Faith Mixed with Doubt

Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

John 11:17-27

There is a very common misconception about faith. Many think that if you just have enough faith then you will never have doubts or fears. Here is the main problem with that idea – Faith is for when we have doubts and fears!

We can clearly see in the case of Martha that she has faith in Jesus Christ. She comes to Him for help. She even says that if Jesus asks that the Father will do anything. Since her brother is dead, all that is left to do is raise him from the dead! She also believes in the resurrection at the end of time. And, after Jesus points out to her that HE is the resurrection, she runs to tell her sister.

Yet mixed with all of this faith, doubt and fear creep back in.

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

John 11:39-40

How quickly doubt had come back into Martha! 

But look at how Jesus responds to her. If she believed, she would see the glory of God.

We know that Jesus was going to raise Lazarus from the dead whether anyone believed it or not. So what good is belief? It is the key to removing doubt and fear!

If Martha had come to Jesus humbly, she may have understood more deeply the things she had confessed to believe. Yes, she believed in the resurrection but when she first came to Jesus, that belief was not producing any comfort. At that moment, the doctrine of the resurrection was no more than a doctrine she had learned.

The importance of belief is very clearly taught here. Jesus is going to do what Jesus is going to do. Those that believed saw that He was God and it gave them great comfort. Those that wavered and doubted became even more doubtful.

And so it is with our salvation. God saves His people from their sins by His own decision in election. He saves them by Christ dying for them. He saves them by calling them to new life in regeneration. He saves them by counting Christ’s righteousness to them. He saves them by resurrecting them to their predestined home at the end of time.

God has done His thing. Our faith allows us to rejoice in that finished work and find comfort and peace.

When we find ourselves with doubts and fears it is not because we have lost our salvation. It is because we have forgotten what Jesus has promised, and that He is faithful even when we are not. Our faith does not cause our salvation but it assures us that it is real and true.

“Faith can create no truth we know,

But trusts a truth revealed;

I apprehends our Lord and shows

A pardon full and sealed”

From a hymn by Elder Wilson Thompson (1844)


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