It is easier to assume that nothing that lies beyond the reach of our five senses is entirely real than to acknowledge that what we know about reality through the five senses is roughly the equivalent of what an ant crawling across the front page of the New York Times knows about the state of the world.
It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.
When you believe, you are in one mind and accept something as true. Unbelief is to be of one mind and reject that something is true. To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and so to be in “two minds.” That is what James calls, in Chapter 1, a ‘”double minded man,” or as the Chinese say, “Doubt is standing in two boats, with one foot in each.”
Day by day, morning by morning, begin your walk with Him in the calm trust that God is at work in everything….It is your personal business, as a discipline of your heart, to learn to be peaceful and safe in God in every situation….Remember, friend, where your real living is going on. In your thinking, in your reacting, in your heart of hearts – here is where your walk with God begins and continues. So when you start to move into trusting Him, stay there. Don’t wander out again into worry and doubt!
There are times when I feel that he has withdrawn from me, and I have often given him cause, but Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!
Every single day we make choices that show whether we are courageous or cowardly. We choose between the right thing and the convenient thing, sticking to a conviction or caving in for the sake of comfort, greed or approval. We choose either to take a carefully thought-out risk or to crawl into a shrinking shell of safety, security and inactivity. We choose either to believe in God and trust him, even when we do not always understand his ways, or to second-guess him and cower in the corners of doubt and fear.
While sitting on the bank of a river one day, I picked up a solid round stone from the water and broke it open. It was perfectly dry in spite of the fact that it had been immersed in water for centuries. The same is true of many people in the Western world. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity; they live immersed in the waters of its benefits. And yet it has not penetrated their hearts; they do not love it. The fault is not in Christianity, but in men’s hearts, which have been hardened by materialism and intellectualism.
The many contradictions in our lives – such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts – can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us. They make us feel that we are never fully present. Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed. But there is another response. These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God.
A man may be haunted with doubts, and only grow thereby in faith. Doubts are the messengers of the Living One to the honest. They are the first knock at our door of things that are not yet, but have to be, understood…Doubt must precede every deeper assurance; for uncertainties are what we first see when we look into a region hitherto unknown, unexplored, unannexed.
Morbid introspection…. is nonsense. Either God exists — or He does not. If He does, either an individual has a relationship with Him — or that relationship has been severed. Indigestion or arthritis can’t change the bottom fact that ‘God is’ or the unfailingness of a single one of His promises.