I follow the blog of one of my favorite Christian singers, because I find her perspectives interesting-usually because I don't agree with them. As much as her songs are inspiring, uplifting, and true, when it comes down to her blog posts we just don't unify in our opinions. But one of her posts inspired me to actually speak out. (Actually, more than one: upcoming posts on this blog are geared off some of her other posts.)
In her article, she explained her view that faith naturally contains doubt; that the unknowability of God and His mystery and how He is unknowable in our teeny-tiny minds, that doubt is a natural overflow of our spiritual lives because we just can't handle it. I do agree with the fact that God is unknowable; we can't understand His ways. His thoughts are so much higher than ours! But what bothered me the most was the quote supplied at the bottom: "Faith which does not doubt, is dead faith." -Miguel de Unamuno.
Unfortunately, the Bible seems to defy this concept. Do you remember the story when the disciples encounter Jesus walking on water, and Peter joins Jesus on the water? The reason that Peter sank is that he lost faith in Jesus' power to save him from the storms around him. "Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” "(Matthew 14:30-33). It's recorded that faith (without doubt) is the key to prayer: "And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen." (Matthew 21:21), and, "Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him." (Mark 11:23). One of my favorite verses just about sums it all up: "If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.’” (Isaiah 7:9).
Faith which does not take itself seriously is dead faith. Faith that never asks questions about itself is dead faith. Faith that does not show is dead faith. Faith that does not love is dead faith. Faith that is not put into action is dead faith.
Faith that doubts is not faith at all.
Because faith and doubt are not opposite sides of the same coin; they're opposite spectrums, they're opposite sides of a deep chasm and you can never be on both sides at once.
Faith is a gift; it is a gift of God that we can even come to faith-it's not be works. It's also a spiritual gift-included in Paul's list of spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 14. Faith doesn't come naturally. Everything God says contradicts what we see-but that is where faith steps in.
If you doubt, pray. Study His word. Read faith-building stories. And pray. One of the best ways to build faith is to pray in faith, and pray specifically. It won't crush your faith; rather, it'll build it up. This is one of the most important things you'll ever do; fight for it! Talk to those who are strong in faith, ask God in faith, live in faith.