It’s not unusual to go through crises of faith and to question points of doctrine or even foundational Christian principles. The Lord often works through such battles of the mind and spirit and uses them to strengthen us. He can use this process to help us to go back to the foundation of our faith, to reaffirm our belief system, and to gain greater clarity. It can help us reach a better understanding as to why we believe certain things to be true—the scriptural foundation for our faith.
Many Christians have experienced crises of faith or grappled with bouts of doubt. Some noteworthy examples come quickly to mind—Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, and the pioneer missionary Adoniram Judson. Their crises of faith and the battles they fought to reach a place of faith and understanding have been documented. The result of their experiences, however, was a stronger faith, a deeper understanding of God and the intimate relationship He seeks with each of us. Their battles and victories have inspired many. I would venture to say that their struggles also gave them a deeper understanding of the battles people face in affirming their faith and how these can be used to ultimately strengthen their faith. You may have had similar experiences.
Rather than looking at doubts and crises of faith as a potential threat to our faith, to be resisted and pushed out of mind and heart, we need to bear in mind that questioning, doubt, and skepticism can also be stepping stones to a strong and mature Christian faith. They can help us to reason and understand our faith, to research and to determine “whether these things [are] so,”1 and to reach a place of personal and reasoned faith. A faith built on these premises will not be easily swayed when challenged by contrary arguments or beliefs, or by the intellectual reasoning of unbelievers. Ultimately, the result can be a stronger and more seasoned faith.
1. Acts 17:11