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Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27)
I remember a student who was in my youth group who was on fire for Christ (we'll call him Thomas). He never missed a meeting, and he actually listened and took notes during my lessons! He brought his friends to our outreach nights, and he soon became a major leader in the ministry. What I recall most were the lengthy theological discussions we would have at least once a month that covered everything from Calvinism to Cain's wife.
I also remember the day he started to drift. Oh yeah, a lot of students fall off the bandwagon when they get in the wrong crowd or they discover that God isn't some kind of sugar daddy...but those issues didn't apply to Thomas. For him it was much deeper, because he started to question his faith. He debated with himself and others in his church only to come up empty handed. Eventually he became so frustrated that he left the church and turned away from God to a wasted and useless life of sin.
Don't get me wrong; I believe nearly every Christian doubts his/her faith at one time or another. We question our place in life, our decision to follow Christ, and why certain things happen in the world. In fact, doubts can be very helpful if we deal with them the right way.
What is the right way?
Well, the real issue with Thomas was not doubt, but trust. God can handle our questions, but He does not take kindly to rebellion. When we think of God as being untrustworthy, then we tell Him that He doesn't know what He's doing. What's another word for that? Hmmm, I think the term blasphemy fits well...(see Job 41)
Anyway, if you are beginning to doubt some or even all you believe as a Christian, talk to your youth leader and look for answers in some of the great apologetics materials that are all over the place. You can e-mail us: (email@example.com), or check out sites like www.carm.org or www.christiananswers.net.
One other thing you might try is fighting with a SWORD. It's a cool little acronym that I came across on (where else?) the mighty internet.
Your SWORD contains these elements:
By taking your SWORD into battle and following what it stands for, you stand a better chance of standing strong when the mightiest armies of doubt come rushing your way.
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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