Friday, December 5, 2008

Faith and Doubt

This is the book I recently started reading.
Written by John Ortberg it addresses the issues of, you guessed it, faith and doubt. On the back of the book it says:
"What if the most important word is the one in the middle" "We often think of doubt as the opposite of faith, but could it actually strengthen our relationship with God? In this refreshingly candid look at a life of faith, he traces the line between belief and unbelief: less a dividing line
between hostile camps than a razor’s edge that runs through every soul. His findings point us toward the relief of being totally honest. Questions can expand our understanding, uncertainty can lead to trust, and honest faith can produce outrageous hope. Written from Ortberg’s own struggle with faith and doubt, this book will challenge, comfort, and inspire you with the truth that God wants all of us—including our doubts."
I'm only a few chapters in and I have learned so much already, I would include this book (thus far) on my "must read" list.
One of the quotes that really stuck out to me in the first chapter was from Nicholas Wolterstorff it says "I cannot fit it all together by saying "He [God] did it," but neither can I do so by saying, "There was nothing He could do about it." I cannot fit it together at all... I have read the theodicies produced to justify the ways of God to man. I find them unconvincing. To the most agonized question I have ever asked I do not know the answer. I do not know why God would watch him fall. I do not know why God would watch me wounded. I cannot even guess. My wound is an unanswered question. The wounds of all humanity are an unanswered question."

I cling to my faith and the goodness of God in ways I never have before, I've never needed to to this extent but there remains a part of me that does not, and cannot understand the "why". I keep thinking, if only I could somehow "get it" if I could somehow make sense of it all.....

On one hand I am filled with a level of faith and confidence I have never known before, but on the other hand I am also filled with questions, and confusion, unanswered questions to deep wounds. Though I may not get the answers I am looking for, I will never let go of my faith. I know that my God is good and that He is faithful and that He loves us. I know that regardless of the situation, my God is by my side and He sees a picture I cannot - He is leading me home and while I do not understand and cannot see what is in front of me, I know the one who does, and I hold onto Him.

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

1 Peter 1:6-9 "In this you rejoice, though right now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."


Connie said...

I love your words and your heart. I know how difficult it is to watch your love ones suffer deeply. I would love to take a look at that book when your finished or even just bring it to study and I could look at it then and maybe get one for Christmas. The book that has really spoke some truth to me on suffering is "When God weeps" I have it and would be happy to lend it to you if you would like. (I would love to hear your thoughts on it, also)
Love you,

Tami Jo said...

Hebrews 11:1 is my favorite verse.

I was at my in-laws thanksgiving dinner tonight my brother in-law (who is completly against God) was saying how he was sorry that he didn't come to the service for Trent but that he doesn't like funerals and especially if it is for a child because he just doesn't know why God would allow that to happen. I felt bad later one when I realized that I just walked away in a way I felt like I was denying my faith but I trust that God understood me at that moment. I honestly did not know how to respond to him.

I personally believe that Trent was healed, just not in the way that we had hoped for. Because I still have questions on what I am to learn from this and what test I am being faced with is why I didn't respond to his comment. I didn't have the strength to get into a heated argument (that's the only way he knows how to have a discussion) with him when I didn't have all the questions answered in my head yet.

Wow, I just said a lot without saying a whole lot...sorry to anyone who is reading this but thank you to Amber for understanding because I know that you are still reading this. LOVE YOU!

Shelby said...

Great post. I have not read that book, but I would like to. Thanks for sharing your heart on this.