What causes believers to doubt God? Why are some believers who are dipped in the blood of Jesus Christ more skeptical about their faith than other believers?
The great apologist (defender of the faith) C. S. Lewis said: “The point is that we lose faith based on secular associations and comments that creep into our minds and chip away at our faith; at no time do we lose faith because someone argued it away from us.”
One of the hardest things about doubt is admitting it’s there. Our beliefs feel like dominos. If one starts to wobble, won’t the whole lot come tumbling down?
Perhaps, the number one reason believers have a tendency to doubt is because of ‘feelings’. Feelings go up and down like roller coasters. If believes let their feelings take the wheel of their life, they’ll crash their jobs, marriages, and their faith many times over. Let’s be clear: there is such a thing as natural temperament. Some believers are just naturally Eeyores, while others are Tiggers.
Faith is not about feelings, rather it’s about resting! Faith isn’t a thing we muster up and push out; faith is simply resting on Jesus. In John 1:12, “receiving Jesus” and “believing in his name” are parallel. They aren’t two hoops to jump through in order to be saved; they’re two descriptions of the same reality. Just as a woman could be said to both “get married” (in the active) and “be made a wife” (in the passive), so faith and receiving Jesus are two descriptions of the same reality.
Since faith is embracing Jesus, in times of doubt, believers don’t need more “faith,” rather believers need more Jesus!! And the way to get more Jesus is through preaching, Scripture, sacraments, prayer, and community. Typically, these streams of positive influence will in spite of circumstances will revive, restore, refresh and replenish faith!
Since faith is established by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), then doubt must be established by hearing the ambiguous voices in our own heads. Doubt introduces anti-rational and sub-rational thinking whereas, faith is a response to compelling truths. And Paul tells believers to keep hearing this truth. No matter what doubts may harbor, believers need to keep putting themselves in the way of the good news. Believers need to be surrounded with the Scriptures and people of the Scriptures, so to keep soaking and focusing on what’s true.
We are those believers, I’ve been referring to and the ones who Paul is talking to! When we choose to focus on the Him of Jesus rather than the what of “faith,” our doubts are reduced, relativized, replaced, and even redeemed. It might just be that the path of doubt was God’s way of deepening our faith in His ability to do what we as born again believers-dipped in the blood of Jesus Christ could not accomplish without His divine involvement!
We fully embrace the power of faith in God by denying the devil’s ability to raise doubt in our minds!