I Still Believe

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the message I preached last Friday night: What About Doubt? (I Still Believe)

“When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some doubted.”
-Matthew 28:17

We talk about doubting Thomas who had to see before he would believe — but here is another kind of doubter: The doubter who sees and still doubts.

They saw the resurrected Christ…and still doubted.

How can this be?
A. Everything can be doubted.

Yes, everything can be doubted, including your own existence. Just ask Rene Descartes (I think therefore I am).

The disciples see Jesus risen from the dead, worship Him and…doubt.

Who are these doubters? They are Jesus’ disciples. Was Matthew (who records the doubting) one of them? I suspect so. Who knows the doubts of a man’s heart but the man himself?

Who are these doubters? They are disciples and believers.

Who are these doubters? They are you and me.

But be of good cheer: The doubters went forth and changed the world!
Doubt doesn’t disqualify your faith.

So, what about doubt?

Well, I know this for sure: The most common way of combating doubt…doesn’t work at all.

Most people try to overcome doubt by coming up with a reason to believe. This is a futile exercise. Doubt live off reason. Trying to overcome doubt with reason is like trying to kill a monster by feeding it the food it likes best. You might as well try to conquer Cookie Monster by feeding him cookies as to try to overcome doubt by giving it reasons.

Why do you believe in God?

(I’ll wait a moment while you try to answer this primary question.)

A. Because it’s true.

This is the only correct answer.

God is I AM THAT I AM.

God can no more prove His existence by something else than He can swear by something else. (See Hebrews 6:13)

The lesser is proved by the greater and what is in question is proved by the standard. But what is greater than God? With what thing will you prove God? With what standard will you evaluate God? God is not an object within the universe to which you can apply the proof of reason.

Many arguments for God’s existence run the risk of being like pointing a flashlight toward the sky to prove the sun exists. (Adapted from Simply Christian by N.T. Wright)

From Blaise Pascal’s Pensees:

Pensees # 423: The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.

# 424: It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by reason.

But when the heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), it may not want to perceive God. Thus, there is a moral aspect to faith and unbelief.

But remember this: The only doubt that counts as doubt is the doubt that effects what you do. We are not told that the just think or feel by faith, but that they live by faith.

They worshiped and some doubted. But so what?
They went out and changed the world anyway.

Don’t play the game of feeding doubt reasons for you faith.
You don’t have to justify your faith to doubt.
If you have to doubt something…doubt your doubts.
Don’t’ give doubt a free pass. Make doubt doubt its assertions.
Make doubt feed on itself.

Don’t fall into the neurotic trap of thinking that thinking doubt invalidates your faith. It doesn’t. Thinking a doubt no more invalidates your faith than stepping on a crack breaks your mother’s back.

Faith is a decisive leap. A kind of decision.

Tell contentious doubt what you tell your children when they contend with your decision: I’ve made my decision and that’s final.

Once you have made the leap of faith, you don’t need to give doubt any more of answer than this: I still believe.

Every great man and woman of faith has great battles with doubt. That doesn’t change the fact that they are great in faith — in fact it confirms it. They fight the good fight of faith.

Remember, you don’t have to justify your faith to anyone but God.
And sometimes the best way to deal with doubt is simply to say…
I still believe.
I still believe.
I still believe.


People have asked me about the poem/song/rap/rant/whatever-it-was that I gave at the end of the message.

It is a song by one of my all time favorite (and virtually unknown and massively under appreciated) music artists, The Call.

I Still Believe (Great Design)

(A great song about the good fight of faith.)

I been in a cave
For forty days
Only a spark
To light my way
I wanna give out
I wanna give in
This is our crime
This is our sin

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And the grief
Through the lies
Through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars
Oh, I still believe

I’m flat on my back
Out at sea
Hopin’ these waves
Don’t cover me
I’m turned and tossed
Upon the waves
When the darkness comes
I feel the grave

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the cold
And through heat
Through the rain
And through the tears
Through the crowds
And through the jeers
Oh, I still believe

I’ll march this road
I’ll climb this hill
Upon on my knees if I have to
I’ll take my place
Upon this stage
I’ll wait ’til the end of time for You like everybody else

I’m out on my own
Walkin’ these streets
Look at the faces
That I meet
I feel like I
Like I want to go home
What do I feel
What do I know

But I still believe
I still believe
Through the shame
And through the grief
Through the heartache
Through the tears
Through the waiting
Through the years
For people like us
In places like this
We need all the hope
That we can get
Oh, I still believe


The Call suffered from what I can “Buechner Disease.” Like the brilliant Frederick Buechner they were too secular for the general Christian audience and too Christian for the general secular audience. Oh, well.

Musically they are similar to U2, but with better musicianship and deeper lyrics (U2 are fans of The Call).

I have all of their albums. Sadly, many of them are no longer available. Some of them are available from Amazon.com


Into the Woods

The Best of The Call

Live Under The Red Moon
(I’m listening to this one right now)

Some of their music is also available from iTunes.


The Call is the only band that can regularly move me to tears. Their lyrics are profound; very human and deeply Christian.

Here are a few more songs. Read the lyrics carefully.
(Of course without the music it’s not the same.)

You Run
Let The Day Begin

(Think of Jesus speaking this to the lost and desperate soul.)

You may find a better way
You may find the reason for it all
Say you’ve walked on holy ground
Say you’ve heard the sweetest sound of all
But you find out that you never really cared
And you find out that you have no love to share at all

So you challenge everyone you meet
Crying out to fill a void in you
What are running from My love
What’s this thing your guilty of
Follow Me and never feel accused
But you never do believe a word I say
And never did believe there’d be a day of reckoning

So you run and you run and run and you never stop
And you work and you work and you work until you drop
You’re in over your head and the pressure just don’t quit
But you can’t escape the reach of love

Faces haunt you in your dreams
Struggles of a broken heart appear
Waking from a fitful sleep
Dutifully appointments keep
Try to hold the image of respect
So someone tells you when and where to go
But all that time you never really showed your feelings


You may find a better way
You may find the reason for it all
You may hold a better hand
All your pride and understanding
Never really feeling love at all
But what you thought were different worlds apart
Pulls you in and wraps around your heart forever


Let The Day Begin

(A beautiful, beautiful song. Maranatha!)

The truth can change a man
In the wisdom of his days
It whispers soft but constantly
You cannot live this way
For deceitful words are costly
And actions even worse
The abuse that has been suffered here
From childhood laid its course

How will I know you?
What will you look like?
When will the dream end?
When will the sun arise?
Where does the line form?
Where does the wheel turn?
How will I know you?
When will we ever learn?

We witness not a fallen world
But falling everyday
And nature joins our great dissent
With quakes and hurricanes
But I’ll meet you on the stormy sea
And I’ll hold the winds at bay
And we’ll pull the oars inside the boat
And gently drift away


The past lies in slumber
The future, no claims
The present is ours
It’s cleaned by the rain
My pockets have emptied
But my heart overflows
Consumed in the fire of love’s fearless power
I long for Your face in that great final hour

Now once I spoke in riddles
But now I speak it plain
The tears of God are pouring down
In remembrance of that day
So let the children fly
And question all they see
They’ll grow up wise and penetrate the life that lives unseen

What Happened To You?
Red Moon

(The beauty of salvation in a transformed life.)

What’s happened to you?
You used to be so shy
Used to hang your head down
You wouldn’t look in my eye
Did you see some great vision?
Did you finally break through?
Did you shake the foundations?
What’s happened to you?

What’s happened to you?
You used to look so tired
Now there’s a spring in your step
And your words are on fire
Did you hear some great secret?
Did the words ring in truth?
Did you rise from the ashes?
What’s happened to you?

Where the four winds meet
The world is so still
The waves are not pounding
And the hungry are filled
Our shadows have crossed here
Where the Son touched the ground
We’ve gathered, we’re singing
What a beautiful sound

What’s happened to you?
You used to be so unkind
You used to curse at this poor world
So what changed your mind?
What started such compassion
Is a mystery to me
I don’t know what’s happened
Oh, but I like what I see


You Where There
Red Moon

(A very powerful song about three men in need of salvation: A homeless alcoholic. A man dying of AIDS. A rich man with an empty soul. As much as you’ve done it to these least of these…)

I saw a man’s home
A box made of cardboard
Frozen to the bone
Can’t take much more
He says, Lord, I need help here
Send me a strong hand
To lift me from the street
Help me to stand
I been forgotten
Been forsaken
Poisoned by a bottle
I cannot shake it
I’ve been passed over
Been rejected
And I’m afraid I’ll never feel the warmth of summer come again
Man, I am helpless
I’m freezing
You were there
You were there

I saw a sick man
On a sickbed
Scorned by the world
Like he had two heads
He says, I’m a man here
Dying a cruel death
I’m cut off from the world
Man, this is so sad
He was sufferin’
He was ailin’
Tortured by his faith
His body was failin’
He says, I’m an outcast
Left defenseless
And I’m afraid that I’ll be dead before the summer comes again
I’ve been rejected
Man, I am dying
You were there
You were there

I saw a rich man
Alone in a dark house
A prison made of gold
He could not break out
Says, my life is aimless
It just seems pointless
Boredom truly kills
Man, I am hopeless
I got diamonds
I got houses
I’ve got Silver Clouds
And silver spoons to match ’em
I’ve come up empty
Man, I am desperate
And I never want to feel the warmth of summer come again
I’ll be forgotten
My life is over
You were there
You were there


Here’s a YouTube of The Call doing Everywhere I Go.
(Forgive the ’80’s look…but hey, it was 1986.)


The Friday Night Message: The Healing of Harms