Archives For Doubts

despitedoubtw_650x220-recorded-onDoubts are a common struggle for many who have embraced the Christian faith as well as for those who are still considering faith. Doubts are those nagging questions that plague us when life’s struggles push us to wrestle with the hard questions about what’s true and good and really matters.

On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, RBC Ministries Webinars hosted Dr. Michael Wittmer in a live webinar event: “Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith?” Dr. Wittmer shared his insights in a lively conversation with our hosts Tim Jackson and Dennis Moles. Many who attended the live event learned practical information on how to struggle well with the doubts that plague us during times of struggle and heartache. Things like:

  • Understanding the difference between “objective” and “subjective” doubt
  • Understanding the difference between “sincere” and “insincere” doubt
  • How doubt can hinder our growth in the faith
  • How doubt can enhance our trust and dependence upon the God of the Bible

In keeping with our ministry commitment to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all, we are making the content of this webinar available without cost or obligation to you and anyone you’d like to share it with.

To listen to the audio recording from the webinar, click the link: Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith?

To download the PowerPoint from the webinar, click the link: Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith PPT.

To get a free sample download from Dr. Wittmer’s book, click the book title link: Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith.

For a free download of a RBC booklet by Dennis Moles, one of our hosts, click the title link: Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Truth About The Bible.

For further resources on understanding more about why we doubt and how we can handle it from RBC Ministries, click the link: Doubt.

Does God Really Care?

Alyson Kieda —  February 3, 2014 — 3 Comments

 

Nature’s Tranquility/flickr/Creative Commons/judecat (ready to ring in the New Year)

I believe in God the Father and in His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. I hold to the promises of the Bible, and nothing can sway me from those beliefs. But I admit that sometimes I’ve doubted God’s love and His motives.

I’ve wondered why some of my prayers seemed to fall on deaf ears, particularly a certain heart-wrenching prayer I’ve been praying continually and persistently, in varying degrees of intensity, for decades. If it’s true that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16), why won’t He answer this earnest prayer?!

Over the years, I’ve gone through a confusing jumble of thoughts regarding this: Maybe God doesn’t really answer prayer; perhaps I’m not praying hard enough; maybe something needs to change or I need to learn or do something before God will answer; maybe this is a trial God wants to use to purify and refine me. Is this my “thorn in the flesh”? Perhaps God’s answer is “no!” In the beginning, I even wondered if God really is a God of love who cares for His children.

I’ve learned a lot about God through the decades, and He has purified and continues to purify and refine me. And I’ve seen God answer many of my prayers—sometimes miraculously. I’ve grown to trust and rely on Him more for everything I need; and He has become the first love of my life. I know that He deeply loves and cares for me, yet I continue to struggle with the same prayer request . . .

But now my doubt is not as frequent or as despairing. I have the assurance that God will answer my prayer. I’ve learned that I will never fully understand His ways. (All of us this side of heaven see dimly—1 Corinthians 13:12.) And I’m learning to “be still, and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10).

I’m fretting and squirming less and trusting more as I rest in His loving arms—and wait.

So maybe you’re like me and have had your share of struggling with doubts. Maybe you’re there now. Join us for our webinar on February 5, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. with Dr. Michael Wittmer on the topic of Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith? I think you’ll find help in understanding and embracing our journey of faith through doubt to trust. Click the title of the webinar above to register for the free webinar.

 

We Are Vulnerable

Tim Jackson —  April 22, 2013 — Leave a comment

If last Monday’s events at the Boston Marathon reminded us of anything—it’s that we’re all susceptible to some form of attack or injury, be it physical, financial, emotional, relational, or spiritual. We all suffer wounds as we navigate through life.

To be vulnerable means we are susceptible. The Latin root for the word vulnerable is vulner[are] meaning, “to wound.”

When I get into my car to head home after posting this blog I will face vulnerability. I could be hurt, maimed, or killed in a senseless car accident on the way home. That’s my reality–my vulnerability. It may not be at the hands of a madman with a bomb or an airplane diverted into a building. Instead, my wound might be inflicted by a careless teenager texting while driving. Wounds inflicted through no fault of our own are devastating no matter how, when, where, what, or who the source is.

No one can predict the future with any kind of clarity. I want to see things coming at me so I can prepare and protect myself and those I love from them. But I haven’t been given that kind of clarifying vision.

We are vulnerable because we live in a hazardous and hostile world. And that’s a frightening thought.

But how will we choose to deal with our fear? Some of us may become hypervigilant, seeking to minimize or eliminate all danger. Others choose to deny that we’re vulnerable–creating the self-induced illusions of invincibility or false security. Or we learn to depend on Someone greater than ourselves who will help us face with courage and grace anything that threatens to harm us.

The writer of Psalm 56 was David. Israel’s beloved king knew firsthand what it was like to be vulnerable in the presence of his enemies. Later, when he remembered those terrorizing events, he penned these words: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3,4)

When I’m vulnerable, I need to remember that I’m not alone in my vulnerability. And neither are you. As God was with David, He is with us.

October Baby

Jeff Olson —  January 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

Over the weekend I watched the film October Baby. It tells the story of a college-aged girl named Hannah whose world is turned upside down after she discovers she is the adopted survivor of a failed abortion.

This story about a girl whose life almost wasn’t is a powerful film on forgiveness. Hannah had to wrestle through strong bitter feelings and forgive several people before she could move on with her life.

The film’s grace-filled, non-condemning treatment of Hannah’s biological mother, who had attempted to abort her, was also a surprising breath of fresh air. Women who suffer the heartache of having had an abortion may find watching this film to be a very healing experience.

Something Hannah’s adoptive dad shared with her near the end of the movie also stuck with me. Hannah’s discovery and search for her birth mother caused a lot of tension between the two of them, which he often didn’t handle well. As they stood next to each other at the graveside of the twin brother Hannah never knew she had, her dad confessed,

“It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s that I’m trying honestly to learn to trust God again.”

Leaving things we care about in God’s capable and loving hands is a most important lesson for us all to learn.

Do you ever have difficulty believing God will do what He says he will do? Does the unpredictability of God bother you at times? If so, then you are among those who struggle with their faith. Just remember that struggling doesn’t mean giving up on one’s faith, just that it’s and on-going battle that requires “walking by faith.”

Join us as Gene Getz explains some of the reasons why men might not enjoy being a part of a church community.

Christians can sometimes feel guilty about struggling with their faith. Join us as Gene Getz describes some biblical examples of those who struggled in their faith, and learn how God continues to love you, even in the midst of your questions.

Many Christians believe that if they wrestle with doubts that their faith is weak. Could it be that the opposite is true? Too many Christians aren’t challenged to test their faith by asking tough questions. The fear is that they will somehow abandon the faith if they question it. In reality, however, an untested faith is a faith without deep personal convictions.

Many have been taught the tenets of their faith from childhood. But faith that is untested is often frail. Doubts are the friend of faith because they become the fertile soil in which true convictions grow deep roots. True character grows in the presence of adversity. Genuine convictions grow in the context of wrestling well with doubt.

Trusting in someone who is unseen is a major hurtle for people of faith. While trust is an issue for everyone to some degree, trusting in someone you’ve never seen can feel insurmountable at times. Taking the risk of taking the invisible God at His word is the ultimate request of faith from the God of the Bible.