Sometimes I doubt the existence of God; I question my faith and feel as if my relationship with God is a product of my imagination. This happens most when I don’t get what I want or when things don’t go according to my time schedule. Sometimes months go by without me hearing the voice of God in my spirit.
At these times, I wonder if He is there, if He is angry at me, or if He has turned His back on me. I look at my life and think that it is nothing like what I imagined it would be. I look at my achievements, my social standing and my career, and I feel as though the hand of God has not been upon my life. I don’t feel favored or empowered or set apart when these thoughts of doubt enter my mind.
During these moments, I feel utterly down, perhaps even depressed, and I think the unthinkable… I wonder if I would have achieved more, been more successful or gotten further in life if I had not committed my life to serving God. Eeekk! How could one think such blasphemous thoughts, you ask?! But as I unpack this question in my mind, everything comes back to me and I regain perspective.
I look back to the time in my life when I first encountered Jesus Christ, and I remember experiencing His LOVE, I remember tasting of His GOODNESS, I remember hearing His VOICE, and I remember feeling His SUPERNATURAL POWER. It all comes back to me when I remember the person that I was before I knew Him.
After walking with the Lord for a long time, it becomes easy to forget our old self. Our new life becomes everything that we know. Life as a believer, feels like the life we have always had. But when you take time out to remember the person that you were before you knew Christ, you can no longer deny His EXISTENCE and His PRESENCE in your life.
I remember being so fearful before I met Jesus. I was afraid of everything: afraid of the unknown, afraid of the future, afraid of the dark, afraid of evil spirits, afraid of being alone, afraid of failure, afraid of… afraid of … afraid of…! Besides the overwhelming fear that I felt, I had no self-confidence. The fear stemmed from my weakness as a person – my lack of confidence and my inability to trust in my own capabilities – but when the Holy Spirit filled me, this began to change.
The change was slow and gradual. It wasn’t a radical, overnight experience. Slowly the Lord began to renew my mind and transform my heart (Ps 51:10), and slowly my flesh began to weaken and my spirit strengthened. The result was that my weakness was superseded by God’s strength in me. I no longer had to rely only on myself as a mere human being; I could count on the Lord and Saviour of the world to look out for me, provide for me, protect me, counsel me and empower me.
Though much change still needs to take place in me, I can now stand and say that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit within me, that I have been able to become the person that I am today. For when I am weak, then I am strong in Christ (2 Cor 12:10). I cannot reasonably ever doubt the existence of God and His presence in my life, when I see the changes that have taken place in my heart, in my ways of thinking, in my values and my life goals. Not to mention the many ungodly practices that I have been delivered from and the strongholds, which have been broken in my thinking patterns.
And when I stop measuring my success by worldly standards, it becomes even clearer to me how much work God has done in my life, to make me who I am today and to bring me to this point in life now where I am not enslaved to fear anymore and am free to live my God-given purpose according to His glorious plan. And that’s ultimately what I’m aiming for, to grow in the knowledge of God, to grow my faith, and continue loving God with all my heart, all my soul and my might (Deut 6:5)!
Sometimes it is good to remember where you came from, in order to appreciate where you are now. Never lose sight of where you began. Take time to pause and reflect on your journey with the Lord. In doing so, you will be able to clearly see the way the hand of God has directed your steps (Pro 16:9) and changed you as a person. And in remembering the turning point in your life, the moment you surrendered to Christ, you will regain your first love (Rev 2:4).
Trust in God’s leading during times of doubt, allow Him to renew your faith, place your hope in Him and never doubt that He is always working all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).