Faith vs. Doubt

From “Prayer” by Philip Yancey:

These things feed my faith: epiphanies of beauty in nature, sunbursts of grace and forgiveness, the portrait of God I get in Jesus, stirring encounters with people who truly live out their faith. And these feed my doubts: God’s baffling tolerance of history’s atrocities, my unanswered prayers, sustained periods of God’s seeming absence.

Yancey, Philip (2008). Prayer (Kindle Locations 1055-1057). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

What are the things in life that spur on your faith and what are the things that feed your doubts?  For me, I have much in common with the author above.  Beauty in nature from the rising of the sun to the incredible formation of clouds to the amazing grandeur of the Rocky Mountains.  When I stare at God’s creation my heart is warmed by the Creator’s glow. Even the cycle of life which embodies the challenges for survival within nature is fascinating as it forever moves on.  Complicated. Intricate. Yes, even sometimes messy.  But always glorifying the Creator.

Humanity is what complicates the system. Within us, we have the image of the Creator that allows us to sense the justice and mercy of our God. We also have a human nature bent on usurping God’s rightful place in our lives.  In the end this means there is much evil in the world. It also means that we sense injustice where there is none. How can we know the mind of God that creates a world in which rain brings for life but weather patterns that bring rain often bring floods?  How can we understand why seemingly random events like tornadoes or hurricanes strike a populated area one time and dissipate across a barren landscape another?  In fact, for me, often the most challenging thing to my faith is just how random it is. I really don’t struggle with why a good God would allow catastrophes to occur and affect good people.  I struggle with just how random these events seem to be.  And yet, God fully admits this in his own word.

So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.   Matthew 5:45 (NASB)

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One thought on “Faith vs. Doubt

  1. I don’t exactly see it as random. This is by no means a full explanation, but I’ve been thinking, especially going from here where we’ve been in drought for a year to Nigeria where it rained every day, that both are forms of God’s mercies. The rain spoke to me of the abundance and generosity of God, how He gives more than we can ask or imagine… and yet I think the drought may be an even greater blessing in disguise, because it urges us to seek Him and to be so grateful for what He gives. The Bible seems to indicate that both suffering and being spared are gifts from God that give us cause to rejoice.

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