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Pastor Paul's Perspective

Questioning Hearts

How Faith Battles Doubt

As a kid growing up in church, I was introduced to a believing faith in Jesus Christ at an early age. I was surrounded by people of faith in my family, my friends, and certainly at my home church. So, faith became part of my life as I was exposed to these everyday influences. 

At eight years old I chose to believe in Jesus Christ and, by faith, accepted Him as my personal Savior, my Redeemer, my Messiah, my Lord. And this faith was real to me.

My faith in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection was truly MY faith - not that of my parents or my church, but my personal, believing faith.

I can clearly remember my coming to faith moment - the point at which I realized I was a sinner and Christ died to pay for my sins and that, by believing in the forgiveness that comes only through the blood of Jesus, I could be saved, or "born again", as it says in John's gospel chapter three.

Now, for you theologians out there reading this, I now understand that it was the Holy Spirit drawing me in and it was the Holy Spirit giving me the faith to believe and, as a result of the Spirit's work in my life, I said yes - yes to coming to Jesus. Yes to having the blood of Christ wash away my sins. Yes to having Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I said YES!!!

I had, by faith, believed in Jesus Christ and knowing Him changed everything. I was now a child of God and eternally secure in His salvation.

Yet, with all this faith, all this understanding, all this change in my life, I still had my doubts. I still, at times, wondered if all this Jesus stuff was real. I wondered, am I really going to heaven? And with these doubts, I would lie awake at night and ask Jesus to save me again - every night!!!

My conversation with Jesus every night - for years - went something like this:

"Jesus, if I'm not saved, please save me now. If I'm not going to heaven, please save me now. If I didn't mean it last night, I mean it tonight, so please save me . . . .   Amen."

You would think that with all my exposure to things of faith, I would have been a little more secure in His salvation, but I was not. Not for years . . . 

Does this sound familiar? Do you have doubts about your faith? About Jesus? About salvation? About eternal life?

This Sunday, December 23, at 10am, I will be opening God's word and looking at a behind-the-scenes character in the Christmas account. The character is John the Baptist. John was a cousin of Jesus, born within the same year. He knew a lot about Jesus as they likely interacted as kids. John had his "come to Jesus" moment of faith as he baptized Jesus and recognized Him as both the Light of the World and the Lamb of God. John knew Jesus and chose to believe in HIm as Light and Lamb. But listen to John's question of Jesus in Matthew 11:3:

"Are you the Coming One (the Messiah) or do we look for another?"

In spite of John's faith in Jesus, his exposure to Jesus, and his experience with Jesus, he still had moments of doubt. I can relate.

Through our study this Sunday morning, we will together learn about overcoming our doubts by taking time to "hear and see" (Matthew 11:4-6) all that Jesus has done to help our faith be strengthened.

I hope to see you Sunday so we can both learn from John the Baptist and have our faith in Jesus be strengthened.

See you Sunday and Merry Christmas!

 

Pastor Paul

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