This blog post, all about how to overcome doubt as a Christian, is actually an update from a blog post I wrote a few years back! You can read the original here, or check out this video from my YouTube channel:
Doubt is an uncomfortable experience for us as Christians. So much of what we do, how we live, the decisions we make, even the jobs we do, is rooted in the truth of God that we find in the Bible. So when doubts creep into our minds, it can be scary, it can put everything into turmoil.
But doubt doesn’t need to be a one-way ticket to atheism. The fact that you are here, reading a blog all about how to overcome doubt, shows that you are not giving up. It shows that you are prepared to seek after answers rather than taking the easy route and running away or pushing your thoughts aside.
So, lets have a look at some ideas for how to overcome doubt as a Christian
In the book of Jude, it calls us to persevere. To save others by snatching them from the fire. It says:
“Be merciful to those who doubt”Jude 1:22
Even way back when Jude wrote this letter, God knew that people would doubt. It is certainly not rare. In fact, over the last year, we have sadly seen some extremely well know Christians in prominent roles, leave their faith because of their doubts. But it does not have to be this way. Whether we are doubting the existence of God, or the truth in the Bible, or the power of prayer; we get to choose how we respond to doubt. We get to choose whether we let doubts overcome us, or whether we overcome doubt.
Accept that you may never fully understand
It’s a difficult truth to accept in a world that seeks after greater and greater knowledge. We find it difficult to accept that we cannot understand, that there are things we will never simply understand. But we do need to accept that we can’t know everything, because we are not God. For me, this was a life-changing mindset shift that really helped me to have a sense of peace and calm around the fact that there were things I didn’t understand. It took away the need for me to be constantly seeking answers, because I knew that it was OK not to fully understand everything about God.
The main bible verse that I use to remind myself of this is:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.”Isaiah 55:8
Write a list
I love a list… So, this one may be partly for my enjoyment. But it is still a super useful idea to help us overcome doubt. Grab a pen and paper and create a list of all the reasons that you do believe. Think about all the answers to prayer you’ve seen. Think about why you first came to believe in God. Think about the testimonies that you have heard from other people. This is a really good way for us to re-focus upon the things that we have experienced that point us back towards God, rather than focusing upon the things that are causing us to doubt.
Dig into the Bible
This may sound a little counter-intuitive, if the Bible is something that you are beginning to doubt. But we are told:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”2 Timothy 3:16
This is more than just a book. The word of God is living and active. It has power because it is the word of God. To spend time in God’s word, is to spend time in God’s presence. This is a powerful thing for us to do.
Spending time in the Bible, and seeking to further understand God’s word, may also help us to overcome our doubts as we gain a greater understanding of who God is and the truth the Bible shares with us. Back at the end of May, a prominent Christian musician and songwriter announced on Instagram that he no longer believed. Now, I have many issues with his post and the way in which he announced this, but I won’t go into all of that right now. But the reason that this is relevant, was that so many of the questions he listed as reasons for his doubts, could have been answered by better studying of the Bible and theology. Understanding the Bible gives us a strong foundation for our faith and will help us to answer questions before they even begin to turn into doubts.
Doubt is a powerful weapon of spiritual warfare. This is a weapon that the enemy uses to turn us away from God. As we looked at in the previous paragraph, this is clearly a successful strategy.
Let us pray against this warfare. Ask God to protect you from the works of the enemy. Ask him to banish the doubts in your mind, and to give you peace and understanding and wisdom. You should also ask other people to be praying for you throughout this.
Look at who you are surrounding yourself with
The people that we spend the most time with, are the people that we are allowing to have the greatest influence over us. We get to choose who these people are, so we should choose wisely. Who are you spending the most time with? Are these people contributing to, our speaking into, your doubts? Do you need to distance yourself from these people?
Surround yourself with Christian community. Find people that encourage you in your faith, who help you to develop your faith and your understanding. People who will pray for you, who will support you, who will point you back towards to God.
Have you dealt with doubt as a Christian? How did you deal with it?