 Jesus asked the Twelve if they were going to leave him like the many other disciples who had left “and walked no more with him.” (v.66) Peter’s response to this question in v.68-69 is “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Now, you may be wondering, “But didn’t Peter deny the Lord?” Yes, he did. Which brings me to the point that doubt is a natural human feeling that can occur in times of fear or concern. However, doubt does not mean disbelief. Peter would learn from his doubt and denial, and keep in mind, Peter is the one who preached on the day of Pentecost and some 3,000 souls were saved.
I want to encourage you today if you are in doubt to think about Peter’s answer. If you are not sure whether to continue on the path of faith, what will your alternative be? Who else are you going to turn to “that has the words of eternal life?” Even though Peter was sure about Christ, he denied — yet, he continued in his faith and became a great man of God who did not even feel worthy to die in the manner of his Lord! When his time came and his life would end, he had the assurance he needed that all he believed was true. When it mattered, even in the face of death, Peter had “lived out” his answer!
While doubt can cause guilt, doubt can also be the motivator that one needs to become more serious about self evaluation and searching for the answers we need to strengthen our faith and remove doubt. Jesus point blank asked them, “Will ye also go away?” And the answer was “no.” Let me ask you today, are you on the path of leaving Jesus? Or do you have an answer prepared that would affirm your faith in Christ?
Questions invoke thought, and thought provokes answers. Does doubt affirm in you that something is no longer worth believing in, or will you let doubt motivate you to find the answers you seek?
I pray, “Lord, forgive me when doubt. Let me be reminded of what You’ve already done for me. I am sure that You hear my very prayer right now. Where else could I turn? To whom would I pray? You are the One who loved me enough to send Your Son that I may have abundant and eternal life. Thank You Father, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.