Why is it that Christians doubt?
After all, we are the people who believe in Christ — a man we have never seen, the God who miraculously allowed Sarah, a ninety year old woman to get pregnant with a baby, the God who gave sight to the blind, the God who raised Lazarus from the dead, and above all of that, the Christ who was nailed to the cross, buried in a tomb, and later, resurrected.
Yet, we start doubting when our finances never seem to add up, our marriage is rocky, we have not gotten the house we want, our child’s behavior has not changed, our health is failing, we cannot seem to get that business started– everything you can name.
Perhaps, we only believe that that was who God used to be, or maybe those scriptures are not relevant now or He only had favor for the people in the Bible, even worse, our situation is more than what God can handle.
Perhaps our belief is in His existence, but not in His abilities.
Recently, we ended our Bible study series at church — Defeating Doubt. Of all the classes that were offered, I chose this one because I was desperate to hear from God.
Since I have graduated college, life has been an uphill battle. Ha! It amazes me how much I had my life planned. Being a planner can be bittersweet. Nothing I planned had come to pass– per se.
If you have been following me for some time then you know that I was suppose to move to New York to start grad school. That did not happen. My finances were a mess. In addition to that, I hit a dry spot spiritually. The more I tried to seek Him, the farther I felt from Him. I no longer knew how to pray because I felt like my prayers were redundant.
And of course, the questions remained “when are you going to get back in school?”, “what do you plan to do?”, “are you dating anyone?”, “what’s next?”, “you should try this”, “you should try that”…*inserts strong eye roll here*… and the list goes on.
These questions can be overwhelming and frankly, no one really has the answers to every step of their lives– not even the people asking. After awhile, I realized I had pushed myself so hard that I did not realize how my life was spinning out of control. I knew something had to change.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I had let doubt creep in. This was a truth I did not want to face. Yes, this Christian had allowed doubt to set up shop. However, if I have learned anything from Bible study recently, it is to admit your doubt, figure out the root of it, and seek God and find a scripture that will help you defeat it.
I learned that the root of doubt usually stems from:
- a tragic situation
- excessive waiting
- past rejection/disappointment
- perceived indifference from Heaven
I realized that the root of my doubt stemmed from constant rejection. Not that the “no’s” stopped me from pursuing my goals, but I was so busy trying to move forward in my own strength that I had not taken the time to truly listen to God. I was too busy trying to turn His “no” into a “yes”. I was in-between not being satisfied with His “no” and not really sure if I was hearing from Him at all.
I recognized that God had insight about my requests that I could not yet appreciate. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in what we want, we do not even realize that our desires are actually settling for much less than what God has in store for us.
“For [His] thoughts are not [our] thoughts, neither are [our] ways [His] ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)
Knowing God’s will and obeying it are two different things. How often have you discovered that God’s will is not what you have chosen? As a believer, have you experienced doubt? If so,
- Be honest with yourself and with God. (John 8:32 NIV)
- Get to the root of it. (James 1:5 NIV)
- Attack your doubt. (II Corinthians 10:4 NIV)
“The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people.” (1 Samuel 12:22 NLT)