As a person of faith (especially faith in Jesus), I can’t ignore the hardest questions put forward by skeptics and seekers: Is there proof that God exists? Why even listen to the Bible when some of its teachings seem outright barbaric? And so on and so on.
I don’t think hard questions should be ignored, and I don’t think anyone should ever blame a question for being unsettling (that is, not shallow enough). But one thing I’ve wrestled with is this:
How can I be faithful to Jesus and love God when there are times I’m not sure He exists?
I don’t want to just pretend like everything’s fine, and I don’t want to lie by preaching a message that sometimes I’m not even sure I embrace. (For one thing, if God exists and you’re lying to people about what you believe, and God hates lying, that puts you in a tough spot!)
But earlier today, this thought hit me: In his final moments on earth, Jesus enlisted doubters to do his work.
Check Matthew 28. Jesus appears to his followers after his resurrection … and some of them still doubt him. I don’t know what else they needed to be trust Jesus fully, but clearly the Resurrection wasn’t enough.
But Jesus doesn’t wait for them to get their act together.
He didn’t measure everyone’s faith and kick out the ones who didn’t make the cut.
This group was nowhere close to having it all together … and Jesus still welcomed them. Still loved them. And still put them to work.
Their Lord, whom they doubted, commanded them to make disciples (students) out of all the nations, to baptize them in the name of the triune God who, in Jesus, had overcome sin and death for all of humanity.
Today, the church can look back over the last 2,000 years and be amazed that doubters and skeptics changed the world.
I don’t have the answers to the toughest questions of our faith. But the good news for people like me is, Jesus isn’t waiting for me to have everything answered before he beckons me to join him.
That’s not what he expects of me. Or you.