1. a feeling of uncertainty or lack of conviction
synonyms: uncertainty, lack of certainty, unsureness, indecision, hesitation, hesitancy, suspicion, confusion
The Bible is dripping with stories of real people with real struggles. One of those struggles definitely included doubt.
Just to look at a few, there was
- Thomas who doubted the Resurrection of Jesus (John 20:24-29)
- Gideon who doubted that God could use him (Judges 6:36)
- Sarah and Abraham who doubted (and laughed) at God's promise to them (Genesis 17:15-22)
- John who initially doubted that Jesus was the Messiah (Matthew 11:1-7)
- Peter who doubted that they would catch fish (Luke 5:4-5)
From major things like the Resurrection to the minor things like catching fish, faithful people of God struggled with doubt.
DOUBT VS UNBELIEF
There are many misconceptions about doubt, the most common being that doubt means you have a lack of faith. Just to be clear, the opposite of faith is unbelief, not doubt. Unbelief is the unwillingness or absence of faith. As a Christian, doubt is something different. Doubt isn't saying you don't believe, it's saying that you're struggling with a specific issue or subject relating to faith. For example, Peter didn't doubt that Jesus was able to provide the fish, he just didn't fully trust that He would.
From the simple things of Christian living to bigger questions of theology, and everything in between- doubt can surface in our lives. We all have moments when we struggle to trust God over trusting ourselves. The amazing thing is that God is faithful. Not only is He faithful in good times, but He is faithful amidst our questions, fears and emotions. Those things don't scare Him, considering He created you, knows you and loves you.
WHAT TO DO WITH DOUBT
Doubt can be the foundation to a rebuilt faith. The moments of doubt you experience and grow from, are the very moments that shape your faith. The testing and the struggle, brings you to a place of complete reliance on Jesus. The moments of brokenness in our lives remind us of the perfection found in Jesus. You could take the easier route in your response to doubt, a path of apathy or a hardened heart. Or you could take the more difficult road, one filled with prayer, admitting your weaknesses and searching for truth. With the help of Jesus, you can appear from the ashes of doubt with a deeper and more resilient faith.
When you step back and look at all of the things we can't understand, it can be very overwhelming. Let's be real, there are a lot of things that can stir up doubt in our hearts.
During college, I went through a deep depression that made me question who God was. I was overwhelmed by doubt and loneliness. . I had been so consumed by my past experiences, doubts and fears, that my gaze was no longer fixed on Jesus. I was looking to myself for healing and answers, which never works. Darkness seemed to overcome me and it wasn't until I began to voice how I felt that the light started to shine through. The friends that I had shut out, were filled with grace as I started to invite them back in. The truths of Scripture I had walked away from began to crack open my hardened heart. The wall I had built between myself and God started to break down as I began to cry out to Him. After these things started to take place, the darkness started to disappear into the light. As time went on, I came across a verse that encouraged me in times of doubt and uncertainty. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says,
In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.
This was such an encouragement to me because I am reminded that God is in control of all the things I can see and all the things I cannot see. The very things that seem so clear, will be even more clear one day. The things that I don't understand, will one day be understood. This causes my trust in God to continually deepen as He continues to show His faithfulness to me.
It's in the moments of brokenness that we come face to face with doubt and fear. Sometimes the deeper the doubt, the stronger your faith becomes because you realize that God is faithful to give grace, love, endurance and sometimes, even an answer.
by Emily LaGrone