No stranger to doubts, troubled rockstar Steve Tyler said: ‘‘Maybe life is random, but I doubt it’. Let’s face it, doubting is part of the human condition – it does not necessarily mean the absence of faith.
All of Jesus’ disciples had doubts that were recorded:
John 20:27 - Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Luke 24:38 - He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
Matthew 14:31 - Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
‘Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for’ - Jennifer Lopez
‘Kill the snake of doubt in your soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart and mountains will move out of your way’ - Kate Seredy
The seed of doubt about the goodness and wisdom of God led to the downfall of humans as Adam and Eve preferred the word of a snake – we’ve been doubting ever since.
Amazingly, God is gracious to us when we doubt for his nature is always to have mercy and he exhorts us similarly: ‘Be merciful to those who doubt’ - Jude 1:22. And yet, knowing the damage doubting can do to us, we are told, ‘you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind’ - James 1:6
A man came to Jesus with his seriously ill son – the disciples hadn’t been able to heal him so the man asked Jesus if he could heal him! ‘If I can?’ said Jesus. The man’s response was immediate, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24. Notably, Jesus took that mix of faith and doubt without criticism and healed the boy.
‘An exciting and inspiring future awaits you beyond the noise in your mind, beyond the guilt, doubt, fear, shame, insecurity and heaviness of the past you carry around’ - Debbie Ford
‘Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother’ - Khalil Gibran
Many walk in the total darkness of doubt but some see the light shine brighter at the end of the tunnel. Dark being the absence of light, it is light that drives out darkness – prove it to yourself next time you enter a dark room and turn a light on.
‘Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He's sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped’ - Charles Stanley
If Peter had kept his eyes on Jesus, he wouldn’t have begun sinking. The solution for us in doubt is the same: ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith’ – Hebrews 12:2.
A prayer from the Psalms when in doubt:
Lord, you are my fountain of life for it’s in your light that I see light. Surely it is your word that is my lamp to guide my feet through my trials and to be a light for my path in this troubled world. If I say, ‘surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you’. It is you Lord who keeps my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
(Drawn from Psalms 18, 36, 119 and 139)
It’s time to doubt your doubts and to believe your beliefs – ask the Lord to help you.
‘Faith given back to us after a night of doubt is a stronger thing, and far more valuable to us than faith that has never been tested’ - Elizabeth Goudge
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