To be sure, we all wrestle with doubt from time to time. The Bible shows us that even God’s strongest servants struggled with doubt. Here are just a few examples.
- Adam & Eve doubted God’s goodness and ate the forbidden fruit.
- Abraham doubted God’s protection and said his wife Sarah was his sister—twice!
- Gideon doubted God’s wisdom in shrinking his army down to 300 from 32,000.
- Threatened by Jezebel, Elijah doubted that God had any further purpose for him.
- Languishing in prison, John the Baptist doubted if Jesus was the expected One.
- The apostles doubted God’s provision in feeding the 5000.
- Peter doubted that God could protect him from the accusation of a servant girl . . . and denied Christ.
- Thomas doubted the resurrection of Jesus.
Have you ever wondered why the Bible is chock-full of stories about God’s people doubting God? I believe these accounts are there to remind us that doubt is a part of the human condition. So when you and I are wrestling with doubt, we know that the experience is not unique to us. We are not freaks or losers or second-class Christians because we doubt; we are simply human—sinful humans, to be sure—which puts us in the same company as some of the greatest heroes of Scripture! The universal cry of God’s people should echo the prayer of the father of a demon-possessed son, who said, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24 NKJV).
From the beginning, Satan has done his best to get God’s people to doubt His goodness and His grace by causing us to doubt His Word. Our enemy, the devil, is relentless, always whispering slyly, “Did God really say . . . ?”
- “Did God really say you were to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s? What’s the harm of ‘fudging’ a bit on your taxes?”
- “Did God really say you are to love those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you? Isn’t it true that revenge will make you feel a lot better?”
- “Did God really say marriage was to be between one man and one woman for one lifetime? Aren’t we free to ‘hook up’ however we please?”
Satan uses the “wisdom” of the world and the weakness of our flesh to cause God’s people to doubt their God. But when has doubt ever delivered you? Granted, a little skepticism would have served Adam and Eve well back in the Garden of Eden; if only they had doubted Satan instead of God! With all of God’s goodness on display and the charge given to them to care for God’s creation and have dominion over it, our first parents doubted God and trusted the devil. And that has plunged all mankind into an appalling downward spiral of doubt and despair ever since.
So how do we resist our inclination to doubt the only One who is worthy never to be doubted? We must remember our past deliverance! Think about all that God has delivered you from in your past. Every time you were under attack, He came to your rescue. Every time you were struggling through a season of suffering, He came to your rescue. Every time you put yourself in the middle of a miserable mess, He came to your rescue. Every time you found yourself with one foot in the Word and one foot in the world, He came to your rescue. Every time you were ready to give in and give up, He came to your rescue. Based on His past performance in your life, does God not deserve your most confident trust, regardless of the circumstance you are facing?
God has never done anything that would cause anyone to doubt Him, and He never will. He who began the good work in you has promised to finish what He started (Philippians 1:6). Doubt is no deliverer—it never has been and never will be. We must simply fix our eyes upon Jesus and never forget that He has promised to bring us home. We don’t know whether the road will be long or short, but what we do know that road will be marked by tests and trials and troubles. But through it all, we can trust in the One whose footsteps we walk in every step of the way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!