Weak and doubting faith

Hi! I am a high school student and lately I have been struggling with my faith. I do go to a WELS high school and went to a WELS grade school as well. However, I have been questioning my beliefs and whether or not Christianity is the true religion. I get scared whenever these thoughts form in my head, because I know that if I don't believe in Jesus as my Savior I will not receive eternal salvation. I wonder if God really exists sometimes. I am just struggling with my faith and would like some advice to get my firm faith in God back.

Through your elementary and high school education in WELS schools, you have received and are receiving a wonderful instruction in God’s word.  Through classes and worship services the Holy Spirit has had numerous opportunities to work through the gospel to strengthen your faith.  The result is that you do recognize that there is salvation only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Still, questions about the faith can arise.  In one regard, questions about the faith are good and appropriate.  Scripture provides this instruction:  “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).  What we don’t want to do is take our faith for granted or take an approach that sees faith as hereditary:  “My parents are Christians.  I’m a Christian.  They believe certain things, and I just believe what they believe.”  We are to be Berean Christians (Acts 17:11), examining the Scriptures and seeing for ourselves what our faith is all about.

So, questioning faith in that context is good and appropriate.  Questioning faith, as in doubting, is not good.  You and I will want to recognize that the source of doubt is the ungodly trio of the devil, the sinful world and our sinful flesh.  Those spiritual enemies want us to doubt the Christian faith and abandon the Christian faith.

What do we do?  We turn to Jesus who came into the world to fulfill all the prophecies of the Messiah.  One of those prophecies was:  “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out” (Matthew 12:20).   The Messiah was to be a person who would be compassionate toward the weak and the doubting, and bolster their faith.  You can be confident that is Jesus’ attitude toward you.  He wants you to be sure and confident about the Christian faith.

To achieve that end, God holds out his gospel in word and sacrament for you to use.  So, especially now, dive into God’s word and be a frequent guest at the Lord’s Supper.  Do recognize that doubts will decrease and faith will increase as God works in your heart through the gospel (Romans 10:17).

Finally, there is a practical matter to consider.  I wonder if you are able to identify the times and sources when your doubts about Christianity arise.  Is there a pattern?  Are there triggers for doubt and uncertainty?  Answering those questions might help you form a strategy in your journey through life as a Christian.

I’m glad you asked this question and I hope you received helpful information.  Do speak with your pastor or high school adviser.  They will not consider your situation unusual by any means.  Rather, they will understand the struggles Christians of all ages experience, and do what they can to help.  God bless you.