Doubt

Doubt

I guess one of the first things I encountered in my journey of faith was doubt.

I didn’t know what this meant. If it was good or bad. As far as I could tell at the time, my doubt in my faith was something I shouldn’t question. I should know, I should believe, I should accept it, and move on and just take what I hear as the truth and that there is nothing else to it.

Doubting in my mind was almost seen as unhealthy…. A sin some may say. Not having the faith which I wanted and needed in my life.

But to do this, meant I had to switch off my brain from doing what it naturally wanted to do. Explore and investigate what I had been told with more questions.

The definition of doubt according to Collins dictionary states:

“a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction.”

More research informed me that humans are prone to doubt, in fact, it helps us survive. So how could doubting what I hear be wrong.

I figured I could either just accept it, even though I doubted it or I could research it and try to understand why I had doubt and find the answer. Now I see this as the beginning of my thirst for more. My thirst for knowledge, my thirst for understanding and setting my foundation for my faith.

I turned to the bible and researched stories about doubt. Of course I visited the most famous story of doubt, the story of Thomas first. This man lived and breathed with Jesus. He really knew him. Jesus told even told him what would happen. Thomas saw the miracles and experienced the teachings of Jesus first hand, yet he still doubted the resurrection, and we all know how that story went…

digging deeper, I found the story of john the Baptist in Luke chapter 7 verse 18 we read that john was in prison, in doubting the current circumstances he was in, he sent a message to Jesus asking if he was the one to come, or should we be expecting someone else. all because of the current situation he had found himself in, was not lining up with what he expected or thought should be occurring.

I then discovered king David had doubts. We see this in psalm chapter 94 verse 19. here David writes “when doubts fill my mind”

these men are all recognized as holy men and prominent figures in the bible. They doubted, so surely it cant be wrong.

So now I took confidence that it was ok to doubt. However, what next?

Its very easy to doubt.
I realized that all doubting needs action. As such, doubt presents us with options. Explore the doubt we have raised? or do nothing?

To do nothing is not the way to resolve doubt. In fact to doubt and do nothing is to lose. With no action the doubt will grow stronger and louder and end up taking over us.

But to doubt and investigate with action. We find the answers and continue on in our journey. However I must say with action, we confront an enemy of distraction.

C.S. Lewis, through his book the Screw-tape letters, Identifies distraction as the devils greatest power play. in keeping us distant from God.

Goodness knows in preparing this today, I was distracted numerous times from doing what I should have been doing. At one point I even found myself watching the Italian news on sbs trying to see if I could figure out what they were saying, when I should have been studying my texts and keeping to the schedule that I had.

But I didn’t

which resulted in Leesh and I working together on this till late last night, and in turn had me doubting my ability. Severely.

In reading Mathew chp 13 ve 41 we read that Jesus walked on water out to the disciples boat. When they saw him, they were afraid. Jesus said to them. Do not be afraid. Peter replied, lord if it is you, tell me to come to you, and I will come. Jesus replied, come. Peter stepped off the boat and walked on the water, the wind picked up, he became afraid and started to sink, lord save me! He said. Jesus reached out and caught him. And said you of little faith! Why did you doubt me? They came back inside the boat. The wind died down and the disciples said, truly, you are the son of God!

You see here, peter did not doubt until he was distracted, which resulted in him sinking and needing Jesus to save him. Just like us.

Doubt and distraction come all to easy to us.

Focus

…… not so much.

God knows this. He does not punish us for doubting, instead he only offers us encouragement and help by offering his hand, like he did to peter on the water, to bring us closer to him. To trust him, and have faith in him.

Every incident of doubt in the bible is followed by an action and an encouragement to seek, followed by a realization that God is in control and that God wants us to have a relationship with him.

God gave us free will. He also gave those who want to find him, hints as to how to find him.

Jeremiah chp 29 ver 13

“you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”

Mathew chp 7 ver 7

“ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you”

with doubt, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Highlighted in James chp 1 ver 6

‘because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown around and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, he is a double minded man, unstable in all he does.” … …  don’t be a lost soul.

The best thing to do is explore our doubt in the bible and with each other as Christians. Each of us with our own life stories, which have led us here, have encouragement and wisdom to offer each other.

Taking action with our doubts, helps us to grow with our faith, and trust our Father. It opens the doors to a truly honest relationship with him, and one which enables us to enjoy the fruits of the holy spirit, them being – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,  faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

Doubt is a good thing God designed us to seek the truth, so we can grow in our knowledge of him.

If you have any doubts, I encourage you to explore it and not to be afraid to ask God for help and or one of your brothers and sisters in Christ here.