What To Do With Doubt

The 12th chapter of Steps to Christ ‘What to Do with Doubt’, is a wonderful exposition on what it looks like to believe amid uncertainty. Faith is foundational to the Christian’s experience, the Bible tells us that “The just shall live by faith” Habakkuk 2:4, that we are to “walk by faith and not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7 and that “faith is evidence of things not seen” Heb 11:1. If every shred of evidence were not only available to us but also known by us, there would be no need for faith.

I was 14 years old and in Pathfinders. It was expedition, which means we had to carry all our gear on our back and orienteer from coordinate to coordinate. On the first day of our hike we got lost, really lost, 5kms lost to be exact, and we only realised it when we were 2 hours from sunset. There was about 10kms of ground to make up and to make matters worse, it started to rain. Imagine it. Lost, dark, wet. Not fun. Our campsite was on the valley floor and we were high up on a ridgeline. Which meant that we had to clamber down to a steep vegetated spur to camp. A reasonably easy exercise during the day, but not so at night, in the rain, where one false step could see you fall a long way. One leader situated himself at the front and the other at the back. Nobody was allowed in front of the first leader or behind the last. The leader at the back had his torch and shined it onto a tree 10m in front of that first leader and we would all walk there in single file. And once we were all there, he’d shine it onto the next tree, and then the next and then the next. Until we were all down.

Now the torch only shone so far and we could only see so much, but we walked in the light we had. Steps to Christ says that “Instead of questioning and caviling concerning that which you do not understand, give heed to the light that already shines upon you, and you will receive greater light.” SC 111. At some point you just need to move forward, even before you have all the information. You need to walk in the light already given, knowing that with each successive step you will see more. God never maps out every intricate detail of His plan. He only reveals so much, and we need to trust Him with the rest. If you never advance, you’ll never see, because it is in the following that your questions are answered.

The truth is we do not need greater evidence. We need more faith! The religious leaders observed manifold witnesses of Jesus’ divinity, the Israelites were partakers of God’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt and Lucifer was in the immediate presence of God. Yet the religious leaders killed Jesus, the Israelites refused to go up into the land and Lucifer rebelled against God. They had more evidence than you could wish for. But the focus is never really about the evidence, the focus is always on our willingness to go where the light shines.

Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith. SC 105

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