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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Doubting your doubts

Have you ever doubted? I have. Doubts for me come in waves, like an ocean tide. They come in, and then they go out, like a Michigan summer thunderstorm.

To doubt is to be human. Everyone doubts. Or at least I think they do. Abraham doubted, Daivd doubted, Peter, the early church, on and on the list goes of people n the Word who doubted. Godly people doubt. New Christians doubt. And of course, non-Christians doubt.

Os Guiness gives a very helpful definition of doubt in his book "In two minds". He says, "When you believe, you are in one mind and accept something as true. Unbelief is to be of one mind and reject that something is true. To doubt is to waver between the two, to believe and disbelieve at the same time, and so to be in 'two minds.'"

That is what Pastor James calls, in chapter 1, a "double minded man," or as the Chinese say, "Doubt is standing in two boats, with one foot in each."

When I doubt, I try to be honest with God about my doubts. I thankful that God never gets upset or angry with me when I doubt. In fact, to a certain extent, he welcomes our doubts, because they can actually draw us closer to Him.

Then, I doubt my doubts. So many of us doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts. Many times our doubts are more emotional than intellectual. It is a rare occasion that I meet someone who doubts from sheer intellectual challenges. It most always is out of a sense of frustration with people or problems or pressures in life - why didn't God come through to help me in my situation.

Also, I practice beginning with the faith I already have. Every step forward that I take towards God moves me further away from doubt, discouragement, depression, and despair.

When I doubt, that's the time to stop and says, "God, I don't understand everything, but today I believe. Today I trust you and ask you to become the Lord, the manager of my life."

Finally, I once again experience the presence of God. I can read about playing golf in magazines and even take lessons from a golf pro. But there is nothing that teaches me more than actually playing the game itself. The cure for doubt is the experience of a changed heart, changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and the presence of God.

I encourage you today - feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.


Alex Kahn said...

Amen. The lack of a decision, is actually a decision to stay in doubt. Just as fresh water and poisoned water cannot flow from the same stream, a decision can not go in 2 directions at the same time and be very effective.

Firstag Music said...

After hearing your sermon on Doubt, I really appreciated hearing the difference between Doubt and Disbelief. We do tend to mix up the two, feeling we don't believe if we have doubts.