Posted by: jmark | August 17, 2006

Letters – Doubt

Here’s a new feature – Occasionally I get emails asking for advice, and often the same topics are covered. So I’m going to print a series of letters I’ve written to a young person over the last while. Names will be removed to protect the poor soul who has had to put up with my advice, and I suspect that I will amalgamate several correspondents into one.

Hopefully it will be of some use. Now stop trying to guess who wrote them…

Hi XXXXX

Good to hear from you, I was wondering whether my email had got through or not.

Thanks for feeling you could email me. Feel free to use me as a sounding board or to pick my brains, whatever use they might be. I’ll intersperse my comments with yours:

Sometimes i fell myself doubting and questioning it even though i think it to be true, i just find it unbelievably difficult to whole heartedly believe, sometimes i feel like thomas.

I wrestle with doubts too at times. When I start to have doubts I usually think back to the concrete events that cannot be denied – Jesus was born, he claimed to be God, he was crucified, and the evidence for the resurrection is pretty astonishing. And if all that is the case, then Jesus is who he said he was, and if he is who he said he was, then what he says about God and about scripture must be true.

So for me one of the key issues is to settle in my mind firmly the issues of his existence (the historical proof), his crucifixion, and his resurrection. Probably the best book around is ‘The Case for Christ’ by Lee Strobel.

I just feel that i dont have any sort of relationship with Christ, i feel I barely know Him.

At times I feel like that myself. Sometimes its a good thing because it means that we have a hunger to know him more. But we can never let it rest there. If we are hungry we need to feed ourselves!

I would suggest taking time to read books about Jesus – something really good, like ‘The Cross he Bore’, or ‘Is it nothing to you?’ both by Prof Frederick Leahy, or ‘Seeing and Savouring Christ’ by John Piper. Any of those will, if read slowly and prayerfully will give you a greater appreciation of what Jesus has done for you. And as your understanding grows, your heart will be warmed.

You could also try the three sermons on Christ’s tears that are linked in the side column of my blog. I would suggest printing them out and perhaps using them in your devotions over the space of a week or two. Often we rush things rather than spending more time.

Hope that helps to point you in the right direction

Mark

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