Doubt is something all Christians face at some point in their journey. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our Christian community, and we doubt God. Even the disciples struggled with doubt. “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted” (Mt. 28:16-17). Brian Jones, author of Second Guessing God: hanging on when you can’t see his plan(Standard Publishing, 2006) talks about hope in the midst of our doubt and uncertainty. Our goal is often to be happy in our lives, but God’s goal is the transformation of our lives.
Where Is God?
Jones shares that we can’t blame God for the consequences of our bad decisions. From a human perspective, we feel cheated and a deep inner disappointment with the way life has turned out when we are facing trials. In my doubt, God seems content to stand by and let me live what I consider a mediocre existence.
For the past three years, I have been working two jobs to make ends meet. It is difficult. I blamed God initially, though it was my choice to accept the jobs I have. People tell me, “It’s just the economy right now.” That rationalization doesn’t help me. At some point, I begin to wonder why I am not capable of getting the full-time job that I want? Jones exemplifies the fact that even when we do not see God working in our lives, he is. I can pay bills month to month, but sometimes I feel that my college diploma isn’t worth much more than the paper it’s printed on. Although I am lucky to have work in this economy, working up to 70 hours in a week doesn’t seem to be the ‘abundant life’ Jesus wants for me. Where is God? Does He even care at all?
Jones’ book is ultimately about hope. Even as we doubt ourselves, our circumstances, maybe even God himself, Jesus wants to transform our doubt into hope. I believe one job will make me happy and hopefully allow me time to cultivate relationships. But God is up to something bigger and better. God wants to transform me. As we seek momentary, fleeting happiness, God wants so much more for us—he wants to transform our hearts. The question is: will we let him?
Teresa Buschur is a Writer for InterVarsity’s Communications team.