Some Christians think that doubt is the worst possible thing to happen to a believer. It is so bad that it must by buried deep down, never to see the light of day. I think that view of doubt is unfortunate.
I see doubt as being a natural part of the faith experience. We see it in the Bible, including but not limited to John the Baptist and Thomas. Neither of these were condemned for the questions they had.
I will admit that I am a skeptic by nature. It was actually my doubts that brought me out of atheism. I didn’t have enough faith to be an atheist.
So what should you do when you experience doubt? Here are some suggestions.
- Don’t pretend that it isn’t there.
- Determine if it is about a primary or secondary doctrine. There is a difference between doubting the existence of God and doubting the inerrancy of the Bible.
- Are your doubts based on intellectual questions or an emotional experience?
- Discover which parts of the faith you have more confidence in.
- Seek to find answers to your questions. There is likely an abundance of books and articles on the area you are struggling with.
- Don’t assume that you are alone.
- Find a trusted Christian friend that you can confide in.
- Don’t make hasty decisions based on short-term questions.
- Spend time in prayer. It doesn’t have to be prayers for the doubt to disappear. It may be just for God to be more real.
- Read the Scriptures, especially the New Testament and Psalms.
- Don’t condemn yourself for your doubts.
I cannot promise that all your questions will be answered. But doubt is not the end of faith. I truly believe that wrestling with legitimate questions will eventually lead to greater faith.