“Lord, I remember the time I could not find my lost toy. When me and mom prayed we found it. You are in control of everything! Lord, I am still not sure if there is a God. Help me know! You are working in me. That is something only You can do. Lord, I’m still not sure if I’m a Cristan. I think I became one last night but not really. Tonight I want to ask Dad how to become a Cristan.”
That’s an old journal entry of my little sister Audrey’s. I wish you could read the whole book because it’s one of the most “awwww” worthy things I’ve ever seen. She talks about her pet mice and how excited she is about her upcoming birthday, but most of the pages are filled with prayers like that one. We all smiled when we rediscovered the journal a little while ago; my whole family remembers this phase in Audrey’s life very well. At around 10 o’clock every night, the pattern would begin. Weeping, she would confess all her doubts about the truth of the Bible and ask Dad and Mom how to become a Christian. From 10 to 11 they would hold her, answer her questions, and share the gospel with her again. Sometimes they tucked her into bed at 12. The next night at 10, the same scenario would enfold. She always acted as if she’d literally never heard anything we’d said before. This went on for well over a year.
It may be uncommon that Audrey had such intense, persistent doubts as a child, but there’s nothing uncommon about doubt itself. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a believer who hasn’t struggled with it at some point. Like the father of the boy with an unclean spirit, we exclaim, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Fast forward five years from the day my sister wrote that journal entry. Today Audrey is fifteen, my best friend, and one of the best exemplars of graciousness I know. Her relationship with Jesus is constantly growing. She ignites my own passion for Him, and often teaches me without even knowing it.
What happened between ten and fifteen to turn a fearful girl into a confident lover of Jesus?
Last year, I wrote a post titled “How To Know If You’ve Been Saved.” It generated a good number of comments, and since then many of you have continued to mention anxiety over whether or not you know Jesus. You sin so often; how can you be sure your faith and repentance were ever real? Last time I talked about this, I emphasized the importance of examining our lives by the Bible’s standard—and I was aiming to make some of you uncomfortable. I meet people every week who identify themselves as Christians without having any love for Jesus, His people, His Book or His grace. They have never been transformed by His Holy Spirit and their functional god is Self.
But this post isn’t directed toward those people. Many of you are saved—and you doubt. You know that you’re saved through faith, by grace and not by works—but you worry that your faith isn’t genuine or steadfast enough. Sometimes you question if Christianity is true at all.
I don’t know when Audrey trusted Jesus for the first time. Neither does she. That doesn’t really matter anyway; what matters is that she’s trusting His grace now. Stay tuned—if you resonate with uncertainty, my next two posts will be for you. There is abundant hope for those who doubt.