I Doubt It

1 Comment » Written on December 20th, 2013     
Filed under: Bible, Devotional, Guest Post, Leadership, Prayer, Scripture
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by Michael Hill


It’s Sunday morning, and you’re up before the dawn to prepare your heart to lead God’s people in worship. You make a beeline to the coffee pot, grab your bible and set to your spiritual disciplines: Ordered readings; prayer for your church and ministry partners; prayer for the practical challenges that you foresee in your morning.

And then, an honest moment between you and your Creator: “God, I’m having trouble believing in you today.”


What? I’m a minister. I’m not supposed to have doubts. Aren’t I to be the very model of faith? The church looks to me to “have it all together”. How can I possibly take the platform today and lead God’s people in worship?


Before we get all in a tizzy, let me say that I’m not referring to an abandon all hope, gotta-leave-the-ministry loss of faith. I’m referring to the moments when as intelligent, thoughtful, reasonable human beings, we just can’t seem to connect the dots that faith requires of us. Or is this the very definition of faith?

When we step back from the faith-culture in which we work and live, it’s not hard to see that we believe in some pretty crazy stuff, right? Part the Red Sea? Virgin birth? Resurrection from the dead? Paul the Apostle warned us that “the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Cor. 1:18). Even as redeemed, transformed ministers of the gospel of Jesus, we still have times when we slip back into that old nature. Doubt sneaks up on us.


It’s embarrassing to have moments or seasons of doubt when you are a leader. Perhaps it’s the idea of revealing ourselves in weakness that is just too raw. We want our peers, ministry associates and the people we lead to see us as strong, competent, mature ‘believers’. If we reveal our weakness, we fear that the house of cards may crumble.


Good news: There are plenty of reassuring examples from scripture reminding us that doubt is all part of the package. As an occasional doubter myself, I’m always glad to remember the story of the father of the possessed boy in Mark 9. When asking Jesus to cast the demon from his child, Jesus reminds him “all things are possible for one who believes” (v.24), to which the man paradoxically replies, “I believe; help my unbelief”. There is no denial in the man’s words; in full disclosure, he admits that his belief is a choice, even in the face of unbelief. Jesus heals the boy! It’s reassuring to know that our belief and unbelief do in fact coexist, mysteriously sitting right alongside one another. Is it possible that there is only ‘belief’, and it is a sliding scale?


Of course we can’t have this conversation without remembering the apostle Thomas, forever sealing his identity as the doubt poster-child. I say kudos to you, Thomas, bravely stepping forward, risking embarrassment, putting your own weak faith to the test. “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” I would have done exactly the same. Jesus lovingly allows our doubting Thomas to inspect his wounds: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Our Savior understands and is patient with us when we ask our questions, seek our answers, doubt our doubts.

I’m grateful to be able to work with a church family that recognizes doubt as a legitimate part of the faith experience. It’s a safe place to bring “We believe!  Help our unbelief” into corporate worship.

Musician, music educator and worship leader Michael Hill is Director of Worship Experience at Marin Covenant Church in San Rafael, CA. 

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One Response to “I Doubt It”

Worshiping to the god is very important for every religion. The people of different religion provide worship in different ways. The Christians provide worship in the churches. They have sung a song when they provide worship. They called these songs worship song.

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