Do sincere Christians sometimes have doubts?
You be the judge. Let me introduce you to a person named Asaph. Asaph was a poet and a musician at the time of David. He was appointed by David to lead worship and write music for worship at the tabernacle:
“He (David) appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to extol, thank, and praise the Lord, the God of Israel: Asaph was the chief…” (1 Chronicles 16:4-5, NIV).
Asaph was such a remarkable worship leader that ultimately David even set apart Asaph’s descendants to lead the Israelites in worship. David’s son Solomon would end up building the temple in Jerusalem. And Asaph’s sons would continue to lead worship as it shifted from tent to temple.
Would you think that David would select a man of faith for a ministry like that?
Of course he would! Would such a man ever have doubts? Check out the first 14 verses of Psalm 73, which Asaph wrote:
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
From their callous hearts comes iniquity; their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice; with arrogance they threaten oppression.
Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, “How would God know? Does the Most High know anything?”
This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence.
All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments. (Psalm 73:1-14, NIV)
If you have ever had a few doubts along the way, I pray that you will find comfort in Asaph’s struggles as he viewed the prosperity of unbelievers and wondered how they could be so successful. How could God allow it?
Ultimately, Asaph’s doubts did not win out. Jesus did. The Holy Spirit gained the victory in Asaph’s heart. Asaph ended up writing a full dozen of the Psalms, words of faith that still inspire us today.
Our Bible reading for Friday, June 12, is 2 Samuel 18:19 – 19:43, Acts 7:44 – 8:3 and Psalm 73:1-14.
Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!
Note: The quote on the picture is from Francis Bacon, an English jurist, philosopher, statesman, scientist, orator, and author. Also a Christian! In 1626 Bacon stopped in the snow to conduct an experiment on the preservation of food, fell ill, and died on Easter Sunday. In his will, he included this final prayer: “When I thought most of peace and honor, thy hand [was] heavy on me, and hath humbled me, according to thy former loving kindness. … Just are thy judgments upon my sins. … Be merciful unto me for my Savior’s sake, and receive me into thy bosom.”
Header image based on "Certainty and Doubt" by Celestine Chua, CC By 2.0