The Preacher Unmasked: Preachers Struggle with Faith

face and hands of mime with dark make-upWhere are you Lord? Are you listening? Do you hear me? Lord? Are you real?

Where are you Lord? Are you listening? Do you hear me? Lord? Are you real?

Those words could come from your preacher. The Bible teaches that faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) but sometimes we forget to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). When we stand beside a small casket and watch a mom and dad weep uncontrollably we struggle as we grope for God.

When a fine Christian lady, one who works so hard and seems to be the rock of the congregation is taken by some horrible disease, we have no words to explain.

When false teaching runs amok in the community and in the church and we watch as false teachers prosper we are tempted to ask why. We wonder if our long and hard stand for truth is really worth it.

Paul trusted God even in the middle of trails (2 Timothy 4:6) but for us, it can be so hard. The problem comes because everyone expects us to be strong when they are weak. Preachers should always plenty of faith to share, right?

No. Preachers doubt too.

Recall that the disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith (Matthew 8:26; Matthew 16:8). Peter found himself in the middle of a great miracle but even then his faith lacked (Matthew 14:31). Even Abraham, the father of the faithful, struggled. He lied about his wife not once but twice (Genesis 12:10-20; Genesis 20:1-18). He failed to trust God’s protection.

It is often in the midst of doubt that strength grows. Consider Thomas who would not believe in the resurrected Lord until he saw the nail scars. Clearly he was a skeptic, even faithless. But when he saw the wounds in Jesus’ hands and in his side, Thomas declared, “My Lord and my God! (John 20:24-29).

We preachers are not that much different. We are not always strong. In fact we are probably more like Thomas than any of us care to admit. But out of that struggle comes strength. Give us room to grow. Understand our weakness and encourage us. I know I need it sometimes and I bet your preacher does too.

If you haven’t done so, please read my disclaimer.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.

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