This is the bad news: Most of us will at some point in our lives experience doubt about our faith. We will wonder if God really is good; if He is who He claims to be. We will question what we’ve learned and the things we’ve accepted as true for so long.
Doubt is scary. It can make us feel like everything is shaky. Like our world is less safe. It can also make us feel guilty. When we doubt we wonder what is wrong with us; we ask ourselves why we can’t just believe and have perfect faith like everyone else around us seems to.
This is the good news: God is ok with our doubt. He doesn’t hate us for questioning. He doesn’t despise us for having fears and worries about our future or about our faith. He created us, and He knows how our minds work. God rejoices with us when we believe and have faith, but He also has patience with us when we doubt.
In Matthew chapter 14, Peter experienced life-shaking doubt. While he was riding in a boat with the other disciples, he saw Jesus walking toward them on the water. Peter was so excited about this that he asked Jesus to command him to come and walk on the water with him – and Jesus responded to him by saying, “Come!” So Peter immediately jumped out of the boat to join him in walking on the water. Seems like he had a lot of faith, right? But even with Jesus right there in front of him, doing the impossible before his very eyes, Peter started to doubt. Peter, the man who would eventually do so many miracles through faith, looked around him at the crashing waves and felt the blowing wind, and he doubted. And because he began to doubt, he began to sink.
So what was Jesus’ response to Peter’s doubt? He simply reached out and pulled Peter up out of the water to stand with him. He asked Peter why he doubted, but he didn’t yell at him, didn’t disown him. Most importantly, Jesus didn’t let Peter drown because of his doubt. He simply rescued him and kept walking toward his original goal.
This is what Jesus does for us in our moments of doubt, too. He doesn’t become angry with us, doesn’t reject us, doesn’t punish us for questioning what we believe. If we really seek to find answers for our questions, and if our hearts are genuinely trying to find truth, what we will encounter is not God’s angry fist shaking at us, but His open hand reaching toward us, just like He reached for Peter.
If you have doubts about your faith or about God – if you feel like you are sinking – don’t be afraid to explore the questions you have and really seek for truth. God is big enough to handle all your questions, and He is always reaching out to rescue you.