Faith isn’t blind acceptance. There are a lot of things Christians are supposed to believe. God exists. God is good. Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus died for us and was brought back from the dead. All of it is vital to Christianity.
But what if you aren’t sure?
Test all things; hold fast what is good. – 1 Thessalonians 5:21
God expects us to find out what’s true. He doesn’t want robots. That wouldn’t mean much to Him. What He wants is people who use the logic He gave us who decide that they want to live His way.
But how can it be okay to question or not be sure? There are people in the Bible who did, and they weren’t immediately struck down by a big lightning bolt. David, Gideon, Job, Thomas, and John the Baptist all had doubts. They are some of our spiritual heroes, but at times they all looked for proof that God was Who He said and could do what He said.
Let’s start with Gideon. An angel visited him and called him a mighty man of valor, but he didn’t settle for flattery. His response was:
Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” – Judges 6:13
He said this directly to an angel. I’m not sure if I’d have been brave enough to say anything back. But the angel didn’t call him a worm and tell him to begone. The angel said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.” (Judges 6:14) Even after Gideon wanted to know why all the bad things had happened to them, God still had plans for him.
Before he agreed to do what God was telling him, Gideon asked for a sign, and God gave it to him. When Gideon saw the proof for what God was saying, he believed Him and did what he was supposed to.
What about the apostle Thomas? He was with Jesus through His ministry. He heard Jesus’ teaching and saw the miracles He did. For three years he saw proof for his faith daily. But after Jesus died, when the disciples told him Jesus was resurrected, Thomas needed more evidence.
The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” – John 20:25
Jesus didn’t tell Thomas that he should have already believed, and that if he didn’t he was just out of luck. Instead, He appeared to the disciples again.
Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” – John 20:27
Then Thomas believed that it was really Jesus, and He was alive. Jesus told Thomas that he believed because he had seen Him. Jesus went on to say that the people who hadn’t seen but still believed would be blessed.
God doesn’t expect us to just take somebody’s word as the basis for our faith. But when we have enough evidence to make a logical conclusion, we need to trust that. So if you’re wondering about what Christians believe, or maybe you grew up hearing about faith but you’re wondering if it’s true, it’s okay.
It’s okay to question. Just don’t let it stop there. Dig for the evidence, and when you find it, make the conclusions it leads you to.
Next time on the blog, we’ll talk about some of the ways we can be sure that God is who He says and that the Bible is true.
Until next time, have any thoughts or questions? Share away!