How Do I Strengthen My Faith
To strengthen your faith, dedicate yourself to regular Bible study and talk to God on a regular basis about ALL THE THINGS . God gave us the Bible to show us how He was trustworthy in the past so we can trust Him today . If we understand how God works with those who trust Him, then we can begin to trust Him with our own life situations.
You may be amazed at how quickly you turn back to God. If you think there’s even a chance you’re doubting God’s sovereignty or trustworthiness, then start fighting against it before you lose sight of your Savior. “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” . It’s OK to ask questions, but whatever you do, never give up on God, because He will never give up on you!
When it comes to faith, “having doubt” is not the same as “having questions.” Everyone runs into moments when things dont make sense. “Questions” are a good thing, since they help us prove that God’s Word is true . It’s how we can tell the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong . The Bible actually commands us to test and examine our faith to see if it’s the truth . “Questions” are a part of faith, but “doubt” is something that comes from Satan. Strengthen your faith through talking to God, studying His Word to learn more about Him, and discussing your faith with other believers .
You Cant Have Faith Without Questions
This is true for the simple reason that God has chosen to keep many secrets. The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children . There are certain things God has revealed: Thats what makes faith possible. There are certain things God has kept secret: Thats what makes faith necessary.
Paul says, Now I know in part . We know in part, and that is why we walk by faith and not by sight. Faith lives with unanswered questions. You cannot live in this world without asking, Why? We live with the mysteries of evil and suffering.
Just as its part of Christian faith to say we know what God has revealed, it is part of Christian humility to say we do not know what God has kept secret.
When massive suffering comes close to home as it did on September 11, 2001, the world will say to us, How do you explain this? as if faith depended on having all the answers. But if you had all the answers, then you would have no need of faith.
The day will come when we will know fully, even as we are fully known. But on that day faith will no longer be necessary. Faith will be turned to sight, and we will behold him! Until then, we will have faith with questions, and that will be a normal experience of the Christian life.
Help Me Overcome My Unbelief
Jesus asked the boys father, “How long has he been like this?””From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.””If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”Immediately the boys father exclaimed, “I do believe help me overcome my unbelief!”
This father’s expression of faith is one of the most honest and meaningful statements about doubt in the entire New Testament. Faith and doubt aren’t opposing positions on the same light switch. They’re often conditions that exist side by side.
This man asks Jesus to intervene because he does believe. He believes enough to bother asking, but he could believe more. We could always believe more. And nothing seems more meaningful than using your existing faith to ask for more faith.
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Is It Okay To Doubt
What do you do when you start to doubt? Perhaps you wonder if God really cares about you, or you’re troubled by a certain Christian belief, or you have a hard time believing a good God could let such evil exist. Worse, you may wonder if you are truly a Christian if you have doubts. No matter what your questions are, and regardless of where your doubts are coming from, this 3-session Bible study will help you discover what the Bible has to say about doubts, and you’ll make a plan to overcome them.
Does Doubt Signal the End of Faith?What the Bible says about doubtsJohn 20:1931
What Should I Do If I Have Doubts?Create a strategy to face them head on.Matthew 11:16
Can Doubt Actually Strengthen My Faith?How to leverage your doubts to deepen your faithPsalm 73 Colossians 2:110
Ann C. Sullivan is the author of Permission to Doubt and a speaker who is passionate about challenging and encouraging people in their faith.
Why Do People Doubt Jesus
Jn 20:24-25 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.
Based on the definition given earlier and the various things scripture has to say about doubt, I would say that the reason for doubting the good news of Jesus Christ can be summed up as refusal to accept the information as fact and trust it to be accurate. The real question then is, why is the information not trusted?
1 Thess 5:24 but test everything hold fast what is good. The information comes from an unknown or dubious source. There is nothing wrong with taking steps to verify the accuracy of a message. Be sure God is speaking. If you find it is in fact God speaking, then you have no excuse for not obeying. If you find it to be a false source, then you need to use your armor.
Lk 23:34 And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they cast lots to divide his garments. Denial. Sometimes we are in denial because we like how things are and we refuse to accept something new and different. The guards casting lots we eye witnesses of Gods power. They saw the signs.
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Every Believer Has Doubts
Doubt is a part of being human. At times I doubt my marriage, my friends, my reason, my cooking, my writing, and myself. It would be odd if I didnt doubt God at times. More than this, doubt is an inevitable part of Christian experience. This is why Jesus was continually chiding his disciples: O you of little faith! .
Sometimes I sin, and sometimes I doubt. Neither is good in themselves, but theyre not surprising or unexpected. A doubt-less Christian is as impossible as a sin-less Christian. Sin, in fact, springs from unbelief .
Its not much of a stretch to rephrase 1 John 1:9 this way: If we say we have no doubts we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our doubts, God is faithful and just to forgive us our doubts and purify us from all unbelief.
Flipping The Narrative On Doubt In Faith
Ive experienced my share of doubt in my faith throughout my life. For much of my life, it was manageable, minimal. I could just kind of ignore it. Focus on my faith and not my doubt.
But a few years ago I experienced a level of doubt that was just too big to ignore. And for a while, it sent me into a faith crisis. What do I do with this doubt in faith? Those cheap answers of just have more faith didnt work or answer the questions I had.
After floundering for a while I realized doubt isnt the opposite of faith, its a part of it. And when I embraced that my doubt became something that actually helped my faith grow.
You can read more about the process that brought me to where I am here: My Faith Deconstruction and REconstruction
Faith is often seen as the opposite of doubt. But that perspective needs to be flipped. The opposite of faith is certainty where there is certainty there is no room for faith.
Paul Tillich puts it this way, Doubt is not the opposite of faith it is one element of faith.
Anne Lamott builds on Tillichs quote, The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.
Doubt is not the enemy and not something that needs to be fought. It needs to be understood, expressed, and used. Thats what I want to do in this article, I want to explore the relationship between faith and doubt.
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You Must Believe And Do Not Doubt
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
James’ words have often felt like a dagger for struggling people. Some people have prayed for sick loved ones, and when those loved ones didn’t get better, these words echoed in their head: “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
But it’s vital that we don’t pull these words out of their context. This passage specifically concerns praying for wisdom. James tells us that if we feel like we lack wisdom, we should pray for it. God wants to give us understanding, but it doesn’t do us any good to pray for wisdom if we dont believe God can give it to us.
Bible Verses That Use The Word Doubt
Genesis 37:33 And he identified it and said, It is my sons robe. A fierce animal has devoured him. Joseph is withoutdoubt torn to pieces.
Deuteronomy 28:66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life.
Job 12:2 No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you.
Acts 28:4When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.
Jude 1:22And have mercy on those who doubt
Today, if you are going through a trial or temptation that is causing you to doubt God, cry out to God. He is faithful.
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Verses About Doubt And Faith
Luke 24:37-38But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Romans 14:23But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
James 1:6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Understanding Doubt And Unbelief
Throughout the New Testament, unbelief is shown to be a critical problem in the life of many Christians. However, most teaching on the subject does not get to the heart of the topic. When unbelief is mentioned from the pulpit, it is usually presented in a superficial manner along the lines of people simply not having enough faith to see the power of God work in their lives. While the Scriptures are clear that God honors faith, our understanding of how doubt and unbelief specifically hinder that faith in our lives is lacking. To help the reader gain some insight into what doubt and unbelief really are, I offer the following outline. In some ways it may sound like a Word of Faith primer, but the outline Im using I think is the best way to impart the concepts on these subjects.
Before we tackle the subject of doubt and unbelief, it might be helpful to gain a quick understanding of what faith is. These days, you will hear that faith is everything from a living channel of trust between man and God to a spiritual force. But ultimately, faith is not the means by which we get God to work in our lives faith is the means by which we enter into His will for our lives! Faith is crucially important, and the Bible reveals several things about it including:
God is pleased by a person who has faith .
God will work miracles on behalf of a person who has faith .
God limits or even refuses to work in a persons life when that persons faith is weakened by doubt or unbelief .
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What Does Doubt Cause You To Do
Our focal passage speaks nicely to this question. It says doubt causes us not to receive anything from the Lord. This question ties together the all the other questions previous raised about doubt. Doubt was defined as essentially the opposite of faith. If one doubts God, they lack faith and in fact are in a condition of unbelief. Without belief we cannot be saved and we will act in disobedience . James says that the doubter is double-minded and unstable. He essentially says the doubter is wishy-washy and gullible. The doubter is a sucker. W. C. Fields said Theres a sucker born every minute. Sadly he was right. If we are true believers, no small part of our obedience to our Lord is to reveal our Lord accurately to non-believers and believers who have doubt.
If you doubt and are therefore unstable in your values, you will be easy prey for temptation. Temptation begets sin which begets death . Doubt is like the AIDS virus. It doesnt kill directly, but makes you susceptible to death by common disease .
Trust The Lord With All Your Heart
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
When it comes to having faith, the Bible often portrays it as a question of whose perspective we intend to rely on. We can lean into what we know and understand about God and His ways, or we can trust in our own understanding.
In addressing faith, the topic really begins right here. Are we willing to concede that there are limitations to our understanding? Or are we willing to put the Lord to the test? The issue is never about what we convince ourselves we believe. We can say we trust God while leaning on our own understanding to make decisions.
As this passage points out, it’s only as we submit to God’s way that our path begins to straighten. Biblically speaking, faith is never merely about the specific beliefs we havebecause our lives will always reveal where our faith lies.
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Do You Think Doubt Is The Same As Worry
Some people confuse doubt and worry. Doubt is the opposite or absence of faith.* Worry means to be anxious, which is to say being troubled with cares. While the two concepts are unique, worry tends to lead to doubt. We can worry about a lot of things, but aside from reducing our productivity, when we worry we tend to dwell on the what if scenarios in our minds. Worry may generate fear, but it may just as easily cause us to start justifying our concerns and taking control away from God. When we do this, we do the same thing as Eve we presume to become like God in our superiority, doubting Gods authority by replacing it with our own.
To illustrate worry, consider Mt 6:27 in the following translations:
ESV: And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
KJV: Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
NIV: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Each of these popular translations conveys the concept of worry differently. After researching the Greek further I would be satisfied to accept any of the three renderings of the verse, though in this case KJV does a more accurate job of rendering cubits to stature as opposed to the other versions which render hours to life. The word translated worry and thought appears to be most accurately translated as anxious .
Okay, forget all the technical stuff. The point is no, doubt and worry arent the same, but odds are favorable that worry could lead to doubt.