Do you ever just wonder if all of this religion stuff is real? Like why are we even here? Is there really some greater purpose or is all of this just a facade and we are going to die into nothingness?
Let me tell you something: it is good to have doubts sometimes. Is that a relief or what? No matter who you are and what your background is, doubts are a natural part of our relationship with God at times.
Nicodemus had doubts, standing beside Jesus. He was right beside our Most High God, sent down from Heaven in human form and Nicodemus himself had doubts and confusion.
Nicodemus was a well known Jewish scholar and well respected community leader, not an angsty teenager with authority problems.
It says in John 3:1, “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.”
But the real question is this: what do we do with those doubts?
Well, lucky for you I have just the answer. Take them to God. Seek Him out through prayer and through studying God’s word.
“Faith, like sight is nothing apart from God. You might as well shut your eyes and look inside, and see whether you have sight as to look inside to discover whether you have faith.” –Hannah Whitall Smith
“When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding; even one word is too much.” –Fen. Yang.
Jesus does an amazing thing to show Nicodemus how it all works. He gives him an example that Nicodemus would instantly relate to. Jesus does this many times in scripture, often speaking in parables to crowds in order to relate.
Nicodemus said to him (as he was still doubting), “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. (this part is what hits home with Nic) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
No one would understand that Old Testament reference like Nicodemus. From here we go to the very heart of the Gospel, the cornerstone of our faith. It continues in John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
I just bolded that and made it bigger than anything else ever on the blog. If you can understand that verse, ONLY that verse, then you know what our faith is. God is so big and powerful, but in His infinite might and justice He sends Jesus to live on Earth and die a horrible death.
Read that verse a few more times. Read it all day. Never stop. Repeat. This is God’s unending love set up for us in one verse. Verse 17and 18 says,
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God”
We can be saved. Maybe you already are. Maybe you aren’t but you want to be. Maybe you are, but the doubts you have been plagued with will not get out of your head.
No matter these circumstances we need faith. Faith to move mountains. Faith to literally throw a mountain! (yes, read that link)
Can we pray about this for a minute?
Dear Lord, I have doubts.
Sometimes I don’t know if I should believe all of these things I hear about you because I have never once seen You. We talk about you often in Sunday school and we sing about you on Wednesday nights, but are you here with me right now? Lord, I want to feel Your presence. I want to be able to move that mountain. Give me the courage to believe in You. Guide me on the path to righteousness and a faith that others will not be able to look past. Show me your love Father. Help me understand how deep it is, that it will never run dry, it will never anger or hold grudges. Bring me peace in this time, move me away from all the stress and anxiety I feel right now in my life. Make it simply You. Give me You, Lord. Amen.
You guys rock.