One of my Instagram followers reached out to me awhile ago and asked me if I could write on a specific topic. This is what she said: “Do you ever doubt? Are there ever times that you doubt God and your faith?” I thought this was a really important topic to address.
Have you ever struggled with doubt? If you’re completely honest, you have. I have so many times… and I will continue to. Unfortunately, no one is perfect and no one’s faith will ever be either. There’s a lot of doubt we can have as Christians. We can doubt in our salvation, God’s love for us or even the very existence of God Himself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve doubted my faith or even the existence of God. But He is always so good and gracious to bring me back to Him with full assurance!
Now, I don’t have a “magic cure” for erasing doubt. This is just what happens as imperfect people: sometimes doubt creeps in. But what I can do is remind you of this: God offers hope. And we can take practical steps everyday in that truth to help us. There is Someone bigger than ourselves that we can turn to! Here are just a few practical tips to consider when doubt creeps in…
1.) Be kind to those who have doubts.
In Jude 1, Jude talks about the end times and how there will be people who will “scoff” and try to sway believers with their lies. These guys aren’t of God. In verse 22, Jude encourages his readers to “be merciful to those who doubt“. It’s easy for us to judge, condemn or ridicule those who are doubting. But it’s not easy for someone who is doubting God or their faith. It’s can be a lonely, confusing and humiliating feeling. Instead of putting them down, we should be building them up and praying for them earnestly.
Sometimes doubt lasts for an afternoon and fades in the evening. Other times it lasts for a whole lifetime. It isn’t easy, but I think God does it to keep us dependent on Him, patient in the process and reliant on His strength. So if you see someone struggling with doubt, ask them how you can help them and pray, pray pray.
2.) Sometimes doubt makes way for a deeper faith.
Let me ask you something. Did you come to know Jesus at a young age? Were you raised in the church by your parents for your whole life? Often times, doubt rears it’s ugly head when we get older, have to face harder times and be apart of the “real world”. Romans 5:1-5 reminds us that sufferings produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And ultimately, we are always promised HOPE if we believe in Jesus. That tells us that doubt isn’t the end. There is more promised if we only persevere through the tough times.
So when you’re in those moments of deep doubt, please don’t give up hope. Remind yourself what has God promised you. And that through the doubt, God is promising to refine you. Press through the doubt to the promise that God is in the process of making you even better.
3.) We don’t have all the answers, but we know One who does.
Do you want to know all the answers, all the time? I have to admit that I do! A lot of the times, we want to know all that God has planned before we commit. While God has revealed a lot to us, there is still a lot we don’t know. Deuteronomy 29:29 says: “The secret things belong to the Lord, but the things revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may follow the words of His law.”
As mere human beings, we will never be able to understand things of the Trinity or the vast things of God. God has revealed everything we need to know for salvation and life. When we have doubts, we must cling to what He has revealed to us and trust that it is enough. What we are ble to comprehend should be enough… because God alone is enough. Spend some serious time in prayer asking the Lord to remind you of who He is. Ask Him to show Himself to you through your life, the world and the Word. Spend time in His Word. That is where the truth lies.
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Doubting does not mean you don’t believe. Sadly, a lot of people take their doubt as a sign that they no longer belong and are unbelievers. When Christians struggle with doubt, it’s important to not let it discourage you. You’re not on a road to unbelief when you doubt!
Because of God’s redemptive work on the cross, we are able to overcome doubt with the help of the Holy Spirit. If you have received Jesus as your Savior, you have been made a new creature and you have a new identity. Jesus doesn’t say, “When you believe in me, you’re apart of my family. But when you don’t believe, you’re out.” No! Your identity and DNA has been transformed forever. So what’s a little doubt? God is bigger. His grace is bigger. He is calling and becknoning you back into His presence. He just wants you to dig a little deeper and cling to Him a little harder. God’s in the business of growing and solidifying people’s faith; maybe that’s what He’s trying to do with you. Come near to Him, and He will come near to you! (James 4:8)
Romans 12:2 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.”