Doubting God


A lifelong friend recently asked me, “What did Jesus mean when he said ‘Father, Why have you forsaken me.’ If Jesus could doubt God, surely sometimes we can too and still love him.
I tell my wife of 45 years sometimes I have doubts about her. She doesn’t like it and says after 45 years of marriage and five years of dating you sometimes have doubts about me? I say yes I do.”
The following is my answer to his question: In order for God to communicate more directly with his people, He sent Jesus in human form. Jesus was the Son of God and the Son of Man. He had to live His life as both, which was tough for him. Many of His words on the Cross re-flect and connect back to Psalm 22, including “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me.”
Jesus was sent by God to take on the sins of the whole world. At that moment on the cross in taking on our sin, it was such a load that for one moment
He was separated from God with that load of sin upon Him. Jesus had to doubt God a bit so we could understand the magnitude of God’s sacrifice for us.
It is through the suffering of Jesus that we are made whole in knowing what God was willing to put Himself through in the suffering of Jesus. Our Father died for us through Christ, which is the largest sacrifice a Father could make for His children. All of Jesus’ suffering and even His questioning of His Father only make clear what God was willing to do for us.
Having said that, we must realize that we children of God do have times when we doubt God. Jesus doubted God for a few seconds in His burden that we will never see the likes of in our lives.
Because of our human nature, we like to be in control and many times wonder why God is leading us or not leading us in the direction we think He should lead us. It always gets back to the question as to how attentive we are in listening to God and how much our desires cloud God’s wishes for us.
In Jeremiah 29:11-13 we are reminded of God’s intentions: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”
And then in Proverbs 3:5-7 we hear: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.”
God does not have an on and off switch that we can use at our discretion. It’s our own personal switch we use to turn Him on and off. God’s switch is always on. Therefore, it’s up to us to keep our internal switch for Him in the “on” position as much as possible. When we do that, we minimize the doubt that sometimes comes upon us.
The classic doubting story in the Bible concerns the doubting of 100 year old Abraham and 90 year old Sarah. In their doubting that God could bring forth a child in Sarah’s womb, whose name would be Isaac, son of Abraham, God said to them in Genesis 18:14: “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.”
While we may not have the kind of close conversations with the Lord that Abraham and Sarah had, we need to seek Him as much as possible in every aspect of our lives.
Sarah even laughed to herself as she overheard God in His conversation with Abraham in telling him that Sarah would have a child at the age of 90. Her doubt is like our doubt in that we don’t trust God and His leadership in our lives.
What seems like reality to use is far from that which God is able to do in our lives.
God has lifted our burden with His sacrifice for us. Jesus took on our burden of sin and should convince us that any doubting of God is useless.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943 and grew up in Rockville, Md., Pine is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extention: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South. He is involved in prison ministry and is a leader in his church and community.

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