There was a critical time in my life when I experienced a crisis of faith. Honestly, I wasn't sure anything made sense any more.
Each of our faith-journeys is a trek of ups and downs. We journey through seasons of bold faith and crippling doubt. The truth is, most of us at one season or another have had a crisis of faith—a time when desperation hit and we wondered, Is God really good? Because He's certainly not behaving like the God I thought I knew!
John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, was sent as the forerunner to Jesus. He called for repentance and pointed people to Jesus, the Messiah, as the answer. Even though John was one of the greatest prophets of all time, known for powerful teaching and strong faith, he still experienced a crisis of faith. At one point when he was thrown in prison, he sent messengers to Jesus asking, "Are you He who should come, or should we look for another"? (Matt. 11:3). If even John the Baptist had a crisis of faith, we shouldn't be shocked when a crisis of faith creates doubts in our minds. Satan, the enemy of our souls, will always tempt us to doubt.
While a crisis of faith can shake us to the core of our very being, God can turn those crises around for good. As I see it, there are actually some very definite benefits for us spiritually.
3 Benefits of a Crisis of Faith
A crisis of faith forces you to take a hard look at what you believe. In our humanness we become comfortable with a belief system that may or may not be correct. In my own life, I remember coming to the realization that I might be worshipping my own perception of who Christ was rather than worshipping Jesus for who He truly was. When I experienced my crisis of faith, it forced me to lay aside my presuppositions and re-examine the claims of Christ. As a result, I walked away with more deeply rooted faith.
A crisis of faith leads to more authentic convictions. The last thing you need is to deny your crisis of faith. That will only prove that you're good at denying the truth. Instead, lean in to your crisis of faith and face your doubts with genuineness. As a result, authenticity will be a characteristic of your life. Here's the deal: God knows your doubts, so you might as well be honest with Him about them, right? Only when you face the truth about your doubts are you able to move forward towards more authentic faith.
In my life, I wanted to be like the person described in Jeremiah 17:7-8, Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green,
and it shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." The only way I could get there was to honestly face my doubts, lean into my crisis of faith and reanalyze my beliefs. If I had allowed fear to rule and had denied my doubts, I don't believe I would have the strong faith that I have today.
A crisis of faith invites you to stronger, more deeply-rooted faith. By putting the time and effort into searching the Scriptures, you'll walk away with a more rooted faith. You'll be able to establish your faith in core convictions that will stand the test of time. You'll understand what you believe and why you believe it, and when the storms of life come, your spiritual roots will hold firm.
Friend, here's the thing: I believe most of us will have a crisis of faith at one time or another in our lives. May I challenge you? When yours hits, don't run from it or deny it. Instead, dare to lay aside your presuppositions and reanalyze the claims of Christ. Take an honest look at what He said about Himself, and then decide what you believe. Don't let fear hold you back. Dive in and study! You won't be sorry, and I guarantee you'll walk away with stronger, more secure faith.
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
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