Being a follower of Jesus does not mean you will not question things or have doubts at times. I have talked with people who do not think they are ready to follow Jesus because they do not yet have all the answers to their questions. “There are things I am still not sure about,” they tell me. It really throws them off when I tell them I am a follower of Jesus and a pastor and I still have questions I do not have all the answers to. Having questions and struggling with doubt does not mean you do not believe in God or that you cannot have a relationship with Him. Having questions and doubts means one thing, you are human. Do you think that Jesus does not know you are going to have struggles believing? I mean come on some of Jesus’ biggest critics and skeptics during His ministry on earth were His own family.
Mark tells us of Jesus’ interaction with a father who begged Jesus to heal his son who was possessed by an impure spirit. The father says to Jesus “if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” It seems as though Jesus is sort of offended by this father’s statement, “if you can,” as if Jesus’ ability was questionable. Jesus responds by saying, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The father replies without hesitation, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Jesus goes on to heal this man’s son, but makes no reference to the fact the father believes yet still struggles with unbelief.
So what did the father mean by his statement, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief?” Have you ever been in a situation or crisis in your life that caused you extreme amounts of stress? Like this father who’s child has no control over his own body. This father watches as his son violently harms himself and has become a danger to others. This is not the precious young son he once knew. In this moment of humble pleading with Jesus this father’s request comes from a deep place of desperation. It is in moments like this that our faith is really challenged because deep down we know God is our best and only option, yet at the same time there is something in us that cannot help but feel like things are beyond hope. You believe yet you question or doubt, and it is in these moments you need God’s help to overcome your unbelief.
Part of believing is growing in your faith through times when unanswered questions and doubts are present. The thing about faith is when you have questions and doubts you have to trust God to reveal Himself in spit of them, but if we allow our questions and doubts to keep us away from Him we limit ourselves from seeing the presence of God in the midst of those times of believing unbelief. Allow your questions and doubts to draw you closer to Jesus not push you away.