It’s not unusual to go through crises of faith or to question doctrine, even foundational principles. God often works through such battles of the mind and spirit and uses them to strengthen us. He can use this process to help us get back to the foundation of our faith or to reaffirm our beliefs, to help us reach a clearer understanding of not only what we believe, but why we believe as we do.
Many Christians have experienced crises of faith. Three noteworthy examples that come to mind are Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, and Adoniram Judson.1 Their crises of faith and the battles they fought to reach a place of faith and understanding are well documented. Their questioning resulted in stronger faith and deeper understanding of God and the intimate relationship He seeks with each of us. Their battles and victories have inspired many. I would venture to say that their struggles also gave them a deeper understanding of the battles others face in affirming their faith.
Rather than looking at doubts only as potential threats to our faith, to be resisted and pushed out of mind and heart, we need to bear in mind that questioning, doubt, and even skepticism can be stepping stones to a stronger, more mature faith. In some cases, God may lead us to work through an issue until we reach a place of peace and understanding, but at the same time we need to accept that we will possibly never find the answers to some questions in this life. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God.”2 That can be the biggest test of all, when all we can do is trust God and hold on to the promise that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.3
1. 19th-century American missionary who served in Burma for almost forty years and translated the Bible into Burmese.
2. Deuteronomy 29:29
3. Hebrews 11:6