When Doubts Come

What happens when doubts pop up in your mind?  I mean the BIG doubt….Is God real?  How can I know? If he is real, why does my atheist friend seem so godly?  How can I be sure Jesus Christ is the risen Savior? Why did God require blood for atonement?

These questions are temptations, placed in our minds by none other than the Great Opposition.  The one who does not want us to taste the Abundant Life….or if we have the Abundant Life (a relationship with Christ); Satan wants to be sure to fuel doubt so that we won’t confidently share it with anyone else!  Satan has an interest in building his own kingdom – all those who do not choose Christ belong to him.

So back to my original question, how do you respond to these doubts?  Do you spiral into an intellectual debate in your mind?  Do you ignore the doubt?  Or do you take immediate action by reading, thinking and speaking the Truth from the Word of God?

What does God want us to do with doubt? I believe he clearly wants us to bring it before him.  He has given us many examples of great Biblical leaders who have had doubts.  When these leaders brought their doubt before the Lord, they were strengthened by Him and able to overcome because of the power He imparted.  Moses doubted his calling, Esther wondered how one woman could save a nation, and Doubting Thomas wouldn’t believe Christ was raised until he saw the wounds.  Each of these people was treated with love and enormous grace by the Holy One.  God did not yell, get frustrated, or give up on any of his children.  God strengthened each one when they brought their doubt before Him.

Jacob physically wrestled with God in Genesis 32:22-32 and as a result he was given a new name and a powerful calling. Yes, he was given a limp as well. Perhaps the fear of receiving a limp is what keeps us from wrestling with God.  Yet, I believe this story was included to encourage us to come before God with our doubts and to ‘wrestle’ with him; to be refined; made new in our thinking; and, when necessary, to be given a limp. In our intellectual reasoning a limp seems like a weakness.  The Apostle Paul was given a physical obstacle, “a thorn in the flesh”.  God explained to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

We are almost always reluctant to bring BIG doubts to God, because we are embarrassed, ashamed to doubt God.  Dear One, you cannot hide a single thought from your Creator.  He already knows!  So rather than ignore, reason or debate this doubt, bring it before Him in prayer.  Ask God to give you wisdom and clarity and lead you in Truth through His word and wise counselor(s) in your life.  God promises that he answers the prayer of a righteous (wo)man (James 5:16).  When you seek Him, He will be found by you, when you seek Him with all your heart (Deuteronomy 4:29).

For me, it always comes down to the very real relationship that I have been given with Jesus Christ.  It is the one thing that I cannot doubt, because I have experienced His presence in such a real way. His faithfulness, His leading through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit, and His Perfect Peace are living proof to me of his reality.  When I think back to my life before I submitted to Christ, I did not know a complete state of contentment or peace.  In fact, I was longing for it but ended up empty at every turn. Now, contentment and peace reign in my heart as I daily seek to know Him better by reading the Bible and following it.  If you do not know Him intimately, will you consider seeking Him now?  A good place to start is in the book of John.  You will not be disappointed, He will meet you there on those pages if you are willing.  Be warned:  He will change your life.  Be comforted: you will not want your old life back!
May you bring your doubts, big or small, before Him today and may the One who created you be faithful to answer in the clarity of His Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen you, so that you may strengthen another today.

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