How my doubts bring me closer to God
My name is Rebbekka, but you can call me Thomas.
I love that the story of Thomas, aka “the doubting disciple,” is written into the Gospels. It shows just how differently each person responds to Jesus.
- Some, like Mary, take hold of faith right away.
- Some, like John, need to see the vacant tomb.
- And some, like Thomas, need to feel Jesus, to see and hear him.
I belong to the latter group. Analytical to the core, I grew up in a missionary family. I can remember hearing the Gospels but questioning them, and not having the courage to ask my questions.
As a teenager I bought into the lie that doubting is the same thing as not believing. As a result, I distanced myself from all things “Christian” and pursued answers outside of Christ. I wanted facts, evidences, and truths.
After years of searching, though, I was led right back to the starting point--to the very thing I tried to walk away from. The real truth, I found, is revealed in Jesus.
I wanted to believe in him without doubts--I really did. But the lie I’d believed lingered in my mind: How could I have faith and still have questions?
This predicament fueled me for the next few years. I did more research, but this time I studied Jesus. I read my Bible, picked up commentaries, and fleshed it out with apologists. Determined to find resolution, my doubts became the instrument that propelled me deeper into my relationship with Christ. In the process, I learned that doubts can actually make your faith stronger—not weaker—when you address them rather than suppress them.
God wants us to think, to respond, and to search for him. He leaves himself open to us through his word and the Holy Spirit, inviting us to ask our most challenging questions. The Bible is full of examples of this, and if you’re anything like me, that’s great news!
Here are four things I do to question and grow stronger in faith:
4 Ways My Doubts Bring Me Closer To God
- I pray. I invite God into my struggle. I ask him for answers, for support, and for encouragement when I’m questioning. He loves me, and it’s amazing how he shows up time and time again in new ways to reveal himself.
- I dig in. I research. I read Scriptures and commentaries. I find others who’ve had the same questions (and there are plenty of others, trust me) and talk to them. I ask them about their journey and what they’ve found. I love being able to share the truths I’ve discovered with others!
- I don’t give up. Just because something isn’t clear right away doesn’t mean it won’t be. It’s been said that God’s timing is always the best, and that’s absolutely true. When things finally click into place, it’s awesome, so I don’t give up.
- I chose Jesus. Like Thomas learned, along with many doubters that came after him, there comes a time when I have to take a leap of faith. I have to make up my mind. When my heart is troubled with a question and I feel overwhelmed, I ask myself a simple question: Who do you want to cast your lot with? The answer, for me, is the one who died so that I could have life. If nothing else, I hold tight to that.
Following these guidelines with my questioning, I’ve grown immeasurably stronger in my faith. When questions arise, I know that my pursuit of answers will be one that leads me closer to God, and ultimately to surrender. The funny thing about asking so many questions is that each time I find an answer I’m left in awe of just how big God is. I can search him forever and never get bored, and he lets me!
God opens himself up to us; the true question is whether we’ll take his invitation and allow our questions to draw us closer to him.