Too often our 'faith' is interpreted as the confidence we have in our understanding of God, or the level of conviction we feel for certain truths. Our sense of security lies in how much ‘sense’ we can make of the gospel, Christianity, or what God wants from us. In reality this is confidence in ourselves, our ability to comprehend, understand, and 'be right'. It is a humanistic perspective in the sense that it starts with us, our experience, comprehension, and ideas. This is extremely problematic, faith cannot be about trusting ourselves. When we define faith in terms of personal conviction or confidence we don’t know what to do when we experience doubt, or when we have more questions than answers. In fact, when dealing with serious questions we will wrongly think we are falling from faith. It is very discouraging that much of the church is trying to bolster this self-centered understanding.
Faith in Jesus cannot be faith in ourselves, rather faith in Jesus means to actively trust Him. Although what we think is essential and will determine our willingness to trust him, faith is not about prescribing to certain ideas about the nature or character of Jesus.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Faith It is about trusting a person, and we can do that even when we feel distant, uncertain, confused, or full of doubt. We trust that Jesus is at work in our hearts. Jesus entered into the darkness of our hearts and minds to shine the light of His love and to restore us to Himself. Just because we can’t understand how that is happening in our lives doesn’t mean that we can’t trust Him through the process. We trust by relating to Him, sharing our hurts, concerns, and joys even while being uncertain about how He works or what He is doing.
“Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” -Matthew 7:22-23
Faith is active dependence, not will powered belief. What we know to be true about Jesus is essential to our willingness to trust Him, but our trust in Him is demonstrated by our willingness to let Him know us! Faith isn’t about doing miracles, working for God, or becoming a theologian.
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” -John 5:29-40
Jesus wants us to trust Him with our lives, that means He wants us to open ourselves to Him, to let Him get to know us. He wants to know all our doubts, fears, and uncertainties. He is not afraid of our darkness; He boldly entered into it in the incarnation. Our faith is trusting Jesus with our lives by actively revealing ourselves to Him. This can be done even in the face of doubt or confusion.
Jesus isn’t looking for our allegiance or our intellectual confidence; He is asking us to trust Him to be our savior and to work His will in our lives and in our hearts. Trust is most present when personal fallibility is most recognized. In other words, His power is made perfect in our weakness.
Don’t run from your questions, don’t flee from your doubt. Jesus is within you and wants you to let Him know you even in the depths of your darkness. He is faithful, He understand our humanity, and He very much loves you.