Have Mercy

Jeff Munroe

READ : Jude17-23

Be merciful to those who doubt. (v. 22 NIV)

Many Christians struggle both with doubt and with guilt about having doubt. They feel that it must be sinful to doubt. Others embrace doubt as an inevitable part of the life of faith. Jude is in that group. After several fairly harsh verses aimed at the false teachers who had infiltrated the church, Jude turns pastoral, asking for mercy from his beloved readers toward those wavering and for them to rescue those in trouble.

Jude’s words are good news for those who doubt and are in pain, echoing Isaiah 42:3: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench.” When we are bruised, it is not God who breaks us. When our wick burns dim with doubt and we suffer through the “dark night of the soul,” it is not God who snuffs out what light we have.

“God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Jesus is on the side of the hurt, the victims, and the bruised. “‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.’ . . . For I have come not to call the righteous but sinners” (Matthew 9:12-13). Jesus is our Great Physician, even when we doubt.

PRAYER

Lord, we believe, help our unbelief. Amen.