Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God. (I Peter 1:18-19)
I listened as my pastor shared the moments in his life where he had struggles with doubts - something we don't expect a pastor to share with his congregants. I understood what state of mind he could have been in when he was experiencing these doubts. I was fully aware of my own doubts along the way - times when I wondered if God 'really said' or 'really meant'. It is never wrong to have doubts - it is always wrong to not bring those doubts to God. He wants to sort them out for us - not because we need a good trip to the woodshed to deal with them, but because as we sit in the confines of his presence and just let them out, he meets with us and settles them for us. Indeed, we need to have a deep consciousness of God - to understand where our doubt and fear collide with faith and hope.
Faith and hope both grow in the presence of their opposing forces - not in the absence of them. Would we ever feel the intense desire and passionate pursuit created if we never knew the absence of hope? At the end of the rope, we consider life just a bit differently, don't we? We see things from a different perspective. When all seems to be collapsing around us, we reach conclusions about what it is we have put our trust in, don't we? We begin to feel the push and pull of faith, working feverishly against the push and pull of our doubts. The opposing forces are at work in our lives, not to take us away from God, but to move us closer into intimate relationship with him - settling once and for all whatever needs to be settled within us.
It is because of Christ's sacrifice - on our behalf even before we knew we'd need that tremendous gift - that we now stand assured that we have a future in God's presence. Why do we doubt this at times? If we are honest, it isn't that we doubt our future with him as much as we doubt our 'worthiness' to be in his presence for all of eternity. We have 'done' things, 'thought' things, 'said things', and they make us feel as though we don't 'deserve' his presence. Truth be told, we don't! Thank goodness our present and future ability to stand in his presence unashamed and whole isn't based on what we do, think, or say, but on what he has done, thought, and said on our behalf. The doubts may not diminish immediately, but given space in the presence of God, they will soon be replaced with an ever-increasing faith. Don't resist the opposing forces, but allow them to drive you closer into what God has prepared for your life. Just sayin!