SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. (BNC) — For the last three months, on Fridays, gospel preacher Paul Holland has devoted his “Daily Droplets” email devotionals to the subject of doubts about God.
Paul, who works with the Swartz Creek congregation, wrote Aug. 21 that the struggle with such doubts “frequently boils down to doubts about His faithfulness and/or doubts about His love.”
Life’s unpleasant experiences also tend to raise questions.
“Sometimes bad things happen to us or we suspect bad things will happen to us and we doubt the love of God,” Paul stated.
Though his devotional is not lengthy, Paul directs the reader to Peter, Paul, and John, besides 1-2 Kings, for doubt-resolving truths.
Paul points not only to Bible examples of God’s faithfulness and love, but also to man as a creature in God’s image and the Lord’s supper as testimonies to his desire to save.
[That image] may be polluted by our selfishness and our sinfulness but Christ will remove that. Christ wants to take away that which separates us from the love of God.
Although Paul was on his way to “Polishing the Pulpit,” he took out time to respond to BNC’s questions.
BNC: What prompted this series? What need did you see in the church that you thought needed to be addressed?
Paul: These devotionals are from my Wednesday class this past quarter. One source that has been particularly helpful is Alistair McGrath’s book, Doubt: Growing through the Uncertainties of Faith. From my preaching experience, many Christians struggle with doubts, and our modern culture is exacerbating that tendency.
BNC: Do you have a link where all these articles can be accessed, besides the general devotional link?
Paul: I do not yet have a single source with all the Daily Droplets. But, when we get our website revamped, I hope to have them all available.
BNC: Are there any differences in the doubt expressed by writers and figures in Scripture and the doubt that people today struggle with?
Paul: In large measure, I do not see any substantial difference in the doubts expressed by the biblical people and those we feel today. The cultural contexts are different, but since humans are the same, our doubts are the same struggles they experience.
BNC: Is there an easy or simple answer to doubt?
Paul: The simplest answer to doubts is to reinforce our faith with studies of the Scriptures and their presentation on the nature of God and Christ and being strengthened by fellowship and advice from other Christians. If faith comes by hearing the word of God, it is also sustained by hearing the word of God.
BNC: How or why does doubt appear among Christians? What triggers it?
Paul: Christians doubt today for the same reason biblical people doubted — we are human. We are limited by our ability to control our lives and limited by our ability to know all the ramifications of the decisions we need to make. That’s the fundamental reason why we must trust the God who controls all and knows all.
BNC: Are there plans to put your writings on doubt into print or other permanent form?
Paul: I do not have plans to put the lessons into permanent form at the present.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us