Overcoming Doubt

We can learn a thing or two from “Doubting Thomas”. If we don’t ask the tough questions how will we ever find answers? Leaving doubt to fester and grow is not going to give us peace. Afraid of what Jesus will say to you if you doubt that he is who he says he is? You can’t fake your faith. Eventually you’ll be found out. Jesus knows how you feel already anyway.

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

John 24-25

God has never been above answering the tough questions, either. Some of the greatest people in biblical history shared their doubt with God. Who? Well, let’s start with Moses. He led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert for 40 years. He doubted that he could lead. Gideon doubted that he was a mighty warrior. Peter doubted that he was really walking on water. And Thomas, he owned his doubt and voiced it to the others. Jesus knew his doubt and he showed him the truth letting him put his finger in the nail holes and to touch the hole in his side.

If we don’t ask the tough questions, we’ll never find the answers we need. Most of us go about life living in mechanical precision. We have our patterns that we fall into and don’t leave much wiggle room. We go to church every Sunday like clockwork because we’ve allotted time for it. But the rest of the week how often do we even think about God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?

That’s how I was until a couple of years ago. But all of a sudden life changed. I was set on a course that was totally out of my realm of comfort. Stepping into the role of worship leader wasn’t something I sought , but I was glad to help out. Was I scared? You better believe it! I’ve been totally out of my element ever since. I kept telling myself that I didn’t know enough. Wasn’t good enough. I’d never sung in front of a congregation by myself. I definitely didn’t have the musical skill set that I needed to be able to do this. But, God promised me where I was weak he would give me strength. And you know what? He’s been faithful! That doesn’t mean I’ve never stumbled or that I haven’t struggled through learning a song. That’s happened plenty of times. And I know every single mistake I make when I’m up there. Satan makes sure of that. In the middle of a song, he taunts me with thoughts of “what do you think you’re doing?” “you can’t sing, you’ve never done this before”.

You ever hear a sermon that you can relate to? Like it must have been written with your struggles in mind? But, it’s not about me. What doubts have you had?

  • Heartbroken – doubt that you can love again.
  • Betrayed – doubt you can trust.
  • Disappointed – doubt you’ll ever get a fair shot

There’s a difference between wondering about something and doubting. Doubt can become poison that eats away at us. Wonder is about asking a question. But with doubt, we’ve already come to a conclusion. We can place doubts on other people. This is dangerous if it leads us to doubt their worth, thinking that Jesus could never love them. It’s not our place to judge.

Doubt can cause us to isolate from others as a form of preservation. This can shield us from hurt, but it also keeps us from being restored.

Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

John 20:26

The disciples are still behind locked doors, but Jesus walks right into the room. And instead of condemnation, he offers them peace. He knew that’s what they really needed.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands, and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 20:27-28

Jesus knew exactly what Thomas needed…peace and proof. Before, Thomas believed in Jesus. Now he believed Jesus.

The problem is that many of us believe in Jesus…so few believe Jesus.

And this has what to do with me, you ask? Pain finds it’s voice in questions – why? how? what now? when?

It matters where we look and who we look to for answers.

  • Pursue truth. Not just the answers you want to find.
  • Faith grows when we’re honest with doubts and ask the hard questions.
  • Thomas didn’t stop at asking questions.
  • Didn’t settle for skepticism…kept exploring.
  • Committed pursuit of truth will take you to the risen Savior.

Truth over answers are pathways to Christ. We find answers by passionately pursuing truth. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions…But then do something.

Bring your doubt to light, don’t suppress it. We are all walking our own path and have doubts for different reasons. There is no one size fits all solution. But in all cases, the Lord is gracious and helps to remove the doubt, no matter it’s uniqueness.

So, what to do when you are staring down your doubts? Try this…

  • Pray first. Slow down. Speak the situation clearly to the Lord.
  • Know what you know. Past is precedent. If he’s been faithful before, he’ll be faithful now.
  • Keep doing what he’s called you to do. Shake off the doubts Satan puts in your head.
  • Remember the scars and the empty tomb.
  • Breathe in the Holy Spirit. Study Scriptures. Seek answers.
  • Your pursuit will lead you to faith.

Ask the hard questions. It’s okay. If doubts lead us to seek him, we’ll find him. Then you’ve got to do something. Give him your entire life.

Even Jesus asked the tough questions,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Matt 27: 46

Jesus knows the doubts we struggle with, so go ahead and pursue answers. God will give you what you need.

I hope this has been helpful. My goal is to share what I got out of our pastor’s sermon so that it might shed some light on things others struggle with or point you in the direction of finding your salvation.

In Faith,

Pam

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