Doubt (verb): to feel uncertain about; to be afraid of. How often do you and I doubt? Sometimes our doubt is visible and we are open about it. Sometimes it’s in moments where there is a little voice in the back of our heads that is barely whispering but plants the tiniest seed of doubt. We all doubt. And it will forever serve as one of the biggest cripples for Christians. I find that the moments when we as Christians experience most of our doubt is when we feel like we’re being punished. We can’t hold up under the pressure, so we doubt God’s love or maybe even his existence. Trial and tribulation causes us to question God’s motives.
Many people will tell you ways to deal with the tribulation in order that you don’t doubt. There are a lot of empty promises out there that we easily get confused with what God actually tells us about the things we’re going through. Cliché statements like “God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers” are statements that you won’t find in the bible. We make up our own comforting words to convince ourselves that we’re going through this struggle but that it won’t be hard. But what does the bible actually say?
Hebrews 12:7-8 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined- and every one undergoes discipline- then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” This verse tells us A LOT about how God thinks of us. How often does Satan whisper to us “God doesn’t love you” when the storms of life rage on? More so, how often do we believe it! We agree with Satan 9 times out of 10, but Satan is a liar. The bible, God’s written word, tells us that we are undergoing our hardships because we are true children of God. Does it say that it will be easy? Not at all. Jesus never once said this life would be easy. In fact, he was pretty upfront about the trials we will endure. Too often we let the severity of our storm persuade us into doubt.
I assume that many of you who read this paper are parents yourself. God makes sure that you personally will be able to relate to what he’s saying by adding the tidbit in about parenting. It is a fact of life that you have to discipline your kids in order for them to mature and to grow. Do you like it? Of course not. It’s hard for you and it’s hard for the kids. As a child, a spanking or a time out is devastating. To them, it’s just as bad as anything you are going through in your “grown up life”. But you still have to put them through it. God wants you to relate to this verse with your own life.
It may be tough on both parties, but God is our Father. He disciplines us, his true children, in order that we may come out stronger and wiser than before. We’re not being punished, we’re being refined. This is such a hard thing to keep in mind when we are at that point of struggle, but it is essential. Even when life is raging on, we must continue to seek God, continue to love God, and continue to believe God. Satan is a liar. Any non-believer could tell you this. Don’t let a liar talk you out of the most intense love and experiences you could possibly imagine. Take hold of the life God gave you, along with its ups and downs, and live.