Dealing with Doubts

Dan Lenington on March 18, 2015

Doubts. These are those uneasy feelings you get when you're not quite sure about something. We can get these about all sorts of situations. Perhaps you just bought a car for a large sum of money and you're wondering if this car is really as good as the person who sold it to you said it was. Maybe you doubt the larger things like the existence of God or heaven. Some struggle to gain confident assurance of their salvation and others doubt that God loves them. Others may even doubt that we can know anything for sure. Regardless of what they are, we all tend to struggle with doubts from time to time. However, human nature likes to be sure about some things.

So how do some deal with doubts? Some religious groups would tell you that a "burning in your bosom" is the way to know truth. This amounts to a positive feeling that what you've heard sounds good and makes you feel good. However, this way of testing truth is completely subjective and inadequate for basing your life on. Others would encourage you to just choose to believe something emotionally until you accept it mentally. This could be called the "leap of faith" approach. This approach also defies logic and gives no real certainty. The skeptic often chooses to believe what he can observe and test for himself. However, even he cannot follow this method consistently. There will always be times when information is incomplete and one must choose to act upon his best conclusion.

Perhaps, there is a better way to deal with doubts than depending on emotions, mental leaps, or personal observation. God does want us to be sure about the important things. John tells us that he wrote 1 John to help us to be sure about eternal life (1 John 5:13). While God has not revealed everthing there is to know to us (Deut. 29:29), He has revealed enough truth to us in His Word and in His Creation that we don't have to guess. Ps. 19:1 reminds us that the heavens declare the glory of God. John 17:17 declares that God's Word is absolute truth. Biblical faith is not a feeling or a leap out into a mental void. It starts with eyewitness reports of real life events (Luke 1:1-4). Then, it build upon these reports with divine explanations of God's interaction and purpose through these events. Faith comes into play when God asks that we trust Him for the part which we cannot observe ourselves (Heb. 11:1). But this faith is built on the trustworthiness of God's revelation in other areas. It's like trusting someone who is always dependable and honest (God, Titus 1:2), instead of trusting someone who is usually unreliable and biased (mankind). Man's mind is a poor substitute for the revelation of God.

Ultimately, doubts are a natural reaction from our finite minds which cannot know all the information to make perfect decisions. Either we can wallow in doubt, put our faith in fallible man, manufacture an emotional faith, take a mental leap in the dark, or have the peace that trusting God's revelation brings. God's revelation is based on that which can be observed but it also asks us to trust the most dependable Being imaginable for those things which cannot be observed. Our weak minds will still be tempted to doubt God but we can reassure them by reminding ourselves of the physical evidence God has given us and the impeccable character of God Himself. I find it always helps to talk to God about it and make sure I'm listening to godly music that will strengthen my faith. Perhaps the greatest antidote to doubts is maintaining a vibrant fellowship with God at all times. Then, we will be able to pray and see God answer which goes a long way to reassuring our hearts that God is real, He loves us, and He is working in our life. Deal with your doubts so that you can be productive in your walk with God.