Is it okay to 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 that 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”
"Doubt dies unborn if it's never spoken."- Christine Caine
2. Trust more than you doubt.
“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).
“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.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”
Let your faith rise and your doubt will subside.