What About My Doubt?
Ever have doubts? There are doubts about whether we’re doing the right thing… we’ll talk about those in another article. There are also doubts about whether we’re believing the right thing; that is, whether what we’ve always been taught is truth is REALLY truth. That is what we want to focus on right now.
Even people who didn’t grow up in the church may have these doubts, but they’re probably less specific. Today our culture tells us that each person has his or her own “truth,” so it is hard to find bedrock to stand on in any debate, even internal ones. Fears stay vague – “Did I come from nothing more than primordial sludge?” “Life has never had any meaning and never will.” “Well, of course, no one knows for SURE whether they’re going to heaven.” And life’s busy-ness keeps us from ever asking whether our vague fears and dreads should even be addressed, much less resolved. Entertainment! Keep busy! Move on to the next thing…. And so it goes, until life is over… and then what?
People raised in churches are not immune to this vague sense of uneasiness that is never addressed. But even church people who take time to examine what they actually believe may have trouble finding a secure place to stand on: “Well, I always grew up to believe there is a God, but how do I really know that’s true?” “Dad and Mom believed going to church was a good thing, but the older I get, the more I wonder whether all that is worth it.” “Who SAYS bad people go to hell?” “And who decides who is good and who is bad?” “If you can’t trust the Catholic Church with your kids, who can you trust?”
It may sound simplistic to reply, “the only way to not have doubts is to be sure of something,” but it is one of those inescapable bits of logic, like “The only way to solve your concerns about never having a baby is to get pregnant.” Or for guys, “the only way to stop doubting your bravery is to win a fight.” These statements are called “truisms” because they’re, well, true. And truth quells worry like a candle dispels darkness.
Whether doubt nags at the back of your mind OR is so omni-present that it’s as inescapable as an elephant in the room, try finding out the TRUTH about that matter. What is more hopeful: worrying forever that you might develop cancer, or learning the truth about good nutrition and good health and doing all you can to promote it? Uncertainty saps your ability to change; sureness strengthens it.
Doubt that God exists? Find out the evidence pro and con and see what a difference that makes. (Believe me, evidence is weighted far to one side.) Doubt that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word here on earth? Well, have you actually read it? Have you studied how it was put together, the quality of the lives of those who wrote it, and the power available to those who believe and act upon it? If you did those things, I can almost guarantee that doubt will no longer be a problem for you. Doubt that you’re going to heaven? Find out how heaven’s Creator says to get to heaven and do that thing, and in doing so you will leave any doubts behind.
See, we’re told (James 1:6) that “… the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” The way to NOT be tossed and driven about is not to analyze the water, but to step onto solid ground.
Psalm 62:1 says, “I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” There is not only solid ground, but a Rock that is available to stand upon. Join me in standing on that Rock. Learn to trust His Truth, and watch your worries dissolve like mist. When you stand on a Rock, the quicksand of worry cannot affect you. [Also see the companion article, “What Does God Really Want Me To Do?”]
STRUGGLING WITH DOUBT: Lynn Anderson – pastor, author and founder of Hope Network Ministries – discusses his life-long struggle with doubt. A video by the John10:10 Project
MARK 9:24: Does the presence of doubt disqualify us as true believers in God? Lynn Anderson explores this question in light of the Scriptures – specifically, a father’s plea to Jesus in the Gospel of Mark: “Lord, I believe, but help me with my unbelief.” A video by the John10:10 Project
VICTORY OVER DOUBT: After more than 50 years of ministry, Lynn Anderson offers practical steps that can strengthen faith in the face of our inevitable doubts. A video by the John10:10 Project
DOUBT AND ABRAHAM: Abraham is called the “father of the faithful.” Yet, on several occasions his faith in God’s provision was clouded by doubt. Lynn Anderson discusses how faith can be mixed with uncertainty, even in the lives of the strongest believers. A video by the John10:10 Project
DOUBT AND THE PSALMS: For 3000 years, the Psalms have been the prayers and hymns of God’s people. Lynn Anderson explains how they compel us to explore our doubts about God and express them to him honestly. A video by the John10:10 Project
DEALING WITH DOUBTS Dr. Mike Licona shares his thoughts. A video by the One Minute Apologist
What About My Doubt written by Deb Marcusse