“I wish I could stop doubting Jesus,” my friend said, tears filling her eyes. “I just don’t know if He really cares. If He does, I’m not sensing it right now.”
I’ve experienced times of doubt too. Have you?
My doubts seem to come in the middle of the night with those nagging thoughts that rob me of my much-needed sleep. Fear of a recent health diagnosis. A wayward teen. Finances. Marriage difficulty. A death of someone close. Work. You know, life. Good grief, life is hard! And after I’ve finished doubting and worrying (worry is doubt), I’ll beat myself up for my doubts and lack of faith! Can you relate?
Doubts loom around like shadows, seeking to engulf every bit of light. When they catch us, we are left groping in the dark, desperate for any glimmer of hope.
Is this how God intended it to be? Is this what the Christian life amounts to? NO.
Take heart, my friend. If you have experienced doubts and wavering faith, you are in good company.
The Bible is Full of Doubters.
The first doubter is found right off the bat in the book of Genesis. Satan introduced doubt to Eve when he asked, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat of any tree in the garden’?” He wanted her to lack confidence in God’s command. When Eve affirmed God’s command and stated the consequences, Satan replied with a denial, which is a stronger statement of doubt: “You won’t die.” Doubt is a tool of Satan to make us lack confidence in God’s Word. But of course, we cannot lay all the blame on Satan.
A few more examples of doubter are Gideon when he doubted hearing God’s voice (Judges 6), Sarah, Abraham’s wife doubted God when He said she would have a child in her old age (Genesis 18:12), Zechariah doubted when God said he would have a son in his old age (Luke 1:11-20), and Thomas, one of Jesus’ own disciples doubted that Christ had risen from the dead (John 20:24-29).
With stories like these (there are many others), we can know that God isn’t surprised by our doubts. The important thing is how we handle them.
How to Overcome Doubts
Acknowledge, Confess and Admit
Here’s how that looks: You wake up in the middle of the night and your mind will not turn off because of worry over the cutbacks at work. Acknowledge you are worrying which means you are doubting God’s care for you. Confess it to God. Call it what it is: doubt, worry, fear. Admit you need God to help.
Even those with faith in God struggle with doubt on occasion, like the father in Mark 9 who said, “I do believe. But help my unbelief” (verse 24). Jesus did not turn away from the father for his lack of faith. He won’t turn away from us either if we are honest with Him.
Begin Looking for Answers
Don’t be lazy about this. Read the Bible and the many other historical documents that confirm the validity of the Bible. Answers are literally a click away.
The remedy for doubt is faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). It only makes sense to go straight to the source when it comes to matters of faith, right? God gave us the Bible as a testimony of His works in the past so we will have a reason to trust Him in the present. “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago” (Psalm 77:11).
Talk to others whom you respect for their faith. Ask them to share their story of faith. I guarantee you, they have experienced doubts from time to time too.
Get to Know God Personally
We can learn a lot about a famous athlete or Hollywood actor, but unless we spend time with the person, we will never know them. The same is true for God. God didn’t intend for us to read the Bible to know about Him. He wants us to know Him intimately. How can we be sure of this? He sent His Son, Jesus to live and relate personally to us— then finally, to die for our sins. That’s pretty personal. And as if that wasn’t enough, He gave us His Holy Spirit to live within those who have given their lives to Jesus. The Holy Spirit “bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). The Spirit also guides, helps, corrects, gives gifts (Galatians 5:22-23), sanctifies, convicts, and intercedes.
When we read the Bible with the intention of knowing God intimately by engaging the Holy Spirit’s guidance, our perception changes. Tell God that you want to know Him not just about Him.
Get To Know Who You Are To God
Often, our self-worth is based on what others tell us or what we believe about ourselves.
The only true authority on our self-worth is Jesus Christ who considered us valuable enough to die for our sins.
Now read this aloud:
The only true authority on MY self-worth is Jesus Christ who considered ME valuable enough to die for MY sins.
The reason this matters is that when we recognize our great worth to God, we expect Him to be present and personal in our lives. It’s hard to doubt God’s care for us when we know how much we matter to Him,
God has a lot to say about our worth and value. Here are only a few that prove our great value to Him.
You were made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). You are loved (1 John 3:1). Not even sin can separate you from God’s love (Romans 5:8).
The key to overcoming doubt is faith.
Growing in faith doesn’t just happen, it is developed. For something to develop it must be fostered.
Faith is a powerful force. When we have doubts about God, our purpose here, and our self-worth—it affects our perspective on everything.
What you believe defines the experience you have in this life and the next. What you believe about Jesus determines both.
My friend, God can handle our doubts. Doubts don’t intimidate or surprise God.
Bring your doubts to Him today, and whenever they crop up. He can take it. And He can take them away as you grow in and foster a personal relationship with Him.
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Have you experienced times of doubt? How did you handle it? Take time to comment below.
It’s hard to doubt God’s care for us when we know how much we matter to Him, I am so cery thankful to know that He cares so much for me! Thank You Beckie foe thr reminder that He can understand our doubt and has given us the power to overcome!
Eve, Amen! He has given us all we need to for godly living (2 Peter 1:3), but we must tap into that power by staying close to Him, right?
Thanks, dear sister for taking the time to share!
Beckie — I guess it’s human to have doubts — especially when you don’t hear the answers you want when you want them. I know I am guilty at times of doubting even though I know better. God always shows up and takes care of things. I know this and I must exhibit more faith based on past experiences. Thanks
Del, I agree. When we don’t hear what we want to hear from God, or worse, when He is silent—we must hold on to who we know He is. He is good and what He does is good (Psalm 119:68).He always has our best in mind 🙂 Now, if I could just stay in that frame of mind!
I just came from a prayer group, and the person leading the devotion read only one verse: Romans 10:17, faith comes from hearing the Word of God. When our faith wavers (not if) we just have to turn to the Word and refill our soul. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement. 🙂
Rhonda, I love when God confirms His word in the way you described! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Blessings to you and yours!
Have I had those moments of doubt? Oh, yes, Beckie, too many times to count. But God through His Holy Spirit has taught me (very patiently, I might add) to admit my doubts/worries and ask the Lord for help and guidance through it all. My faith has truly grown because of this very exchange. And it’s so wonderful that you’ve reminded us here just how much God loves each one of us, doubters and sinners, all.
Martha, Beautiful words from a woman of faith! I know you’ve been through some scary things recently with Danny. And here you are confirming how the Father has loved you through it—doubts and all!
Blessings to you and your family!
I love the fact that you’ve addressed an issue that is so universal, and I appreciate the accurate linkage between doubt and its companion issue–faith. It’s intriguing that one of the things that caused the Lord Jesus to ‘marvel’ was the unbelief of those in the area that was His home turf. The sad impact of that unbelief was that He was limited in what He could do for them. Because there are things that God will not do without our willing cooperation, doubting does more than limit our own accomplishments–it actually becomes a means of limiting what God could and would do for us without it. Great topic, Beckie–and well handled. Doubtlessly many will be encouraged and inspired by it.
Some of what you address in your comment, as well as Brian below, have caused me to consider some other things concerning doubt and faith. I’ll prayerfully consider a part 2 on this ‘universal issue’.
Thanks for your thought-provoking comment.
Thanks for sharing Beckie. Doubts, anxiety, stress – I’m familiar with them all. Journaling as I read God’s Word, letting Him minister to me in the process has helped. It’s an ongoing journey for sure though.
Brian, I like to write out my prayers in a journal too. Even in my doubts, I can go back and see how faithful the Lord has been and it helps decrease my anxious thoughts. Writing down my blessings (thankfulness) is a good one too. That could have been another point in this post. Hmm, maybe there’s more to add. Thanks for the ‘food for thought.’
Blessings to you on this journey of growth.
Great post! Sometimes I struggle with doubt, especially when anxiety threatens to overwhelm me. But I am stubborn enough to hold on to Jesus through all of that, so that’s my recommendation–be stubborn about your faith. Even if you don’t feel it, profess it.
By the way, I nominated your for a blogger award (it will be posted Wednesday morning) in case you’re interested. Keep up the good work!
Emily, Oh, I love this recommendation about being stubborn about your faith! May I borrow it?
Thanks for nominating me for the blogger award. You’re too sweet 🙂 I’ll look for it.
Blessings to you dear sister!
Great read! Thanks for the encouragement mom! 🙂 Something I’ve been studying is Luke 15. In each story Jesus tells the Pharisees how much God rejoices every time someone is saved. The father sprinted to meet his prodigal son. Anytime we feel like God has more important things to deal with, we can be encouraged by the fact that He loves us enough to have a party just for our sake! Love ya!
Chad, I love this idea of God having a party just for our sake! Thanks for that.
Imagine what heaven’s going to be like. God made the earth in 6 days and look how great it is. Jesus said He’s going to get a place ready for us and He’s been working on it for over 2,000 years. I’m thinking it’s going to be an amazing party!
The story of the prodigal son is such a great illustration of God’s forgiveness, mercy, and amazing love!
I’m glad you were encouraged. Your comment encouraged me 🙂
Love you, son!
Reblogged this on felixjonasadomblog.
Oh thank you for being real about something we all struggle with. Marking and saving this for the words of encouragement and wise reminders. 🙂
Hi, Lauren! I’m so glad this was helpful to you. It was helpful for me to write. It was like strengthening my faith muscles. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Blessings to you and yours
I love reading posts of peoples struggles and how God is bringing them through victoriously to the other side.
Your post reminds me something that Kari Jobe said that God can handle our disappointments so he wants us to share them with him!!!
Thanks for stopping by Spotlight and taking the time to comment about Big Al’s amazing testimony. It was such a joy to speak with him and and honor to write. Yes and amen about the Kari Jobe comment (love her!).
Blessings to you and yours!
very insite ful… Plan on stopping by more often…. 😀
Well, thanks for stopping by Spotlight. I’m glad you were encouraged.
God bless you and yours!
Great helps, Beckie.
I’m so glad this was helpful for you. Thanks for stopping by Spotlight.
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Doubt is the opposite of faith. Doubt is the rational process and faith is conviction, trust, hope, understanding by the Spirit, mercy and peace.
Thanks for stopping by Spotlight and taking the time to comment. I agree with you: doubt is the opposite of faith. I hope this post was an encouragement to you.
Thank you, Beckie!
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14.26
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Carlos, Amen, and Amen!
Amen. On point, awesome read!
Yourbestfaith (Shelly-Ann), Thanks for stopping by Spotlight and leaving an encouraging comment. Praying God’s blessings on your as you seek to use your talents to honor Him by coaching others!
You’re welcome dear & thanks for the encouragement too! Bless you Psalm 84:11 🙂
Amen-Amein Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua Beckie, thanks so much for sharing this!!
I say: “Trust in the LORD Christ-MESSIAH Jesus-Yeshua with all thine HEART AND SOUL, HE LOVES you all Everyone.” 💜💕
Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/
Kristi Ann, Amen and Amen, dear sister!