A doubting heart is something that we have all experienced if we are honest with ourselves. Maybe you have been praying for something and it seems like your prayers are not being heard. Or you may be going thru a very difficult time and what used to make sense doesn’t anymore. Maybe you have suffered a loss and the future doesn’t seem as certain. All of these scenarios are fertile ground for the enemy to plant seeds of doubt in our hearts. Doubt about the goodness of God, doubt about whether He cares. Doubt about the reliability of the promises of God. Does he even notice you, and does he care?
Let’s take a look at a great man of God who doubted. John the Baptist was a man that God had called to prepare the way for Jesus. In Luke 1:15 we see that he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. What an amazing man! And yet in Luke 7:19, John is in jail and he sends his disciples to Jesus asking, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Things were not working out the way John had expected. Jesus is going around performing miracles, and he is left sitting in prison, and he doesn’t understand. It just doesn’t make sense. Jesus doesn’t explain everything to John. He just presents him with the truth of what is happening. Then he says, “Blessed is he who doesn’t stumble because of me.” Or it could be translated as blessed is the man that doesn’t stumble over what he doesn’t understand about me.
Jesus isn’t offended by John’s doubt. He doesn’t write him off as a failure. After the disciples leave to return to John, Jesus turns to the multitudes and begins bragging on John, telling them there is not a man on earth that is greater than John.
A few other Godly men and women in the Bible that struggled with doubt are:
· Abraham and Sarah – champions of faith who were willing to leave the land of their father to go to a land that they hadn’t seen. When God promised them a son in their old age, they doubted.
· Peter – jumps out of the boat to walk on the water….and then he looks around him and seeing the waves, he doubted.
· Zacharias – An angel promises him a son (John the Baptist). He doesn’t believe and loses his ability to speak until the child is born.
· Thomas – one of the 12 disciples, says that unless he sees the nail prints in his hands, he will not believe that he is risen.
So, what can we learn about God’s view of our doubt, and how we should respond to it? First, God is not offended by your doubt, but this is not an excuse to continue in it. The author of Hebrews says that without faith it is impossible to please God. James says that he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. This makes it clear that it is important to take our doubts seriously, but how do we “deal” with them?
Here are three points that can help us move towards a life of faith rather than doubt:
1. Take our doubts to the Lord with a humble heart
2. Allow Jesus to connect us to the truth
3. Take control of our thinking
May you be encouraged in your doubt. Take it to Jesus, he wants to connect you to the truth and bring you to a place of trust and peace.