When it comes to the Christian walk, doubt is one of those topics that makes me cringe. It reminds me of hard times, of troughs in my journey as I walk with Jesus. Doubt is relentless in attacking some of our core beliefs—doubt in the existence of God, doubt in God’s goodness, doubt in God’s plan for my life. When these foundational beliefs are attacked it feels like our whole world is unbalanced. Three things come to mind that help me cope with doubt, no matter what form it chooses to appear.
I don’t have to understand why/when God is doing something to have faith in Him.
I think sometimes we can fall into the trap of thinking we can’t trust something if we don’t completely understand it. There are lots of things in the Bible that don’t make perfect sense to me and that’s okay. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “
Remember God’s past goodness in the hard times.
A quote that has stuck with me over the last 10 years is: “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”-V. Raymond Edman.
This has been a great comfort to me whenever I’m in a hard time. There have been some very specific times in my life where the way God orchestrated events was crystal clear and His presence was obvious. But in foggier times, it’s easy to forget God’s previous work and to allow the fog and the darkness to guide my emotions.
Surround yourself with others who can lift you up and encourage you.
The Christian walk is a journey meant to be lived in community. Hebrews 10:24-25 says “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
We need other Christians around us to lift us up and remind us of the truth. I think often of Carol’s words, a dear Christian friend who died a couple years ago. At her memorial service, they played a clip from an interview she had done. She said, “The bottom line is…I love God’s word. It’s a gift, to all of us and all of God’s people. And there’s endless discovery in there. I looked up the word “discover” and it’s an action. God’s word lives. I can’t live without it.”
Her words from that interview played over and over in my head that summer through some particularly trying times I was going through. I clung to them when my own faith felt shaky.
It is not only okay to need each other, biblically our lives and the lives that have gone before us are meant to cheer the household of faith on. Hebrews 12:1 tells us“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Doubt needs to be faced and brought under the authority of the living and active Word of God. It is not doubt that paralyzes us, but allowing it to linger lets it have reign over parts of our lives that belong to Christ. Overtime this will cause us to do exactly the opposite of the three tools I have suggested to help face doubt. If we are unwilling to wrestle with our doubts we slowly begin to elevate our ways and the ways of the world over those of God, we forget how we have seen God move in the past, and we begin to withdraw from community thinking our questions belong to us alone instead ofnbeing willing to seek guidance from those who have asked them before.
Satan will try to take us down with doubt, but Christ reminds us that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.
Sarah Clews loves being the wife of Carson and mother to three little girls. She received her degree in English from Corban University and still loves the craft of writing. She also helps her husband run a martial arts school. In her free time, Sarah enjoys talking with grown-ups (!), finding new authors, doing online research, and reading her favorite childhood stories to her girls.