Stories are powerful. Lately, many people in my life have shared with me about their personal struggles with doubt. I have heard questions about faith, the existence of God, the truth about the Bible, if God wants to know us personally, and whether or not God actually forgiving our sins. The list of possible doubts is long. I wanted to write, "Being in ministry as long as I have… ". But this isn't what taught me that each person's faith journey is different. Christian friends have taught me that God's plan for each of us is unique. Everyone's story is different because God wants to reveal Himself to us in a way that we can understand. Here is a glimpse into my own faith journey. I hope that it encourages you!
When I was a freshman in high school, I had a lot of doubts about Christianity and faith. I remember questioning everything I was ever taught in Sunday School during a family vacation in Colorado. The feeling of guilt was so strong because I had asked Christ to be Lord of my heart at age seven–I shouldn't have questions about God.
Looking back, I can clearly see the Holy Spirit working in my life after I asked Jesus to be my Savior. The first evidence of God at work was an overwhelming love for Him. I remember wanting to tell my dance teacher about Jesus. I wanted to tell everyone about Jesus. Sanctification or propitiation wasn't in my vocabulary, but I had this desire to know and to love Him more. Little did I realize that knowing Him more came with internal wrestling of deep questions.
I stared at the Colorado mountains truly wondering, is there a God? Did He create all of this? The whole time I was praying. My little heart was wanting to truly know. I will forever remember reading Psalm 104 and having a true moment with God. It wasn't like it all clicked for me, but I think it was the realization that He created and knows everything because he is God and I am not. This fresh perspective about God quieted my anxious heart.
I wanted to know the answers. God doesn't want to be a mystery to us. He truly desires to be known and to know us. The entire Old Testament and the New Testament is about a Holy God coming to humanity to know us more and to reveal more about himself to us. I believe in an All Knowing, All Present, All Powerful God and I am so thankful that he is patient with my searching, anxious, questioning, human heart.
Asking those questions, those hard questions about faith, are so important! I learned five things from asking hard questions:
Go to the Bible. There is so much truth there. I really believe that. (2 Timothy 3:16, John 17:17, John 16:13, John 1:14, Psalm 19:7)
Be honest with your sin. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Sin can blind us from seeing the truth. This means that if you are having doubts about who God is, you may have some unconfessed sin that is blinding you from seeing a loving, grace-filled God. (2 Corinthians 4:4-6, Romans 8:7)
Remember that God is beyond what our minds can comprehend. We can't come up with "god". People have tried and just came up with a list of rules. (Psalm 33:6, Romans 4:17, Hebrews 1:3, Jeremiah 32:17, Philippians 1:6, Psalm 147:5, Psalm 135:6)
Ask those hard questions now. He is patient to walk through those times with you. Your faith will grow as you wrestle to know God more. I am so thankful He allowed me to question so much early on in my faith journey. I am stronger for it. Trust Him. He will reveal Himself to you. (John 9:39, Luke 4:18, John 8:12, Psalm 119:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Maybe you don't know Jesus. Maybe you have doubts because you honestly don't know if you get this whole Christianity thing. To be a Christian and find amazing peace with your soul, you need to understand one thing: you can do nothing apart from Jesus Christ. If you think you can be "good enough" or need to clean up your act before you surrender your life to God, that is not the grace that the Bible talks about. This is what is so remarkable about the Gospel! Any man-made religion has humanity at the center. Christianity is a relationship with God where humanity can do nothing and a Holy God humbles himself to save us. To be a Christian, you need to acknowledge that you miss the mark and that you need God to save you. (John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 3:10-18, Romans 5:8, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:38-39)
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.