Have mercy on some, who are doubting.
Maybe you have doubts that have kept you from embracing Christianity—or maybe you are a Christian who, like me, occasionally has doubts. The most foundational question about faith is this: How can we know there really is a God?
There are five major sources of doubts about God. First, there is natural doubt. Let’s face it: it’s hard to believe in an invisible being. We think if God would visibly appear, that would silence our doubts. Yet God did appear in the person of Jesus Christ, and people didn’t believe. Jude 22 says, “Have mercy on some, who are doubting.” Those words reveal God’s empathy toward those of us who occasionally question the reality of a Being we have not yet seen but have committed our lives to serving.
Second, some people doubt the existence of God on philosophical grounds. They claim either God would like to prevent evil but can’t because He is impotent, or God is able to prevent evil but chooses not to, making Him evil. If God is neither impotent nor evil, then the only logical conclusion is that He doesn’t exist. We will explore this idea later.
Third, some people have experiential doubt. If you grew up in a family that did not believe in God, you will be likely to question the existence of a divine being. Or maybe you had an experience that left you disappointed by God. The loss of a child, betrayal by a loved one, abuse, or unanswered prayers lead some people to conclude that there is no God.
Fourth, some wrestle with spiritual doubt. We assume atheists are intellectual giants who have examined all the evidence for God and concluded He cannot exist. But the evidence for God’s existence is available to all people (Romans 1:18–20). Although atheists have received a general knowledge of God through creation, they reject that evidence.
Finally, some people have empirical doubts. We think that since most scientists don’t believe in God, then belief in God must be unscientific. However, this conclusion is ill founded. First, many atheists start with a rejection of God and then study science as an alternative explanation of the origin of the universe. Also, it is a profound mistake to allow scientists to limit science to that which is observable in nature.
Do you sometimes have doubts about God? The good news is God not only understands our propensity to doubt His existence, but He empathizes with our doubts.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know There Is a God?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.