“Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me.” Judges 6:17 (NKJV)
Every so often one of the guys on the Freedom Fighter writing team writes something that’s quite timely. Not that any of them aren’t writing anything that isn’t timely or a good Word to ponder upon, but that what is written grabs me at my point of needing to hear from God in some way. Neil Fichthorn did a piece recently on doubt and it was good to hear that a brother who has walked with Jesus way longer than me experiences doubts about his faith. Ever since I started digging into God’s Word at an academic level, I am constantly looking at my level of faith and not liking where it’s at.
I am also guilty of casting a doubtful eye upon fellow brothers when plans “all of sudden” have to change. I had a change of scheduling happen a few months back because of the COVID-19 pandemic and I seriously doubted the explanation I was given. I say I’m an “iron sharpening iron” kinda guy but in this case, I thought my iron was plenty sharp and I butchered the feelings of a very close brother. I’m an idiot (no doubt) and I had to ask for forgiveness (I received it) but it has left me in a world of doubt. I’ve said in my heart, “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8) and yet I struggle with doubt.
In the Book of Judges there is a man who also had his doubts. Gideon probably did the eye roll when he heard, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you” (Judges 6:12b) as he was hiding out threshing out wheat. Gideon looked at the world around him and doubted that the LORD was anywhere. Israel had been turned over to the control of the Midianites who usually showed up around dinnertime and, like locusts, ate everything in sight before moving on. This left the Israelites starving, hence the reason to hide out to thresh wheat. But as the story goes Gideon would first test this “Angel of the LORD” with a simple request, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign that it is really the LORD speaking to me.” (Judges 6:17)
So, a pot of stew and a loaf of bread later, Gideon is pretty sure he’s talking with God. You would think that would seal the deal for the rest of the adventure that God has for Gideon but once again Gideon, even after he’s been clothed with power by the Spirit of the LORD, will ask for a sign. So, after one night with wet fleece/dry ground and then another night of dry fleece/wet ground, Gideon is pretty sure he’s been chosen to rescue Israel. He’ll have a dream that a loaf of barley bread will flatten a tent, 300 jars will turn into blazing torches and a battle cry will go forth, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” When its all been said and done, there’s no doubt that God used Gideon to bring victory for His people.
Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in Me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” (John 4:48)
I guess some things just need to be tangible for many of us to get us to overcome our doubts about our faith. But Jesus would go on to say that if it were as big as a mustard seed you could say to a mountain, “Move from here to there’, and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20) That might be a stretch for a lot of us but to quote Neil here, “When in doubt, don’t feel that you are alone in questioning, that He is disappointed in your humanity or even that your faith is weak. Recognize that faith is just that, faith, feelings based on spiritual understanding rather than proof.”
It would be really nice to be able to blame the current COVID-19 crisis for my struggle with doubt but that’s a cop-out, isn’t it? In all actuality I need to take Neil’s advice and recall all the situations which has caused me to doubt (because this ain’t the first time) and see how God solved them. I gotta think if there was ever a moment where God let me down and since there isn’t any why would He start now?
I’ll confess that do seek to see “signs and miracles” but that’s so I can excuse my doubt. What I should do is look back, see what has already been done and ask Jesus to help overcome my unbelief. I hope you can too. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org