Struggling With Doubt as a Christian
We struggle with doubt as Christians and this is nothing to worry about. Doubt means that you have unanswered questions about your faith or particular aspects of it. By understanding the things that make you have doubts, you will eliminate them from your heart and hold on to your faith tenaciously.
If it’s any consolation, one of the disciples of Jesus called Thomas, doubted His resurrection. “Now Thomas (also known as Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’” It’s normal to have doubts, the problem is when you don’t address them.
How Do We Address Doubt as Christians?
1) Identify the Source of the Doubt
Many Christians today are having doubts about their faith and many are walking away. They are opting for other religions or becoming atheists. This happens when they don’t get answers for the doubts they have in their hearts. When you identify the source of your doubt, it gives you a chance to study the Scriptures that will give you a deeper understanding of your Christian faith. Knowing the truth is what will free you from your doubt. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Once you explore the root cause of your doubt, you will find that it is a lie you have believed. When you don’t know the truth about something, you will be holding on to a lie, and if you don’t address it, you will end up discarding it.
Some Christians are struggling with religious mindsets that work against their faith and give them a distorted view of the gospel. To correct this, you need a revelation of the truth from God as you read your Bible. By giving up what we believe is the truth and allowing God to show us what He means in His Word, then our doubt will disappear.
2) Pray for Divine Guidance
We sometimes don’t know where our doubts are coming from and it is when we pray and ask for God’s guidance that we arrive at the truth. Some of our doubts are hidden deep in our hearts and until God shows them to us, we will continue to live in deception. Even King David asked in Psalm 19:12, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.”
Pray and ask God to show you why you are having doubts about your faith and how you can address them. Your doubts may be coming from an experience you had growing up or from believing false doctrine. If you ask God for the truth, believe that He will show you where your doubts are coming from. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23).
3) Study the Scriptures
Doubts can come when we take Scriptures out of context and end up believing something that is not true about God and Christianity. By studying the Scriptures, you will have a deeper understanding of what God means when He says some things. You may read a Bible verse in the new testament and find it expounded in the old testament. God also speaks to you by His Spirit and leads you to verses that will help you understand the topic you are studying.
Using Bible commentaries will give you a clearer perspective of your areas of doubt. Commentaries will show you where you took Scriptures out of context and you can correct your beliefs. Your study will bear fruit when you study topics that fill you with doubt so that you can spend more time on them.
Jesus gave us an interesting truth, that if you don’t understand the Word of God, the devil comes and steals it from your heart. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside” (Matthew 13:19). When the devil steals the Word from your heart, you will end up believing a lie that will fill you with doubts about many things in the Christian faith. Study the Scriptures with diligence.
4) Talk to Your Pastor
If you can’t seem to resolve your doubts, you can speak to your local pastor who will give you biblical guidance. Pastors teach you God’s Word and where you don’t understand, you can catch up with them after the service or during the week, and speak to them about your doubts.
Your pastor will be in a position to counsel you and pray with you. You can also speak to a mature believer in your church whom you trust and let them know about your doubts. Proverbs 20:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” You don’t have to struggle with your doubts when you can talk to someone about them.
You can also listen to biblical teachings online that focus on the area of your doubts. This way you will get to hear how different believers have understood the gospel.
It’s important to address your doubts before they get out of hand. Deal with them instead of holding on to them and walking out of the Christian faith. God is always ready to help you with your doubts like He helped Thomas believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. Struggling with doubt should not fill you with shame, and you can see it as an opportunity to learn more about God and His Word. As you study God’s Word, you will build your faith and your doubts will disappear one by one.