Okay, so you don't doubt God's existence and you don't doubt that you are in Christ – in fact, maybe you don't doubt at all, but do you have faith? A faith that whispers through the heart, "even though I don't see it, even though I don't feel it, You never stop working and You will provide. This time is no different than the last, and You always work all things together for good." When I doubt that God will provide, it is a red flag that my faith is not exactly secure. This is something I have struggled with lately in my season of life. The last three years, I have really struggled with doubting God's goodness, mercy, and His presence with me. This was the reason I wanted to talk about the issue of doubting that God will show up.
What is Faith?
Faith and doubt are opposites. As opposed to doubting God's existence, faith says, "I believe God exists, and He is not just "a god," but He is the one true God. He's the one spoken of in the Bible. He created me, He is all knowing, and His goodness is beyond my wildest imagination." Instead of doubting, faith says, "I am not perfect, but You are. I am not righteous or impartial, but You are. Because You are a perfectly honorable, righteous, and truthful God, I need to trust in Christ's sacrifice for my sin. Romans 5:3-4 says, "… But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." These verses are so inspiring; talk about motivational! Directly before these two verses, we read in Romans 5:2, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand." It all starts with faith. Because of the great, amazing work of Christ, we have been justified through faith and we can know that He will use our suffering to produce in us perseverance, character, and hope.
My husband is a "time" guy. He hates to be late, and he hates it even more if he makes me late . . . what a sweetie! But this also means that sometimes when I am taking too long getting ready, he will stand by the door silently yet gently signaling to me that what I am doing might make us late. In our short time of being married, I have started to rely on him as my alarm clock, meaning, I no longer check Google maps to determine how long it will take us to get to our destination, I don't check the clock – I just wait for him to move to the door. Well, one day, we had an errand to run before I had a work event. The Chicago traffic started to build more than anticipated and I started to panic expressing to him, "how could you not account for this? I thought you checked the GPS to see how long it would take us." Because it looked like I was going to be late, it didn't matter that my husband has a perfect record of getting us places on time. I doubted his perfect record in that moment.
This made me think that I have seen God show up in my life over and over again, but as soon as the hardships of life sink in and make it appear as if God isn't "moving," I start doubting that He will show up. This stems into doubting everything. Do you experience this too? Like starting to doubt He will hold us when our family is falling apart? Or doubting His goodness when there is a harsh medical diagnosis? We doubt His timing when we pray for a spouse and all we get are broken dating relationships. We doubt His love when a tragic event happens close to home. We have all been there. I look back to a few years ago when I doubted that He had a good plan for me when I didn't get the job I wanted and when it felt like everyone else was married except me. I look back thinking I wasted time being angry with our loving God as I came to realize that all the while He was moving, but my belief was dependent upon my ability to perceive. He sometimes works in ways outside of our awareness.
I was reading Romans 5 and realized that hope through trials starts with saving faith. Maybe you haven't seen God show up in the way you would have liked, but you have seen Him redeem you, and you do know you've been justified through faith. These alone are reasons to trust in Him.
Faith doesn't believe that our lives and circumstances will always be good and that all of our dreams will come true. Faith believes that when our life is a mess, God hasn't gone anywhere. And more importantly, His character hasn't changed. Faith believes God's way is always better than our way. I always find that when I start there, I then can rejoice in my suffering, which builds both my perseverance and character, which both produce what God knows we really need: hope. Just like my husband, God is a time guy: His timing won't always be what's clear on my Apple watch, but I do have faith, and He will always show up.
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.