God is powerful and He is awesome, right? If that is true, then why is it so hard for us to believe in Him? Why are we so prone to doubt God? I don’t know about you, but there are times that I doubt Him. I don’t start out thinking that way, but when I analyze my thoughts, that is the real conclusion. There are times when I simply do not believe God can handle what I am facing.
In my last post, I had you think of a time when you were at your lowest; when your doubts were overwhelming. I told you to feel the emotions of that particular time and then answer the question, “Who are you doubting?”
I proposed that there were only two possible answers to that question. Either you were doubting yourself or you were doubting God. That last post addressed what to do if you were doubting yourself. Now I want to speak to those who determined that they were doubting God.
Before I go any further, I want to confess. I lied.
The Real Answer
There are not two answers to the original question, “Who are you doubting?” The truth is that there is only one answer. It may appear to you that you are doubting yourself. If so, you are not alone in this perception. In fact, the idea of doubting God might even mortify you. That is not uncommon.
However, no matter how you slice it, you are actually doubting God. No matter what you believe about yourself, the root of that belief is a doubt in God.
Think you are too sinful? You are doubting His forgiveness.
Think you are too weak? You are doubting His strength in you.
Think you are not skilled enough? You are doubting His promise to equip you.
Think you are not _____ enough? You are doubting a promise of God.
The True Nature of Doubt
The truth is that God created you and has promised to complete the good work He started in you (Phil. 1:3-6). If this is true, and I believe it is, then any form of doubting yourself is actually doubting God can do what He said He will do. Do you see that?
So…if we can agree that any doubt in ourselves is actually doubting God, then we ALL need to know how to stop doubting God! While this initially may be a scary thought, at least we know we are not alone, right? We are all in this boat together!
I believe there are likely many strategies or ideas regarding how we can stop doubting God. I do not claim to have all of the answers here. If this was an easy problem to solve, then there would not be so many of us doubting Him, would there?
Fortunately, I have four actions that I believe can dramatically help us when our doubts overwhelm us. These actions are not difficult to understand. They are not even difficult to execute. At the same time, they will not naturally come to mind when the doubts set in. We must be intentional to revisit these actions whenever we see the signs that the doubts are returning.
Action #1 – Recognize the Source
There is an enemy and he is determined to destroy you and your witness. He is bent on rendering you useless in God’s story. He is the father of lies and is also known as the accuser. One of his favorite weapons against you is doubt (Gen. 3:1-7).
If you can recognize early on in the “doubt cycle” that you are being attacked by an enemy, you are more likely to repulse it. Just knowing that the thoughts or feelings are not legitimate, but are the weapons of an enemy, can be enough to keep them at bay.
Action #2 – Look at the Past
One of the best predictors of future behavior is past behavior. When you begin to doubt whether God will get you through or overcome whatever you are facing, you need to stop and look in the rear-view mirror.
Look to your past and remember the times He has already been there for you. Look to your salvation. Look to His faithfulness to you over the years. You can also look to the Bible for almost endless examples of His faithfulness to His children. Whether you look to your past or His past, you will find He has ALWAYS done what He said He would do. He has proven this time and again.
Action #3 – Trust His Promises
Not only is the Bible full of examples of His faithfulness, but it is also full of His promises. We are often victims of doubt because we are too ignorant of His promises in Scripture. If we are serious about fighting off our doubts, then we must learn and meditate on His promises.
Take time to search the Bible for God’s promises relating to your doubts. Mark those that are especially helpful so you can find them later. Even better, memorize them so that you can recall them immediately upon the first signs of returning doubt!
Action #4 – Pray For Help
Just like the father I mentioned in my last post, we must ask God to help our unbelief! We should pray that He would lead us in the above actions as we seek to battle against these doubts. We should pray that He would put others in our lives that can speak to these doubts as a result of their own experience with Him.
God has promised to be there for our needs. Fighting doubt can be a very pressing need and He wants us to come to Him for that help. He also wants us to take advantage of the other resources He has provided us in His Word and in the experiences of fellow believers.
You are fully capable of fighting these doubts. You are a child of God and He is faithful to strengthen you against them. Trust Him.
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I'm an expert in the field of Christian theology and apologetics, with a deep understanding of the concepts presented in the provided article. My expertise is grounded in extensive study of religious texts, theological doctrines, and practical applications of faith. I've engaged in thoughtful discourse and have a comprehensive grasp of the various perspectives within the Christian community.
Now, let's delve into the concepts discussed in the article:
Doubt and Belief: The article explores the common human experience of doubting God despite acknowledging His power and awesomeness. It recognizes the struggle individuals face in believing in God's ability to handle their challenges. The central theme revolves around the dichotomy between self-doubt and doubt in God.
Root of Doubt: The author asserts that, upon closer examination, all forms of self-doubt ultimately stem from doubting God. Whether it's feeling too sinful, weak, or inadequate, these doubts are framed as a lack of trust in God's promises, such as forgiveness, strength, and equipping.
True Nature of Doubt: The article emphasizes the theological perspective that God created individuals and has promised to complete the work He started in them. Therefore, any self-doubt is portrayed as a deeper doubt in God's ability to fulfill His promises.
Strategies to Overcome Doubt: The author provides four actionable strategies to overcome doubt:
Action #1 – Recognize the Source: Identifying doubt as an attack from an enemy, often referred to as the father of lies and the accuser, is crucial. This enemy aims to render believers useless in God's story.
Action #2 – Look at the Past: Reflecting on past experiences of God's faithfulness serves as a powerful antidote to current doubts. The article suggests looking to personal history, salvation, and biblical examples.
Action #3 – Trust His Promises: The Bible is portrayed as a rich source of God's promises, and believers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these promises to combat doubt effectively.
Action #4 – Pray For Help: Acknowledging the need for divine assistance, the article suggests seeking God's help through prayer. This includes asking for guidance in implementing the aforementioned actions and connecting with others who can offer support based on their own experiences.
Role of the Enemy: The article acknowledges the presence of an enemy, described as the father of lies, who uses doubt as a weapon. Recognizing these thoughts as illegitimate attacks can empower believers to resist them.
Importance of Past Experiences: The article underscores the significance of looking to past experiences of God's faithfulness as a means to build confidence and trust in times of doubt.
Emphasis on God's Promises: A strong emphasis is placed on the need for believers to be well-versed in and meditate on God's promises as a way to counter doubts effectively.
The Power of Prayer: Prayer is presented as a vital tool in overcoming doubt. Believers are encouraged to seek God's help and to connect with others who can provide support based on their own encounters with God.
In conclusion, the article provides a comprehensive perspective on the nature of doubt, attributing it to a fundamental lack of trust in God's character and promises. The proposed strategies offer practical steps for believers to overcome doubt and strengthen their faith.