1. The Christian’s Experience of Doubt

  • Doubt is not uncommon in Scripture, nor in Church History
    • Examples – Thomas (John 20) / John the Baptist (Luke 7) / some of the disciples (Matthew 28:16-17) / post-Pentecost Christians (Jude 22) / David (Psalms) / Zechariah (Luke 1) / etc…
    • Doubt might be triggered by trauma (failed expectations).
    • Doubt may develop slowly, or it may arrive with alarming speed.
    • Doubt may be the result of Satanic malice (Gen 3 / Mt 4 / Eph 6 etc).

2. The Christian’s Response to Doubt

  • Doubt may be fed, or it may be fought.
    • Warning: the world does not provide “objective” commentary on those things that Christians may doubt about their faith. The world comes with worldviews, presuppositions, and frequently, an agenda. Be careful what you read/hear out there.
  • We fight doubt with Scripture:
    • Jesus prayed knowing that growth in the Christian life is forever linked to His Word (John 17:17)
    • Jesus fought the suggestive lies & temptations of the Devil using the Word (Matthew 4)
    • The Holy Spirit likens the Christian life to a war against spiritual forces, and commands us to enter combat with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph 6:10-18)

3. The Christian’s Response to Doubt (continued)

  • We fight doubt with God’s Help (Prayer):
    • Note: the warning in James 1:6-8 is speaking to the uncommitted & the idle; it is not speaking to the sincere & the seeking.
      Remember the call for mercy towards those who doubt in Jude 22 – (we also fight doubt in community)
    • Mark 9:14-27 is a classic example of the Lord’s willingness to hear a sincere, struggling, desperate cry…even one struggling with doubt (see also John the Baptist again in Luke 7).
    • To persevere in “taking doubt to God”…is an act of faith.
    • Faith is not a feeling. It’s an action – a movement towards God and His ways. Thus even a doubting Christian may act in faith. He might not FEEL what faith desires…but he can DO what faith requires.
    • God may use doubt to equip you for future service.