Below are some additional interactions on the article: Doubting God. Read it first.
Take a look at this family tree for Abraham. Look at how through just his one son, Isaac, Abraham experienced God’s promise come true. The entire nation of Israel—the 12 tribes—all came through that one child that Sarah doubted she could ever have!
Sometimes those periods of doubt are called a crisis of faith. Take a look at the etymology (history) of the word crisis. It might give you some insight into what you are experiencing right now.
early 15c., from Latinized form of Greek krisis “turning point in a disease” (used as such by Hippocrates and Galen), literally “judgment, result of a trial, selection,” from krinein “to separate, decide, judge,” from PIE root *krei- “to sieve, discriminate, distinguish” (cf. Greek krinesthai “to explain;” Old English hriddel “sieve;” Latin cribrum “sieve,” crimen “judgment, crime,” cernere (past participle cretus) “to sift, separate;” Old Irish criathar, Old Welsh cruitr “sieve;” Middle Irish crich “border, boundary”). Transferred non-medical sense in 1620s in English. A German term for “mid-life crisis” is Torschlusspanik, literally “shut-door-panic,” fear of being on the wrong side of a closing gate.
The following Scripture is about a man who brings his possessed son to Jesus. The man finds himself in a swirl of controversy concerning why the disciples of Christ are not able to help this man’s son. What makes this story incredible is that the man expresses both faith and doubt to Jesus. Take a look back over the last week of your life, or another time where you experienced great doubt, and pick out the different times you expressed and felt great faith and doubt. After you do that, challenge yourself each day this coming week to pick a different moment of faith or doubt and spend 20 minutes talking with God about it and listening to what he might have to say in response.
Here is a quiz testing your knowledge of the disciple Thomas. Most of it concerns the story you read earlier about his interaction with Jesus after the resurrection. If you haven’t heard the rest of it, be sure to read the incredible stories throughout John 11–21!
Proverbs 3:5–8—The Scriptures plead with us to trust God and lean completely on him.
Jude 1:19–22—Here we see how we should react to our doubt as well as to others who are struggling with doubt.
Matthew 8:26—Even the disciples who walked with Jesus doubted his abilities.
Matthew 14:25–33—A story of both trust and doubt all in the same event.
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
- Make a list of some times that you have doubted God. This list might include times that you doubted the existence of God or perhaps it was a time when you doubted that he was present in your life or that he would not keep one of his promises in Scripture. As you look back on that list, make some notes on ways that God might respond to your doubt. Are there ways in which he might keep his promise in an unexpected way? Or what would it take for you to be able to trust him to keep his promise or to prove he exists?
- Doubt is common with many people, even those we would consider heroes of the faith. Take some time to spend in nature. Slow down and really use your senses to experience life around you. What sounds do you hear? What colors do you see? Can you feel the warmth of the sun or the gentle brush of the breeze or dampness of the dew? Does nature lead you to a stronger belief in God? Ask God to reveal himself through your senses as you experience creation.
This short video is from the series Henri, which follows an indignant house cat as he observes his horrible life and the incompetence of those around him. Enjoy!