As I studied and prepared for the discussion that would take place on Sunday morning, my head was starting to burst as I sorted through questions and topics related to the Room for Doubt series.
One question asked the difference between belief, doubt and unbelief.
From the dictionary, I learned that belief and unbelief are opposites and have to do with making up the mind to either accept or reject something as true.
Doubt is more about questioning or lacking confidence in something that is being presented as a truth.
As a BELIEVER….I have already made up my mind about certain truths. Since I am a Christ-follower, that means I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to earth in human skin…being both fully God and fully man. He walked the earth for 30 plus years, doing active ministry for the last three.
I believe, or accept as truth, that He was crucified on the cross; and that on that cross He bore all the sin of all the world and thus my personal sin; paying the penalty of death that had been handed down to all humanity at the Fall.
I believe He died and was buried. I believe He rose again. I believe He appeared to the disciples and to many others and that He ascended into Heaven.
I believe that He is coming back.
I believe that all who receive Him as their Savior and Lord of their lives are saved, not only for eternity but also here on earth. I believe that when we receive Christ, we are born again – our spirits are made alive again and He places His Spirit in us and then seals us as a promise of the fulfillment of His Redemption.
I believe, accept as truth, the Word of God through the Scriptures as the inspired and infallible Word breathed by the Holy Spirit through the pens of human writers.
I believe that obedience to His Word is done out of love for Him. That there is nothing I can do to earn salvation, keep salvation, lose salvation. I am saved through Grace and that it is a gift from God. Offered to all who will receive it.
I believe I have left out large portions of what I believe…and that if you asked me what some of it meant…unless you believe too, it may not make any sense….because…
I have questions sometimes.
I can’t explain it all to even fellow believers. I wave my hands and use “You know…” way too much when I try to express what I know in the deepest parts of me to be TRUTH.
I am pathetic at apologetics or defending the faith in hostile settings.
I am a work in progress, sometimes contradicting the very things that I stand so firmly on.
Sometimes, I lack confidence, and thus by definition, doubt the things I believe to be true.
This is evidenced by some of my less fine moments of utter despair and melt down and hopelessness; when I know in my gut that God always, always, always comes through and that Jesus Christ has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
I know that the process of sanctification includes facing my doubts and fears and lack of knowledge and refining with the help of the Holy Spirit as guide, counselor, corrector, teacher, and comforter.
But when I stumble, I go to Him and when I have questions, I don’t go looking for answers in the world or in the newspaper or in some other religion. And when I don’t get answers…or don’t like the answers…He is still God. Jesus is still my Lord and Savior and so I go on with Him.
Because I am…a Believer.
I have made up my mind.
No turning back.
No turning away.
I take my questions to the One in whom I believe and I pray for wisdom and guidance. I pray to have a listening heart and an understanding ear. And I search the Scriptures. I take up His cause in my life. I do His will in His strength.
Because I believe His Word…
and what we believe is what we act on.