Remember this when dealing with doubt


When you're dealing with doubt, your first reaction may be to question God's goodness. Your second is to wonder whether God exists at all.

The unfairness of life can be like a slap in the face. I felt it when I was diagnosed with cancer, when promising relationships fell apart, and when I got laid off from a job I liked. You've been there too.

It's easy to believe in God when things are going well. It's even easier to have doubts when they're not.

How do we switch from doubt back to faith? It's important to remember God is not only the engineer of your little life-train, he's also the switchman who can put you back on the right track. Let's see how.

Dealing with doubt: Who is behind it?

According to a recent Gallup poll, 58 percent of Americans do not believe in the existence of Satan.

That's odd, since 74 percent polled believe in God, and God (Jesus Christ) told us Satan is real. One of God's attributes is honesty. He cannot lie. Jesus is God, and when Jesus said Satan exists, he was telling the truth.

That's really disturbing. It means a powerful supernatural being and his demonic followers are attacking Christians, trying to trip us up. Doubt is one of their weapons.


When you're dealing with doubt, you can't always assume satanic forces are behind it, but it is possible. The good news is that the Holy Spirit, who lives inside you, is much stronger. You can call on him through prayer for help.

We shouldn't be paranoid about Satan, but we shouldn't treat him like a cartoon character either. He's dangerous.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, how did Jesus respond? He repelled each attack by quoting the Bible. You and I can do the same thing, which is why it's crucial to have a Bible in your home. It's a mighty weapon against fear and doubt. Most study Bibles have a subject index in the back that will guide you to verses about dealing with doubt.

An era of unreliable sources


The Internet is a fantastic source of information, but not all of it is reliable. When you're dealing with doubt, be very careful whom you believe.

Is this web site a trustworthy source? I can tell you it is, but the only way you can know for sure is to know what you already believe. In my church denomination (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod), we believe the Bible, along with The Nicene Creed, which sums up our beliefs about the Trinity and salvation. If your church doesn't use a creed, having a Bible to refer to is a wise idea.

We often turn to family or friends when we have questions. They can give you good advice, but is it biblical? The Bible is the ultimate standard.

If you belong to a church, you can go to your pastor when you're dealing with doubt. Don't be embarrassed or ashamed. Everyone has doubts at times, and your pastor will address them in a compassionate way.

The invisible world

We can't always see God working. He operates in his own way, on his own schedule. When we come to him in prayer, we can be sure he heard us even if there is no audible reply. One of the hardest parts of the Christian life is trusting God in the face of doubt.


"Did he hear me? Is he working? Why hasn't my situation changed?" These are common questions. Sometimes it feels as if God has abandoned you, but Jesus promises he will never walk out on you. Once you're a believer in him, he's with you for eternity.

God is able to change your circumstances and bring people into your life to help you. He has done it countless times in my life, even though I didn't recognize it until much later. Once when I had a miserable job, I prayed about it and got a new, satisfying job that used all my skills and talents. I felt as if God had plucked me up from one place and put me down in another. It was stunning.

He doesn't always work that way. When I had cancer, I had doubts. I wondered if God was punishing me for some long-forgotten sin. Eventually I understood he was not.

Bad things happen to good people. They can bring on doubt. However, maturity teaches us God is trustworthy. He does care. We cannot judge God's love for us by our circumstances. That's one of life's toughest lessons, but I can tell you it's true.

Dealing with doubt every day


This Christian life—the life of a single Christian—is full of trials. Dealing with doubt on a daily basis can be exhausting. Troubles test our faith.

When doubts hit, preacher and author Charles Stanley said, "Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him." That's sound advice. I've gone through hard times because I obeyed God, but I never regretted it.

Once you understand that God is on your side no matter how things appear, it gives you a new confidence in him. Instead of asking, "Why are you doing this to me, God?", you find yourself asking, "How do you want me to respond to this, Father?" That's wisdom. That's spiritual maturity.

You don't have to be old to notice life is unfair, and yet we can't confuse life with God. Crises come and go but God's love is constant. Remember that the next time you're dealing with doubt.

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