18 Aug Prone to Doubt
Let’s face it: doubt is a reality for all of us. Closely related to fear, doubt wedges itself beneath our skin and begins to eat away at the confidence we have built up. Taken to an extreme, doubt can cripple us from action and even drive us away from what we once held to and into a place of apathy, fear, discouragement, or resentment. Doubt’s commonality transcends faith and religion, but it certainly begins there.
What’s different, though, is where that doubt comes from. I don’t mean that we all aren’t broken people with sinful tendencies—more that doubt manifests itself differently in different people’s lives. Here are some examples:
A few years ago I wrote on this same topic. The doubt for me then was rooted in relationship. Growing up in church, a Christian home, and a Christian school, faith became wooden and routine. Doubts flared for me because stepping into church wasn’t always exciting. Christianity could very easily dwindle to a list of do’s and don’ts, leaving me tired and frustrated at my own shortcomings. Somewhere along the way I had lost sight of the personal nature of my faith. God became a man so that we could know Him—so that He could be a perfect substitute, sacrifice, and King for His children.
“When we put too much emphasis on things that can’t hold the weight of our expectations, we are prone to doubt.”
For some folks, doubt may come from unanswered questions. We spend most of our life trying to control things that we were never meant to. One of our teaching pastors, Bill White, often talks about knowing the difference between what our concerns and responsibilities are. When we put too much emphasis on things that can’t hold the weight of our expectations, we are prone to doubt. Not being able to see the big picture requires us to put our agendas aside and surrender to God’s.
One of my closest friends recently found out his child has an inoperable brain tumor. When I spoke with him last week about how I could pray for him, he simply asked me to pray that God would remove doubt from his and his wife’s minds. In the face of tragedy, doubt can absolutely crush your spirit and any hope you had in the goodness of God. My friend was asking for just that—a renewed sense of the grace and mercy of his Father.
Each of these instances of doubt share a common source—a distracted focus from the truths of the gospel. John writes (John 20) that the reason he recorded the events and miracles of Jesus’ life was to bolster the faith and the hope of all those who read it. Rising doubts could be offset by the facts of Scripture and the hope of God’s promises.
“The solution to not letting our doubts overtake us is the hope God has put in our hearts.”
My favorite line from one of my favorite movies says, “Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.”
The solution to not letting our doubts overtake us is the hope God has put in our hearts. As His image bearers, there is a longing we have for a long-lost peace, a newly actualized completeness that’s been eluding mankind since the Fall. God is calling His children to believe in the guarantees of Scripture and to remember all that we have already been afforded in the love and kindness of Jesus. The tomb is empty, the King is on His throne, and the rescue is imminent.
-Nate Emery, Downtown Campus