Dealing with Doubts: Lesson 3, Personal Pain and Determined Faith

Dear parents,

Sometimes doubts need rational answers; those doubting sometimes benefit from wrestling with sound assertions and reasoning provided by Scripture, theology, science, and Christian apologetics. But sometimes the last thing a doubter needs is an “answer.” What he or she really needs is the loving presence of Jesus—because when doubts are caused by deep personal pain, we require a spiritual rather than a predominantly rational solution.

We all deal with pain in our lives, but as the parent of a teenager you know that adolescence is a period of magnified emotions (like really magnified). When your child hurts, he or she really hurts. Loneliness, stress, heartache, anger—all of these emotions can hit teenagers full throttle. And when life hurts deeply, faith-related questions begin to swirl.

In our study, we examined how Martha and Mary dealt with their grief over the death of their brother, Lazarus, in John 11. We also looked at some Psalms and the life of Job briefly. Our students discussed how critical it is to come to Jesus in honesty and to choose faith even in the face of profound pain.

Connect with your teenager this week by sharing candidly about your own experiences of pain. When have you felt lonely, frightened, or even abandoned by Jesus? How did you make it through? Be as open as you can. Model for your child the truth that faith can endure through even the darkest of times.