The word means all kinds of things to us.
When we doubt the future, we call it worry.
When we doubt other people, we call it suspicion.
When we doubt ourselves, we call it inferiority.
When we doubt everything, we call it cynicism or skepticism.
When we doubt God, we call it unbelief.
Can I share this with you? Doubt is not the opposite of faith. Doubt is the opportunity for your faith to grow. The opposite of faith is not doubt - but unbelief or a willful refusal to believe and a deliberate decision to disobey God. Doubt is when you don't know what God wants you to do. Or why God is doing things.
Unbelief is when you know what God wants you to do and don't do it.
Everyone has doubts. Whew, aren't you glad I said that!
We all doubt.
To doubt is human.
Everyone has times of doubt. Abraham did, David did. Jonah did. John the Baptist did.
Do Christians doubt?
Here's something that might disturb you a little bit. Should Christians doubt? Yes.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:8,9, "We are often troubled but not crushed. Sometimes in DOUBT, but never in despair. There are many enemies but we are never without a friend and thought we badly hurt at times we are not destroyed."
Many times we doubt because we just don't understand why things are happening to us as they are - "Why did you allow this, God?" "What's going on here, God," "I don't understand," we cry out.
I have those times and so do you.
Just to lighten the midst, perhaps, just a little bit - George Carlin once wrote:
"Did you ever wonder why?
You tell a man there's 400 billion stars and he'll believe you, but tell him a bench has wet paint and he has to touch it? Why?
Why is it called a hamburger when it's made out of beef? Why do you put suits in garment bags and put garments in suitcases? Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle? Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
Why do they lock gas station bathrooms—are they afraid someone is going to sneak in there and clean them?
If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? Why are there five syllables in the word monosyllabic? When two airplanes almost collide, why do they call it a near miss—it sounds like a near hit to me?
Why do banks charge you a non-sufficient funds fee on money they know you don't have? Why do you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway? Why are they called apartments when they're stuck together? Why are they called buildings when they are already finished? Shouldn't we call them builts? If the black box flight recorder is never damaged during a plane crash, why isn't the whole airplane made out of that stuff?"
I love it.
Now back to being more "serious".
If we don't get a handle on our doubts we can become negative, selfish, complacent and nostalgic.
Ravi Zacharias writes, "To walk away from one's faith because of unanswered questions about evil is to walk into a storm of unanswered questions about good."
As usual, with anything that Zacharias writes, I have to read it about 4 times to begin to understand what he means.
Perhaps what he means is this - the question is not so much why God allows evil into our lives, but why does he allow the good? Do we deserve the good? Do we deserve his blessings in our lives?
How can we face our doubts?
Admit your doubts. Be honest with God.
Doubt your doubts. Tackle your doubts head on. Pray about them. Be dependant upon God.
Being with the faith you already have. Start from where you are today.
Believing with you for a great faith in the midst of doubts..........