FaithLiving

Is it okay to doubt?

Doubt.

The Oxford dictionary defines doubt as ‘a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction’. Have you ever just found yourself in a place where you’re just doubting God’s ability to come through for you, questioning the extent of His everlasting love? Wondering if you’ve pushed the boundaries a little too far and run out of chances with God this time? I certainly have. 

To the doubting mind Christ brings reassurance

There are many examples in the bible of people that doubted, one character that often comes to mind is ‘doubting’ Thomas (John 19:39), but to the doubting mind Christ brings reassurance. When we find our minds full of doubt we need not operate in it, but need only remind ourselves of the great works of God thaPsalm 71:16t we find in the bible and of the measure of faith that has been dealt on to us Romans 12:3 (NLT) “… Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”.

God is so gracious that He Himself gives us faith. Even when it comes to our faith, we need not rely on ourselves to believe, but rather go forth in the strength that God has given us to believe. Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT) speaks of making the Lord our confidence and our hope, so, if doubtful thoughts come, do not beat yourself up about it. Simply, surrender such thoughts to God and know that you can place your hope in Him, know that you don’t have to sustain yourself, you don’t even have to sustain your own belief but in all you do, go in God’s strength. 

As a Christian, it is so easy to begin to condemn yourself when doubtful thoughts arise ‘I shouldn’t be feeling like this, I know that God will come through…’ ‘I just can’t help it though, I feel so scared. But I have not been given the spirit of fear‘… ‘Can I really do this? I don’t feel like I can, but God said… I just don’t feel it right now though’. Any of those lines sound familiar? 

These kinds of thoughts run through my head on a regular basis, I doubt my own ability and that sometimes leads to me to doubt God’s ability to work through me, God’s ability to come through for me. But when I do doubt one thing I run from is falling into the trap of condemning myself for doubtful thoughts. The antidote to doubt is faith and trust, a belief that although your feelings and mind may be trying to tell that you are not good enough and that your God is not big enough, your knowledge of who God is stands firm above all. So, when doubtful thoughts seep their way into your mind do not feel condemned, do not think that they make you any less of a believer, simply remind your self of the character and unfailing nature of God by delving into scripture. 

We doubt because of the evidence we lack, but our faith is our evidence, the word is our evidence. If we had indisputable proof then we wouldn’t need faith. And I pray, that in your darkest moments when all hope appears to be lost, and your heart is full of doubt, that even when your knowledge seems to fail you, you will act in faith and not doubt. That you will remember the faithfulness of God towards you. I pray that you will never forget God’s love, and unfailing nature (Amen). 

 

To Overcome Doubtful thoughts… 

1. Don’t act out of doubt, act out of faith. 

2 Corinthians 5:7
“For we walk by faith, not by sight”

You are not alone in your doubtful thoughts, many of us have them, but surround yourself with people that will fuel your faith, not your doubt. It is so easy for doubt to make its way into our minds, but having a thought about something doesn’t mean that thought must lead to action. Doubtful thoughts almost always come but don’t act out of doubt. Every time you doubt surrender those doubtful thoughts to God, eventually you’ll stop having them. But until then, don’t live in doubt, live from faith.
 
"Doubt dies unborn if it's never spoken."- Christine Caine 
  
If you surrender your doubtful thoughts to God and operate completely out of faith your doubtful thoughts will subside. Don’t be mistaken, I am in no way making excuses for living a doubtful life, that is most certainly not what God commands us to do. James 1:6 is very clear about the fact that when it comes to God we ‘ask in faith, with no doubting’. Surely that bible verse completely invalidates everything I’ve said, right? Wrong. 
 
To make this point effectively I have to put my grammar nerd hat on and point out the difference between the verb (action), that is ‘to doubt’ [e.g. I am beginning to doubt that this prayer will be answered], the noun (state of being) of doubt(s) [e.g. I continuously have my doubts about whether or not God hears my prayers.], and the adjective (attribute of a noun) of doubt(ing) [e.g. Her skepticism about Christianity meant that she was always doubting God’s love for her].
 
If you fail to tackle doubt when it appears as the action, it will very easily become your state of being and then an attribute of your character. The devil will send thoughts of doubt, that is no excuse to simply accept them, take them to the throne of grace and leave them there. You can’t believe completely if you remain in the state of being doubtful (uncertain) about God. You can’t pray in full faith if you always have a doubting mind. 

2. Trust more than you doubt. 

Psalm 56:3
“But when I am afraid (doubtful), I will put my trust in you”

Elevate your trust in God and knowledge of His character above any thoughts of doubt. Each time you doubt remind yourself of who God is. Remind yourself that you serve a God that parts seas, moves mountains, commands the moon and stars and loves you above all creation. You may doubt, and when you do not condemn yourself for it, but remind yourself of the God you serve, of the God who loves you. The One who sends peace to those who believe (Isaiah 26:3).

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” 

Trust is not an easy thing to develop, but God will help you. Do not depend on your human understanding of what makes things certain or uncertain. Trust and trust completely. 

3. Remind yourself of who God is. 

1 John 1:5 
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”
 
We never seem to trust strangers… I mean it’s no surprise really we don’t know them. If you always find yourself doubting God, if you find yourself feeling as though you can’t trust Him with your hurts, with your worries and cares maybe, just maybe it’s because you need to get to know Him better. God is a personal God, He knows us all personally and cares for each one of us deeply. God longs to be in a relationship with you, being in a relationship with someone involves of getting to know them. Remind yourself of how loving God is, how mighty He is and you’ll certainly find it a lot easier to trust Him. 
  
Ephesians 3:20
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” 
 
If ever you find yourself doubting God’s ability to come through for you, know that God will always be God and, God will always be good.
 
 
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen”.
You don’t have to see it to believe.
Let your faith rise and your doubt will subside. 

 
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Dami Ladipo

I'm a 20-year-old student studying Sociology and Education Studies at Oxford Brookes University... essays are my forte so sorry in advance for any super lengthy posts!
I'm head over heels in love with God, and I'm willing to go wherever He sends me and share any words He gives to me.
I'm constantly on a mission to ensure that everyone knows they are loved by God and are equipped to live their lives to their God-given potential.

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