“Faith which does not doubt is dead faith.”
Miguel de Unamuno
This was actually a modified reply to one of my readers who asked that beautiful, honest question: “… in your many years of pain, suffering and unfairness, did you at anytime became doubtful and angry with God??”
Doubt never really leaves a person. A person that says he is “full of faith” probably isn’t because true faith is something only God recognizes, not us. Much of the time, what the person really means when he says he is “full of faith” is that he is feeling optimistic or on an emotional high due to things starting to work out. Real faith is surrounded with risk, uncertainty that potentially carries heavy penalties and darkness. Remember Peter who said, “even if all of these leave you, I will never leave you?” God didn’t recognize that, and sure enough, he failed when the darkness came. Most of us have doubts, but it takes seasons of bad circumstances to reveal them. Same for me. I’ve learnt that true faith is not easily seen by the eye. The speaker or worship leader on stage can say all the right things, but the silent guy in the pew next to you that isn’t as charismatic or even looks depressed, because he is dealing with extra-ordinary circumstances, can turn out to have more of the faith that God recognizes.
There were times I was angry with God and shouted out my complains outdoors, beat my chest and cry out in an empty basketball court at midnight. But this anger is “strangely” due to faith. I would not be shouting in dissonance if I didn’t know how good God was. True faith is also framed by doubt as well. We feel doubt because our human minds and experience calculates a bad circumstance around us and in our future. True faith is then revealed when we walk in God’s way despite feeling that way. It is revealed when we see the redemptive power of Christ in the midst, superimposed on the real darkness before us. We have faith not because the darkness is being lifted. We have faith because we see Jesus in the midst of it. Where does hope come in? Hope is a forerunner of God’s redemptive power. Eventually, after some time of seeing Jesus in the darkness, a paradigm shifts starts taking place. Heaven starts invading our broken world. Before this happens, hope comes to life, that’s why it doesn’t disappoint. More on this next time.
There were times I got angry with God and shouted at Him in frustration.
But that’s because the God I knew wouldn’t mind. His grace covers all.
The most beautiful thing about Jesus, and all credit goes to Him, is that He helped me when I was pissed off at Him. His grace knows no bounds. I learnt we never have to hide our true heart and frustrations with Him. We may be tempted to hide it from imperfect people in church, but never Jesus.
END OF PART 1. Part 2 here!
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