Jude 1:22 (ESV): And have mercy on those who doubt
As I look back on my life, I have submitted myself to Jesus for a long time. In all of those years, not once has He appeared to me in a physical form. Not once have I experienced a miracle that couldn’t be explained away in some natural way.
I have at times doubted my own relationship with God. What do I mean by that? It means that since I can basically explain everything in my own life without any need for the supernatural, I can question God’s very involvement with me. That, I believe, is doubt.
Every single time I have experienced doubt, I have returned to faith in Jesus. But during my doubts, I have had mercy on myself. I have been able to withhold judgement for my thoughts and have recognized that those thoughts, those doubts, are part of living my life as I follow Jesus.
I think when Jude, a half-brother to Jesus, wrote the above verse he was primarily encouraging those in faith to be patient with those who doubt. We are to “have mercy” on them. I believe that Jude was referring to those who have decided to follow Jesus, yet still struggle with faith. These people, like myself, may vacillate at times. When others, or even when I, have doubts, I need to show mercy.
For myself, I have found that I can continually deal with my doubts by embracing Jesus through His word. The Bible has truth. The Bible shares stories of faith. These stories relate to life and living. I learn about Jesus and His words and how He lived and interacted with others. I read about how He spent time alone and how He agonized in prayer before His Father.
Now, as I encounter others who have doubts, my first response is not judgement. My first response is mercy, even on myself.
Prayer: Dear God, You have mercy on me. Thank you. Even when I doubt, You love me. May I have mercy on others who doubt the way You show mercy to me. And may I also show mercy to myself, even as I journey in this life and follow You.