I’m not sure of your personal circumstances or questions that have you diving into this study, but I do know that our kind and loving Lord intends for us to live our Christian life not in a perpetual sense of worry and fear but rather with joy and love and godly determination to run the race well—and ultimately with a delight-filled confidence that what waits for us at the end is His strong embrace.
As Christians, our entire worldview is built on certainties, both historical and theological, and that’s what sets Christianity apart from most other religions of the world. They have questions; Christianity has answers. They have enigmas; Christianity has truths. They explore; Christianity declares.
With so many assurances in the Christian faith, why this dark, horrifying figure of doubt that glides through the experience of so many Christians, quieting the rejoicing and delight of assurance? Where does it come from? And why do so many of us find it so difficult to say with John, with Paul, and with the author of Hebrews, “I know. I am sure. I have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of my soul”?
These are some of the questions we will tackle this week. Before we start, though, I will be straightforward: you’re not going to walk away from our time with some silver bullet that will put an end to doubt altogether. Why? Because there’s no such bullet.
There is no faithful theological construct or pat answer that will expel the black-robed figure of doubt and uncertainty once and for all. We are finite creatures with limited minds and dependent souls. In some shape or form, doubt will always be part of our experience, and the search for assurance will always be a fight until the day we stand with Christ and our faith is turned to sight.
Even so, take heart. Doubt does not have to be an imploding power in your life. In fact, it may even drive you to cling more tightly to Christ as your only hope of salvation. Ultimately, my hope for you as we consider doubt and assurance together is not so much that doubt will vanish entirely, but as you understand the architecture of assurance to a Christian’s life, doubt will lose some of its destructive power in your life. Don’t despair if you doubt. Great faith has been born of such beginnings.
What area of your faith causes you the most doubt?