It seems that everybody has had doubts at some time or another. When we doubt the future, we call it worry. When we doubt other people we call it suspicion. When we doubt ourselves we call it inferiority. Here’s the definition for doubt: to be uncertain about something; to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul makes a point that although it’s possible to have doubts we don’t have to be defeated by them. Someone has said, “The strongest faith comes out of struggles with your doubt.”
Scriptures James 1:6; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9; Psalm 14:1, 73:8-11; 1 Timothy 1:19; Mark 4:38; Matthew 11:3; John 20:25, Jude 1:22; Proverbs 3:5; Mark 9:21-24; 1 John 5:13; John 20:31
Verse A person who doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea. James 1:6b
Thought There seem to be three main causes for our doubts about God: 1) critics and scoffers, 2) faulty conscience and 3) negative circumstances. Many Christ followers have experienced one or more of these three in their lives. We must remember that doubt isn’t the opposite of faith. Some people say that doubt is the opposite of faith but that’s not true. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. It’s true that doubt that isn’t dealt with can lead us to unbelief but there’s a difference between doubt and unbelief. It’s not a sin to have doubts but how do we keep our doubts from defeating us. We must learn to do three things to help defeat our doubts. The first thing is to admit our doubts. We must quit trying to hide and come clean and admit our doubts. Then the second thing we should do is doubt our doubts. Most of us do the opposite of this and we doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts. The final thing we should do is begin with the faith that we already have. It may not be much faith and that’s okay but you must begin with the faith that you already have.
Questions Have you ever struggled with doubts about God? How do the negative circumstances in our lives set us up for doubting? Do you believe having a faulty conscience can cause a person to doubt their beliefs? When did you show mercy to someone who had doubts about God? Which gets the most thought time in your mind each day: God’s word and what it says to you or your own feelings speaking to you? Do you think it takes great amounts of faith to see God move in your life?
Response Remember that God loves you even if you have doubts about Him. Three things you can start to do now are: admit your doubts to a “safe” person, choose to believe God’s Word and make a conscious decision to doubt your doubts and then begin with whatever size faith you have at this moment.
Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being merciful to people who have legitimate doubts about you and your goodness. Thank you for being loving and merciful to me in my moments of doubt. Help me to cling to you and your Word in this hostile and ungodly world in which I live. Please help me to offer your mercy and grace to those I know who still have doubts about you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.