Doubt — we don’t like to talk about it. But like it or not, life can throw our faith into confusion. Maybe it’s overwhelming grief at the loss of a loved one, the seeming discrepancies between science and the Bible or hurt at the hands of the church…Whatever it is, whenever we don’t know what God is doing in our lives, it’s hard. But there’s a beautiful secret to doubt — it can actually be the key to greater intimacy with Jesus if we allow our questions to lead us back to him. Join us this Sunday as we seek God in the midst of doubt, together!
1. Demonize your doubt.
- This is one of the common ways people respond to doubt – we demonize it. We see it a lot in church culture because we have been taught that doubt and unbelief are the same things.
- Doubt and unbelief are very different, however. Unbelief is a stubborn refusal to believe. It’s the attitude that has given up on God and his Word, totally abandoned all faith and walked away. Doubt, on the other hand, wants to know the truth…and is just unsure. Doubt wonders what is right, while unbelief doesn’t care what is right.
- In this position (“demonize your doubt”), doubt is seen as the enemy of faith. But God is big enough to handle our doubts when we face them honestly and bring them to him.
How can you engage doubt in a healthy way and face your fears of the unknown?
2. Idolize your doubt.
- Culturally, this position is increasingly popular. We live in a day and age where uncertainty is idolized. It’s popular to tear apart religion, faith, the Bible, who God is. Our world wants to deconstruct everything, and we can feel the pull to do the same.
- The problem with deconstructing everything is you end up with nothing left…and deconstruction is actually the easy way out. It’s what we do when we don’t want to do the hard work of trusting God in the dark. It takes wisdom to learn how to live in the tension of unresolved faith.
How can you learn to live in the tension that God is calling you in and trust Him with the unresolved things in your life?
3. Wrestle with your doubt.
- Wrestling our doubts is the best option, but not the easiest option. It takes great courage to acknowledge our doubts and bring them to the Lord.
- The Bible is full of examples of men and women who doubted God and wrestled their faith with him: Moses, Sarah, Habakkuk, Paul, Asaph. When we wrestle with our doubts and engage God honestly, it’s actually a way to grow deeper in friendship with him.
- If we don’t demonize or idolize our doubts, but wrestle them instead, we will find that doubt can be redeemed. Deeper faith is on the other side of wrestling our doubts. Like any relationship, doubts and questions can push us into a more authentic kind of love.
- God allows us to wrestle with doubt because he knows mystery is essential to intimacy. So when we ask questions of him and about him, it’s an opportunity to know him more fully.
What do you need to do to allow your doubts to lead you to a deeper faith?