Real Christians don’t doubt. Everyone knows that. If you’ve got doubt in your heart, even a smidge, well then, I’m sorry, you’re still a “baby Christian.” I’ll pray for you, I’ll pray that someday you’ll be an “on fire Christian” and not be so wracked with doubt, because us real Christians never feel doubt.
We wake up in the morning and instantly remember all the other times God has come through. When we are faced with challenges, we don’t fear. We don’t worry. We certainly don’t doubt. You know what I do when I run into a difficult time? I giggle. I pick up that challenge in my hands and tickle it’s belly like an adorable little kitten. Because I live a doubt free life. Like every Christian should.
Because otherwise, if you do find doubt in your heart, you better hide that under the bed. Or between your mattresses, God never thinks to look there. But if He does, if He does find doubt in your heart, I hope, for your sake, you’ll be thrown in the regular lake of fire instead of the lake of fire where you have to spend all of eternity noodlin’ for alligator gar. (Noodlin’ is the “sport” where you walk in lakes/rivers and jam your hands down holes in the ground with the hope that a giant catfish will bite you, allowing you to pull it out and capture it. In Africa they have a version of this that involves lions but instead of “noodlin'” it’s called “dyin'”. An alligator gar is some crazy type of fish I just saw on a show called “River Monsters” in which a biologist spends an entire hour trying to catch, you guessed it, a “river monster.” Whole show should take 7 minutes. I think I just broke the legal length limits of parenthesis.)
God hates doubt like I hate wet socks. I think that’s in Habakkuk. He loves nothing more than to administer the elbow of death on anyone that has doubt in their heart. Or at least that’s what I thought until I read Mark 9:14-26. That chunk of verses messed me up. It shattered my pristine belief that when you become a Christian, I’m talking a “real Christian” you are magically and completely removed of all doubt.
Have you ever read those verses? In them, a father brings his demon possessed son to Jesus. Jesus asks, “How long has he been like this?”
The father replies:
“From childhood. It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
And that’s true. If this guy really believes, then he doesn’t need to be punking Jesus with this “if you can do anything” nonsense. He’s Jesus. That dude is lucky Jesus didn’t reply like female rapper YoYo, “I’m Jesus. Don’t try to play me out.”
But he doesn’t say that. He tells the guy “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
And you know how that unnamed man responds? He goes home and waits until his heart is completely empty of doubt and then four years later returns to get his son healed.
Not exactly. The Bible says:
“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
At this point, if you doubt that Jesus understands doubt, if you doubt that God tolerates doubt, the cry “help me overcome my unbelief” should earn this man an old school temple clearing style whipping. He’s just told the son of God to his face that he has doubt and unbelief. But how does Jesus respond?
He heals the boy.
The Bible says:
“The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.”
How come Jesus didn’t yell at that father? How come he didn’t rebuke the man for having doubt? How come he didn’t stop everything right there and give the crowd a lesson on the evils of unbelief and how if you really love God you’ll never have an ounce of it?
Because that can’t be true.
We doubt. We struggle. We wrestle with unbelief. And you know how Jesus responds to that?
He lifts up people that look dead to everyone but him.
I would love to say I don’t doubt, but that would be a lie.
The truth is, I do.
And when I find myself there, I don’t try to hide it or fake it or kill myself over it. I pray a prayer an unnamed man in the Bible first said to Christ.
Help me overcome my unbelief!