Doubt. It’s not a fun topic or one you will hear about every Sunday, but faith and doubt have been at odds since the very beginning. Doubt is something I have battled and continue to battle, so I wanted to dive into some scripture that shows doubt throughout the Bible and what we can do to combat it. More specifically, I want to look at two kinds of doubts Christians often face – the first involves doubting God will come through in a situation and the second is doubts concerning scripture. Both are tools from the enemy used to attack believers.
We often look at the Garden of Eden as an instance of giving into temptation (Genesis 3). However, look at what the serpent said: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” The serpent planted doubt in Eve’s head. This made it possible for her to rationalize eating the forbidden fruit even though God was clear in His instructions.
This is the first of many examples in the Bible:
- Abraham doubts God with the promise of a son (Genesis 17: 15-17)
- The Israelites doubted God in the desert (Exodus 16:3)
- Thomas didn’t believe the other disciples when they told him Jesus had appeared to them (John 20: 24-29)
The list could go on and on. So how can we use this information? We know there are examples throughout the Bible, so I tried to find a common theme. When it comes to doubting if an answer will come, or doubting an outcome because the timing doesn’t fit our own planning, it appears we (and the Biblical examples) are not taking into account what God has done in the past. We forget God is a promise keeper. We forget all that God has already done for us.
If you are in a season of doubt, look back at how God has provided before. Search the Bible and see you are not alone. When we reminisce on our life, it’s clear God has been present. Even though it’s cliché, God’s plan truly is greater than our own plans. As you pray and wait, don’t ever just sit and let the doubt set in. When we let doubt take hold and don’t do anything about it, the enemy wins.
A second type of doubt that seems to really be taking hold of people is the example demonstrated by Thomas. “Did this event really happen this way? I am careful to avoid specifics because I don’t want to plant any seeds of doubt, but if you are feeling you relate hopefully this post will help.
For me personally, two things in particular have really helped me. The first is talking to people I trust – a pastor, friends, etc. Some of my doubts have sparked some great conversations. Even if you don’t find the answer you want, you may learn you aren’t alone. When I realized I wasn’t the first person to have questions I had the freedom to search for answers, which in turn added to my Biblical knowledge and strengthened my relationship with Christ.
The second is reading books. I always start with searching the Bible for answers (a quick Google search can send you to topic-related scriptures) and then I seek out books about the Bible. Some of my favorites are listed below:
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism – Timothy Keller
- What to do When You Don’t Know What to Do – Dr. David Jeremiah
- The Case for Christ and The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel
I have grown a stronger faith through facing my doubts head on. I’ve found answers are out there – we just have to look for them. It used to really bother me when someone tried to question the validity of the Bible, but now I either already know the answer to what they are doubting or I am confident I can find the answer. If you are struggling right now, spend time in prayer, talking with a pastor, and reading. It’s my hope you will find a strengthened faith as well.