Throughout Scripture, we read about even the most memorable biblical heroes having their fair share of both faith and doubt. The two are not necessarily at odds with each other. In fact, oftentimes our doubt spurs us on to greater and deeper faith. God invites us to question His nature and His character when we have doubts. Remember, God is a God of intellect; intellect always requires questions to find answers. So don’t think of your doubt as negative. Think about it as an invitation to question and learn more about God. That is how He designed us, after all.
There is a certainty that we can have about God that moves us away from doubt because God is a God of action. We can read through the Scriptures that the Lord was never an idol, statue or monument that we would have fond memories toward because of tradition. In the Scriptures, we can read that God was ever present and ever active from the Old Testament to the New Testament. There was a natural and varied essence of His power constantly at work.
While in our Christian circles, we may witness person after person attesting to such tangible power and presence in their circumstances. They hear His Spirit speaking peace, see Him move and experience His healing.
Yet, at times, when we look at our lives today, we do not get so excited about being with Him in spirit because we have lost touch with the physical connection with Him and His people around us.
We begin to doubt our worth to Him (or His power). Does He love me? Will He fight for me? We begin to see the stories in the Word of God almost as fictional. Or they have become so commonplace because we have heard the same stories since we were children, and they have lost their wonder.
Let’s talk about how we move toward the opposite of faith: certainty. If you have been walking with the Lord long enough, you do have reasons to have confidence in Him. Doubts and struggles are expected when we walk with the Lord.
What are some steps to handling doubt to move from faith and doubt to faith and certainty?
- Don’t think that faith means never doubting — Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes when we have questions, we feel like we are being rebellious or don’t have enough faith. This is not the case at all.
Christians often get the idea that faith means never doubting. We often see how other people have strong faith, so we think something’s wrong with us when we doubt. But that’s not what faith means at all. Faith doesn’t mean never doubting; it means continuing to believe despite our doubts.
- Find out why you doubt — Doubts usually come from somewhere deep within us, so we need to know where they come from before dealing with them. Sometimes doubts come because our circumstances seem to contradict God’s promises. They can come because something someone said made us question God’s existence or goodness. Doubts can haunt us because we feel like God isn’t answering our prayers.
- Speak the proof — Don’t let your doubt silence you from others who need to hear what God has done in your life and how He can help them. You have seen the Lord work in your life. Share about it when the opportunity comes. It will strengthen your faith and theirs.
Doubt can come in many forms, and the circumstances surrounding our doubt may be different. However, there are several common ways God provides us with assurance amid our misgivings.
1. Revisit God’s promises
When faith and doubt are having a tug of war, meditate on the promises of God.
- God will be with you — “Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” (Joshua 1:9 MSG)
- God will help you — “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear, for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” (Isaiah 41:10 MSG)
Remember specific times in your life where this was true in your circumstances.
2. Recognize God’s character
This is a powerful Scripture for when faith and doubt are in the mix. I know this verse gets quoted often, but I love how the Message Bible communicates the message:
- “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)
It’s a good thing that the Word of God tells us that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts! He knows what He is doing in the torrents of faith and doubt. We’ve all had times when we didn’t “get” God. Anger and disappointment stirred because we did not understand or like how He was doing something.
However, when everything was said and done, we could see God’s character when everything played out. The nature of God never changed, and His actions still inspire many of us today.
3. Recall God’s faithfulness to others
Occasionally, we get trapped in our heads and emotions, and we have a mental block where we can’t remember God’s faithfulness to us. Remember what He has done for your best friend. Remember what He did for your mom, dad, sister or brother. Think about what He did for your radical, almost obnoxious co-worker.
When you feel revived by remembering what God has done for others, that doubt gets pushed into certainty.
4. Recall all the times He has come through for you
When you have recalled what God has done for others and feel the inspiration, NOW remember what he has done for you. There might be legit happenstance that is shaking your faith right now and causing deep doubt, but hasn’t that existed in the past? Hasn’t there at least been one reason to have to push through doubt and fear at every stage of life? Then you landed in certainty because God came through?
Write things down this time. The things where you have seen God’s faithfulness and without a shadow of a doubt answer where you could NOT shut your mouth.
5. Lastly, leave room for God.
Sometimes we get to stages in our lives where we have not needed Him. We have the money to solve most of our problems now. We have been on a winning streak for a while. Life has just been quite comfortable, and we’re smart enough to navigate ourselves out of anything.
Sometimes doubt comes when we have had life covered for too long and don’t remember how to let God be God anymore because we’ve got it handled. Leave room in your life for faith to be challenged to remind you of how certain you can be about Christ in your life on a personal level.
Centerpoint Church is ready to walk with you on your faith journey
At Centerpoint, our community believes in purpose and passion, and we would love to walk with you on your journey in finding yours. You can also find out what our community’s drive and passion are all about by checking out some of the past sermons we’ve posted on our website.
Do you want to grow in your faith, or are you curious about who this Jesus guy is? You’re not alone. We encourage you to listen to our podcast series online and welcome you to come to one of our Sunday morning services in Valrico, Florida.