Doubt for the Hopeful


I think we all agree that doubt is an inevitable occurrence in life. We all have had those moments when our faith seemed to fail us, when God’s grace seemed a distant memory. Despite the fact that we all go through this, why is it so crippling each time?

Lingering doubt

I know that I’ve discussed my doubt of the limits of God’s love, but I’ll tell you that doesn’t make it any easier. I screw up, I sin, often. Mind you, most all of it would be considered minor, but sin is still sin. And each time, a little part of me waits for the floor to drop, sending me plummeting into the abyss. Dramatic, yes, but you get my point.

Doubt that cuts deeply

Most often, it’s not the petty aspects of our faith that we doubt. Most of the time, it isn’t a question over whether Jesus rose on the third day or after the third day. No, the doubt cuts far deeper and casts doubt on our very identity in Christ. It’s normally something we hold very near and dear to our hearts, and that’s what hurts. In fact, we often feel guilty for doubting such “forgone conclusions”. But the doubts are very real.

Doubt like Thomas

I like to make fun of poor Thomas. You remember, the guy who said he needed to see the risen Jesus to believe? Yeah, and he’s been the butt of jokes and ridicule ever since. Yet, I doubt like him so often. God will answer my prayer and I will instead of believing He’s answered ask Him to show me. And this unbelief, this “show me” attitude makes doubt more complicated.

Doubt midst the hope

When we doubt, rarely is it because we don’t wish to believe. No, it’s usually the opposite. We would give anything to believe, but we simply can’t. And this seems to hint at the point of doubt. This gets at the very crux of doubt.

The cure for doubt

You think I’m going to say Jesus, don’t you? Well, you’re right. But hold on. Doubt is something that our hope alone isn’t strong enough to overcome. We need help. We need something greater than ourselves to overcome, well, ourselves. And this is precisely where Jesus enters the scene. This is exactly where the words of Jesus speak healing over our aching hearts. This is what He says to me:

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33

Doubt is inevitable and it can be disabling. Though we may feel ashamed or silly, our doubt is very real and it’s entirely personal. However, though it may last for awhile, there is hope. There is healing found in no place other than the very source of our faith. We must return to the words of God and ask Him to water those seeds, that they would take root in due time. Though the healing waits, it will not tarry, because He promises it won’t. Stay strong today, friends, and doubt on.