“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”
When it comes to thinking about trusting God and having faith, we often think it means we are not able to doubt. We may have been told to “choose faith over doubt.” However, I believe as we grow closer to God and learn more about God, we run into questions. We face doubts. Still, as our relationship with God continues to grow closer, we also notice our definition of trusting God begins to look different.
When I was younger, I equated trusting God with knowing God will deliver on his promises. Unfortunately, I also equated God delivering on his promises with good things happening to me. At the time, I don’t think I realized my desires for my life were very inward focused. I wanted good things for my life. I wanted good things to happen to me. I wanted a good life, home, job, spouse. It was all very me-centered.
I am learning the Gospel is a lot more outward focused than it is inward focused. It’s about loving my own life less and loving God and others more.
Since there’s little in my life that’s turning out the way I always thought it would, I am learning trusting God is a daily choice. I am not necessarily simply choosing faith over doubt, but I am choosing to not dwell on my doubts. I am choosing to listen to truth rather than let the doubts whisper lies into my ear. Doubt whispers into my ear: “You are not good enough. You’ll end up alone and working a job you hate.” I do not need to live into those lies. I am trying to lean into the truth that I am loved by God.
Donald Miller in Searching for God Knows What writes:
“Imagine how a man’s life would be if he trusted that he was loved by God. How could he interact with the poor and not show partiality, he could love his wife easily and not expect her to redeem him, he would be slow to anger because redemption was no longer at stake, he could be wise and giving with his money because money no longer represented points, he could give up on formulaic religion, knowing that checking stuff off a spiritual to-do list was a worthless pursuit, he would have confidence and the ability to laugh at himself, and he could love people without expecting anything in return. It would be quite beautiful, really.”
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”