Have you ever felt guilty about doubting the Lord? Maybe you’ve gone through a traumatic experience and are struggling to see his goodness. Maybe your prayers have seemed to continually go unanswered, so you do not feel his nearness. Life can be incredibly difficult at times. In fact, according to I Peter 4:12, Christ followers should not be surprised by the trials we go through. We live in a fallen world. A world that is against Christ and, as his followers, against us. We are not meant to live a life completely clear of struggles.
However, that does not mean we should never feel the weight of the trials we go through. The world is not as it should be. The suffering and pain we feel are results of this reality. During our most difficult seasons, shame may start creeping in over not fully trusting the Lord and his plan for our lives. We know in our heads that God is a good and gracious God. Scripture tells us that. But, our heads can get clouded when our hearts are heavy from difficult circumstances. When we cannot see God’s goodness every second of our day, guilt and shame can start taking over.
In scripture, we see many giants of the faith struggling in their relationship with the Lord. Take, for example, David. He cries out in Psalm 13:1-2,
“How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?”
David often wrestled with the Lord in his faith. He knew what it was like to feel cast off by God. He knew all about loneliness and doubt when life’s worries felt too much to handle.
However, we see in Psalm 13 that David did not just sit in his self-pity and sadness. He took his doubts and fears straight to the Lord. He was not shy about exposing his raw emotions before God. When life felt like too much, he cried out to the One powerful enough to answer.
In the same way, we should be taking any doubt directly to God in prayer. He is not a frail God. He can handle our doubts and fears. He is not in heaven shying away from our problems. He is not hoping we will keep our fears and doubts away from him. According to his infinite wisdom, he intricately created each one of us with feelings and emotions. As a result of our fallen nature, those feelings and emotions are often skewed too much one way or another, causing us to feel extremely overwhelmed. This is exactly why we should follow David’s lead and cry out to God. When our feelings and emotions are causing us to wrestle in our faith, only the Creator of those feelings and emotions can help.
However, that should not be our only posture towards the Lord. As we saw in Psalms 13, David was no stranger to expressing his doubts and fears to the Lord. He felt overwhelmed, so he directed his cries toward God. But, he didn’t stop there. David was also generous with his praises to God. Look at the end of Psalms 13. In verses 5-6, David proclaims, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” Amidst doubts and fears, David knew God was also worthy of worship.
We often cannot understand exactly why the Lord carries us through certain troubles in this life. It is extremely difficult to go through a trial and feel far from the Lord. There are many days we cry out like David, “How long, Lord! Will you forget me forever?” But, also like David, we can know the he is still a good and gracious God. Our hearts can still rejoice in the Lord, even in the midst of our confusion.
Oftentimes we may try to flee from sadness, doubt, and fear. We try to suppress anything that makes us feel ungracious towards the Lord. As Christ followers, we know our lives should be marked by joy. However, it can be extremely hard to feel joy in the Lord while going through a difficult season of life. We want to always trust in God’s goodness, but that trust sometimes wanes when life feels heavy.
God, in his infinite power, can handle anything we set before him. We shouldn’t feel guilty when life overwhelms us and we struggle in our faith. Like David in his psalms, let us not shy away from bearing our raw hearts before the Lord. But, let us not forget that he is also infinitely worthy of our worship. Through our many doubts and fears, may we sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to us.
Katie Van Dyke
Women’s Ministry Coordinator | Receptionist