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THE EXPERIENCE OF DOUBTING.pdf

THE EXPERIENCE OF DOUBTING.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY J. R. MILLER



Another loss possible to a
human life is so deep, so
poignant, so desolating,
as the losing of the sight
of God's face in the dark-
ness, the fading out of be-
lief in the unseen world, in the divine Father-
hood, in the eternal goodness, in the immortal
life. One of the strangest experiences in the
story of John the Baptist was his doubt of
the Messiahship of Jesus.
BY J. R. MILLER



Another loss possible to a
human life is so deep, so
poignant, so desolating,
as the losing of the sight
of God's face in the dark-
ness, the fading out of be-
lief in the unseen world, in the divine Father-
hood, in the eternal goodness, in the immortal
life. One of the strangest experiences in the
story of John the Baptist was his doubt of
the Messiahship of Jesus.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 28, 2013
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THE EXPERIENCE OF DOUBTINGBY J. R. MILLER Another loss possible to ahuman life is so deep, sopoignant, so desolating,as the losing of the sightof God's face in the dark-ness, the fading out of be-lief in the unseen world, in the divine Father-hood, in the eternal goodness, in the immortallife. One of the strangest experiences in thestory of John the Baptist was his doubt of the Messiahship of Jesus. There are manygood men who in certain experiences have likequestionings. Again and again, after greatsorrow, Christian people are found doubting.In some cases the doubt takes this form:" Surely God is not the God of love I havebeen taught that He is, or He would not havedarkened my life as He is doing." In othercases the feeling voices itself thus : " Godmust be punishing me for sins I have com-[55]mitted; or He is displeased with me for myfailures and neglects in duty." Or, the per-son feels that God Himself has failed in Hispromises. " I have cried to Him, but He issilent to me. He does not regard my distress.He has no pity upon me. He has altogetherforgotten me "We are taught that the note of joy never
 
should cease to be heard in the Christian'slife, that we should praise God at all times,that we should rejoice evermore. That is, in-deed, the way our Master would have us live.He has overcome the world and would have usshare His victory. Yet there are times in thelives of many saintly believers when fromsome cause or other the Father's face is hidfor a season. We do not forget that evenJesus Himself, in the terrible darkness of His cross, lost, for some moments at least, Hisconsciousness of the divine presence, and cried," My God, my God, why hast Thou forsakenMe? " One writer says he wishes the evangelisthad forgotten to put down this cry of Jesuson His cross. But we may be glad that he did[56]C^e jftagtes ana tije 3®oubttvnot forget it, for if ever we have such an ex-perience we know now that it is not a mark of desertion, since even Jesus once felt thesame." He said j 'Forsaken.' Then doubt is not sin.'Tis but to stand in the night, and withinFeel, for a while, as if day could not win"John did just the right thing with his doubt.He did not nurse it in his breast, and broodover it in his dungeon. If he had, his faithwould have died out and the bitterness of dis-appointment would have overwhelmed him.That is the mistake some people make withtheir doubts and questionings. They cherishthem, and the doubts grow into black clouds
 
that quench every star. What John did wasto take his question at once to the Master.He did not want to doubt; he wanted ex-planation, that he might continue to believe.The only true thing for one who has doubtsis to go right to Christ Himself with them.Faith is not lost — only there are things whichcannot be understood. These the Master willmake plain.[57]It is profitable to learn how Jesus dealt withHis friend's doubt. He did not work a miracleand bring him out of his dungeon. When weare distressed by the ways of God with usand begin to think that He is not dealingwith us in love, and then cry to Him, " ArtThou, indeed, our Friend, our Redeemer? Isthis love, this strange way by which Thou arttaking us ? " He may not change His treat-ment of us; the pain may become no lesspoignant, the sorrow no less bitter. This maynot be His way of blessing us." Not what God gives, but what He takes,Uplifts us to the holiest height ;On truth's rough crag life's current breaksTo diamond light"John was suffering in prison for faithfulnessto his Master and to truth. We would say thatJesus would have sent him a message of sym-pathy in his suffering. There is great powerin even a word of encouragement when one iscarrying a heavy load, or passing through afierce struggle, or when one is in danger of fainting and giving up. It would have seemed

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