Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. Whey they saw him, they worshipped him — but some of them doubted!
Matthew 28:16-17 (NLT)
Up to this point, life had been a roller coaster ride for the disciples. The Word of God they knew showed up in a different form than they had expected. God had told His people in His Word that the Savior would come, how He would be born, what He would do, how He would save them by dying as their Lamb and that He would live and reign forever.
But these men and women that walked and talked with Jesus still didn’t fully understand what was happening in them and around them. One of the biggest moments in all of the New Testament came in the midst of worship co-mingled with doubt. Holy understanding mixed with forgetfulness. When what was happening was more than their mind could take in, God was clear, repetitive, and patient with them.
Just like them, we’ve also been told all these things in the Bible. We have interpretations of God’s Word. We imagine what parts of the Bible that have not yet happened will be like, and we don’t always fully understand what God is doing in our midst. We try to worship with our life but may still question if Jesus really is all He says He is and can do all He says He can.
The disciples worshipped Jesus as the risen Savior but still had doubts. Their worship and doubt existed together, and Jesus was not shocked or thrown off the path that was destined for His followers.
Jesus knew all about their doubt but still immediately said, “I have been given complete authority over heaven and earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT).
Their doubt did not stop Jesus from giving them their calling.
What was the answer for their doubt? It was waiting on God and His awesome power to reveal Himself and His truth to them, empowering them to believe and understand. It was waiting for God Himself to pour His holy fire into them to fulfill their calling.
When you think you need a sign to believe, what you really need is the Holy Spirit.
This group of Jesus followers had experienced first hand the healings, the conquering of demons, Jesus saving those who didn’t deserve it, and even the abolishment of death. But signs and miracles were not enough. Filled with joy and wonder, they still doubted if Jesus was the Son of God. Was the Savior of the World truly alive and were they really rescued? They didn’t know for sure if He really could do all He said He could.
Isn’t that what’s holding us back too, wondering if we really believe Jesus is who He says He is in our lives?
We experience God’s love in all of its beautiful forms — especially Jesus Himself living inside of us — yet we still have overwhelming moments of worship and doubt in the midst of our Savior.
The good news is our doubt does not disturb Jesus or cause Him not to invite us into His kingdom work.
It did not stop Jesus from calling His disciples to the nations because He knew the Holy Spirit would come and give them the ability to have faith and do what He was calling them to. They obeyed. They worshipped Jesus. And they still doubted. But the result was their commissioning — and ours — to the nations.
Because Jesus is with them and with us always, that’s what makes it possible — not our unshakable faith or perfect obedience but Jesus Himself living our calling through us.
I hope that takes the pressure off of you like it does me, with all of the shame and guilt that comes from just a moment of doubt.
Jesus has already done the work of saving us, and He is fully alive in power with complete authority in heaven and on earth. He continues to send us His message through His word and others, revealing Himself to us and making sure we know He is real, relatable, and fully alive.
We can worship Him while having doubts, and that does not take away our relationship status with Jesus or our future assignment.
He knows our heart at every moment, so let’s run to Him with our doubt. Let’s be obedient and worship Jesus anyway, and He will fulfill your calling. The Holy Spirit will come and remove the doubt and replace it with faith that only can come from Him. Then, and only then, will you be empowered to live out what He has called us all to do: to make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all of His commands. And Jesus will be with us always, in our worship and our doubt, to the very end of the age.
He knows our heart at every moment, so let’s run to Him with our doubt. -Stephanie Bryant: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I am encouraged by stories like that of Peter. Peter walked and talked with Jesus, yet he doubted/denied Him on three separate occasions. In spite of this, Jesus told Peter that he was the “rock” on whom He was going to build His church…wow! That’s a lot of confidence in a doubter! Like you said so beautifully, worship and doubt can co-exist. It’s not an either/or, but a both/and. Also, we don’t have to try to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps to muster up some faith. God gave us the GIFT of the Holy Spirit for just his reason. All we have to do is ASK! Seek, knock, ask, find. When I ask the Spirit in earnestness and I seek God in His Holy Word, they never disappoint. So thankful we have a patient God who is far greater than our doubt! Awesome post!
ps. We’re on the same wavelength. This week I wrote a post on, “Prescription for the Spiritual Blahs” that sheds light on the role of the Holy spirit in our faith lives. What an awesome gift!
Bev can you leave a link to your post on “Prescription for the Spiritual Blahs”. I would love to read it.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Sure, would love to…here it is…thanks for asking!
Rachel Collier says
LOVE this!!! Needed!!! Just Thank You, So Much
Jackie E. Taylor says
I oftentimes have wondered if my faith starts to waver, will God give up on me. Like many people, I have faced trials and tribulations, and sometimes my faith wasn’t as strong as it should be. However, I do know Jesus died for all my sins and He loves me, even when I stumble and fall!
Beth Williams says
I don’t think I ever doubted God. I do get the blahs. The mountain top experience gone, back in the every day mundane trenches of life. Like the disciples I have witnessed a few miracles. My aging dad got baptized at 83 by my pastor. God completely healed my aging dad’s dementia for about 1 year. God doesn’t get upset with doubters like Thomas. He understands us better than we do. He gently shows us the proof. He welcomes us with our doubts & fears. Doubt is Satan’s tool to dissuade us from believing & following Jesus. He would love nothing more than for us to be doubting & fearful. It’s at those times that Jesus gently whispers to us I am here with you. We need more than head knowledge of Jesus. We need a heart tuned to Him fully. Ever grateful for a loving, kind, patient God who forgives & eases our doubts & fears.
Robin Dance says
Oh my…. I love this, Stephanie! (So much I wrote an entire book about my experience with doubt 😉 ) You have another perspective on how Jesus interacted with the doubter, and that is one of invitation. Yes and amen—he wasn’t offended, didn’t reject them because of it, and even saved a place for them (in today’s terms). There’s a tension between doubt and belief and it’s good to understand they aren’t mutually exclusive. I’ve learned the value of making a space for these conversations, to allow room for Wanderers to express the truth of where they are so another can point them to truth and love them through the desert. Thank you for assuring those who are wrestling with holy and hard things that God knows their hearts and loves them no matter what. Xoxo
Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing this. I have been dealing with doubt and fear so please pray for me. Thank you and God bless you sister!
Marinalva Sickler says
Thanks for sharing about doubts. It’s a struggle that can embarrass and make me suffer.
Darlene Slon says
Thank you for your beautiful and meaningful post! I was at a ladies conference yesterday and they shared this video with us. It is funny but at the same shows the beauty of Gods amazing grace with Peter and us! Enjoy!
Becky Keife says
“Their doubt did not stop Jesus from giving them their calling.” Amen, friend!