Monday, August 18, 2014

What Saved Your Faith?

I'm joining the synchroblog for the release of A Christian Survival Guide: A Lifeline to Faith and Growth

I enjoy writing about doubt and faith, because so many people struggle with it yet feel so alone, because somehow, they've been taught that if they doubt, then they don't have enough faith and are not good enough.  We so easily dismiss the Pharisees as so works-oriented that they just didn't understand Jesus, but fail to recognize when we then judge each other based on how much and what kind of faith we have.  

My biggest doubts have come from reading the Bible itself.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It is the inspired word of God that has caused me to doubt.  The first time I really remember it happening was when I read Hosea 11:1 in context instead of in Matthew's interpretation of it.  

Or when I learned that in Ezekiel 42-45, there are measurements for a third temple that Revelation 21:22 tells us will not exist.  

Or when I learned that the Jewish understanding of the requirements for what the Messiah will do are very, very different from the Christian understanding.

Or when I learned that there were people who had left Christianity and that there were a lot of other interpretations of Scripture out there.

And so on and so forth.

While the timing of past events has become very fuzzy to me, there is one moment I do remember, although I do not remember when or where it occurred.  I was at a point where I thought I would have to make a decision to give it all up.  Faith, church, Jesus.  And as I contemplated what to do, I realized it could go either way.  I didn't know anymore who Jesus was or what he was supposed to mean to me.  It was as if I was facing two paths to walk down, and I had to choose one.

The only thing that was certain was that I somehow knew, if I did walk away, I would be missing something important in my life.  

So I guess you could say Jesus saved my faith.  It really was nothing that I or anyone else did at all--I wouldn't even say I had faith as large as a mustard seed at that point. 

Many people are fond of quoting Romans 8:38-39:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Nor anything else in all creation.  That includes doubt and fear.  And so, if you are in that place of doubt, no matter if anyone tries to tell you different, know that even if you are doubting Jesus, he still loves you, and is waiting patiently.

 “What saved your faith? Write your own post answering that question and then visit to learn how you can join the synchroblog or to read additional posts to celebrate the release of Ed’s book A Christian Survival Guide, which is discounted on Amazon this week. “

P.S.  A Christian Survival Guide is free for Kindle today.


Lisa notes... said...

I love that you kept your faith WITH doubt, instead of throwing it all away. I still have doubts when I read certain scriptures, but I know God understands how limited I think. He loves us anyway. That's what counts. Thanks for sharing your story.

Melinda V Inman said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. Things aren't always cut and dried and simple. But Jesus shows up and saves our faith. God bless!

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Thanks Melinda. When Ed asked the question, I realized that it really was nothing that *I* did that saved my faith.

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Yes! God understands; but other people usually don't. I cringe whenever I hear people say [versions of] "doubt is bad!" because if we have to be certain, then it really isn't faith.

Melinda V Inman said...

Same here. It all Jesus. :)

Ed_Cyzewski said...

I know that moment well. Thanks for writing about it with so much clarity. I remember the terror of feeling that it could all fall apart. For me, I realized that I was putting too much trust in what I made of the Bible and how I interpreted it. I had to fall back on the presence of Jesus. My pastor says either you become an atheist or a mystic. ;)

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Ah, well, then I definitely went towards mystic! And yeah, it really is a feeling of terror that it could all fall apart--everything about my life would have changed. And I don't think I was ever specifically taught to believe certain things about the Bible or interpreting it, but because the Bible was used in church I just assumed I had to have certain beliefs. If that makes sense.

Jim Fisher said...

scientist friends have come up with things like principles of
uncertainty and dark holes. They're willing to live inside of imagined
hypothesis and theories. But many religious folks insist on answers that
are always true. We love closure, resolution, clarity, or thinking that
we are people of faith. How strange that the very word faith has come
to mean its exact opposite." -- Fr. Richard Rohr.

Kelly J Youngblood said...

I love that. How ironic that the scientists are ok with uncertainty but people of faith are not. (not that scientists can't be both, but you know what I mean).

Jim Fisher said...

Ironic indeed!

Jim Fisher said...

Dive into the mystic within you, Kelly! And Ed! The deep, unfathomable mysteries of God will comfort you with Awe and Wonder. Behold with childhood eyes, those ones as big as baseballs, that you may have tossed aside assuming you are too old to still play with.