When doubt hit me
As I grew up in the church, I thought I knew the bible well.
I stopped thinking critically about it and no longer asked many questions. Then, from friends and the internet, I started hearing questions I didn’t know how to answer like:
“If God is all good, why does he allow so much evil in the world?”
“Why does God allowed our loved ones to die?”
Initially, instead of seeking answers for the questions, I tried to “have faith” and pushed them to the back of my mind.
But that didn’t work.
Doubts left unanswered can cripple a Christian’s faith.
They must be dealt with.
What I’ve discovered is that there are two types of doubt: doubts of the mind and doubts of the heart.
Let me share what I’ve learned about how to deal with both.
Doubts of the Mind
Doubts of the mind usually come in the form of intellectual questions.
“Can I be sure that God exists?”
“How do I know the Bible is true?”
Some people think they are sinning and having a lack of faith when they ask these questions.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
These are honest, simple questions any child might ask their parent.
But here’s the good news. God has given us answers to these questions!
In the end, the solution for doubts of the mind is simple:
Study and find the answers.
Answering your doubts is a Biblical command
The Bible calls us to defend the gospel.
We defend the gospel with the way we live our lives, but also with our minds by understanding and communicating reasonably.
1 Peter 3:15 calls us to defend our faith saying,
“Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have, but do so with gentleness and respect.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 says the same thing with even stronger language!
The apostles were serious about defending the gospel, and we need to be too.
Statistics come out each year about more and more people leaving the church. Some of the exodus is because people aren’t equipped to defend their faith from arguments that test their mind.
So how we prepare to “give a reason for our hope” and “demolish arguments” like God has called us to?
1) Know your Bible
Oftentimes when people attack our faith they are in fact attacking a “straw man”.
They will misrepresent our beliefs. They will misquote scripture.
The first line of defense is simply to know your Bible well enough that others’ attempts to use it against you won’t catch you off guard.
2) Learn arguments from the other side
Watch YouTube videos by famous atheists, or even read a book written against Christianity.
I recently purchased Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, because I want to see his best arguments against Christianity.
This way, I can prepare and research answers to his attacks against my faith.
3) Find reliable resources
God gifted the church with apologists, theologians, and other ministers who do an incredible job overcoming others’ attempts to discredit our faith.
While I may not be gifted in the same way, I can still learn from them and become competent myself.
There are great resources everywhere.
Through your personal testimony and solid reasoning, you can make a strong case for the gospel.
Not only will finding the answers help you overcome your doubts, it will equip you to be a better witness for Jesus.
So when doubts of the mind hit, don’t shy away.
You have the Holy Spirit, God’s word, (hopefully) a church community, and endless resources available to you in books and online.
Seek answers, and you will find them.
Doubts of the Heart
Doubts of the heart are very different than doubts of the mind. Rather than being questions that need answers, they are usually felt.
“How come God feels so distant? Is he even there?”
“Why would God allow my mom to die from cancer?”
These questions may address similar topics as doubts of the mind, but they are COMPLETELY different questions.
Wondering why God allows evil in general is a very different question from asking why He allowed a loved one to die.
In the same way, wondering how we know God exists is very different than feeling like He’s not there.
For doubts of the heart, we usually aren’t looking for intellectual answers.
We’re looking for security.
We’re searching for peace.
When your heart doubts, here’s what you need to do:
1) Lean on his promises
In the Bible, God makes a lot of promises, and he hasn’t broken them to this day. Some of his promises include:
He will never leaving or forsaking you. (Deuteronomy. 31:8)
He gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:29)
His ultimate plans are for you to have hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
It can be difficult to see these promises in the middle of suffering, but this is where true faith comes in.
2) He’s done it before. He can do it again
Look back and see how God has worked in your life!
Remember how he has always provided for you. See how he has been faithful through difficult times in the past.
Listen to others’ testimonies and see God’s constant love and sufficient strength. See others’ testimonies on iamsecond.com
3) Look to the gospel
Jesus has fulfilled your greatest need in the Gospel, why wouldn’t he also take care of you in every other way?
He says in Matthew 6:26,
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
He demonstrated his love and provision for you by dying for you on the cross.
He didn’t do that for the birds. He did it for you and for me.
Allow your heart to accept that you’re deeply loved by the savior of the world and he didn’t stop loving you when he died for you.
He will continue to take care of you, even though the present seems like more than you can endure.
Your doubts don't have to win
NEVER think that you’re not "smart enough” to understand logical answers or aren’t "strong enough” to make it through a trial in your life.
God has graciously given us the answers we need and promises to be with us during every trial.
So if you get anything from this article, get this.
In your doubts, turn to God not away from him.
He has the answers.
He will be with you.
Trust God with your doubts.
You may also like these posts by Luke (Bio below)
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Luke is currently a Junior at Grand Valley State University where he is studying Computer Science with a minor in mathematics. He loves being with friends at college but loves being home with his family and girlfriend too. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the future but is excited to see God move and work in his life.