This marks the beginning of the delusion. Though we have grown confident in those things we understand about God, our doubts and fears rise with alarming aggression. Worries spiral out of control and we foolishly believe packs of lies spewed out by the Deceiver.
One might ask, “How is the insurgence of fear and doubt any different from the unsettling of certainty? Aren’t they both indications of a floundering faith?” No, not exactly. Allow me to explain.
When the certainties of my faith are tested, I encounter new questions, or old questions asked in new ways. If I apply the “law of possibilities” I find considerable comfort in the fact God can be trusted as I struggle to see His providential hand in new ways. However, when the doubts and fears I have tolerated push against the certainties I stand in, I risk losing perspective. What if peace continues to elude me and my imagination starts to run wild with things yet unresolved?
In this fragile state my #2 Pencil Faith exhibits critical signs of distress. The outer pencils framing my faith grow perilously close to snapping, and the single pencil I use as a sliding indicator begins to shake and wobble (Click on link below). My carefully constructed system of faith threatens to disintegrate in a violent ball of fire and smoke. I cry with Job, “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil” (Job 3:26)
Then, in a sudden breach of theological protocol doubt and fear surges and its evil gremlins persecute me with screams and clinched fists of fury. They taunt my trust in the holy one: “How can God permit such horrific events in the lives of the people you care about? Why doesn’t he pave an easy path for you if you are His servant? If He really is a wise and all-knowing God, isn’t He aware of the burden you are carrying? Can’t He at least orchestrate a more manageable economy of pain, spacing out your trials and permitting you to regroup before you are driven to your knees once more?”
How do we know the difference between a man-made faith system and Biblical truth? How can they be the same? How can they be different?
Dear God, thank you for the trails that shake up my thinking. In Jesus’ name, Amen.