Doubt, the one who always shuts you down. The one who makes you feel not good enough. It gets in the way of your calling and purpose in life. It tells you that you can never do it, never make it. It tries slow you down and then tell you it’s too late to try. In fact, it’s afraid of if you really tried, because it knows what you could do. So it has to keep you here in this pit. Doubt has to convince you that you would never make it if you tried. It confuses you so that you won’t be a threat. It piles up excuses all around you and rationalizes everything into oblivion. It makes you insecure about everything you do.
Doubt can often sneak in without anyone noticing it, it starts out as just a small pest, but it grows, and when it grows up it is a terrible beast that you have to conquer. It can very quickly ravage your entire life. It can make you wonder if you are saved at all. Or it can cause you to be uncertain that God really forgave you of something so long ago. It can make you feel inadequate or like not enough to do something that God wants you to do. Doubt is just one voice of many that the devil can try to confuse you with, but it is a very dangerous one. It can even stop you from stepping out and being a light in this lost world. Doubts can completely destroy your faith in God, His church, and His people. Doubt is a weapon, and we need to be actively fight it with the voice of truth.
Doubt kills motivation and it slows all progress down to a halt. If I don’t believe I can do something, why would I try anyways? If you have doubts about being able to do something then you are much less likely to accomplish it. When you give in to your doubts, they will keep you in a safe little bubble where you never do something that you could fail at. You are “safe” from failing, but also “safe” from really trying and applying yourself to anything. If you even just listen to doubts and don’t let them control you, they still can control you in a way. They can make you quiver with every step you take that leads away from them, always having to look over your shoulder. Doubt is a very dangerous enemy.
Doubt causes undue skepticism in us towards God. You can doubt that God wants you to act on something. You may question if God really loves you or not. You grow uncertain that God can really turn things around for your good and His glory. You can even know what God wants you to do, yet still doubt whether or not you can accomplish the task. Or you can doubt that it is really God that is asking you to do something. These are dangerous doubts towards God’s will that poison your thinking. It confuses you and disorients things. Things are unclear. It makes you hesitant to act. Everything becomes clouded and foggy.
Doubt can control you and shut you down. However, you can take all of doubt’s power away and leave it helpless before you. You can choose to listen to doubt or deny it by listening to something else, the Voice of Truth. Doubt is like a terrible sinking sand we get stuck in when we need to be standing on the solid rock, Jesus. We can stand on the promises of God, and we can bank on what He says. God will never ever, ever, ever fail you or come up short on you. He loves you with an everlasting love. (Psalm 117:2)
The Voice of Truth, God’s voice, is more powerful than doubt. We need to choose to listen to this voice instead of doubt. The voice of truth tells us that God has a plan and a purpose for us, and that He equips us fully to fulfill that plan. (Jeremiah 29:11) It tells us that God will never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:8) It tells us that if we love God, He will turn every circumstance of our lives to good, and use it to glorify His name in the process. (Romans 8:28) The Voice of Truth says that if we seek God, we will find Him. (Matthew 7:7) And if we ask Him for forgiveness, He is faithful and just to forgive us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
“Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) Jesus called Peter out for doubting here. Peter’s doubt had caused him to begin sinking into the waves rather than walking on them like Jesus was. He doubted, but notice that he still had faith! Though it was “little faith,” He still had faith! Therefore, just because you doubt, that does not mean you have no faith. It may just mean you have little faith. And in that case, we can pray to God and ask Him to help us to trust and believe. “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Remember the strong faith of Meshack, Shadrach and Abed-nego. They were going to be thrown into a fiery furnace because they trusted God and refused to bow down to an idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar. They said, “Our God is faithful to deliver us, and He will deliver us. But if not, we will still follow Him.” (Daniel 3:17-18) Also remember the faith of Job, who lost everything he had. He lost all of his earthly possessions, his kids, his good health, his own wife even told him to curse God. But Job was resolved to trust God, and while he did deal with many doubts, he still kept his faith in God. And he prayed for his friends; this showed his unending faith in God. In turn, all of his possessions were returned and then some! (Job 42:10-15) These examples found in scripture can help us to take heart and know that Jesus has overcome the world, all we need to do is put our faith in Him and everything will be alright. (John 16:33)
Sometimes the biggest doubts come because we feel that God is being silent towards us. We pray, and pray, and pray, but receive no answer. Heaven seems to just be silent. This causes us to doubt the power of prayer, or even worse, the power and lovingkindness of God! Let me say, God loves you as much as His one and only Son. Never doubt that Jesus died for you, and that He loves you with a crazy love. And never doubt the power of a prayer. Prayer is talking to God, and yes sometimes we don’t hear Him talk back, but that just might mean we aren’t listening to Him answering us! God listens when we talk, sometimes we may not like the answers, but we need to remember that God knows best. And even when He doesn’t give us the answer we would have picked, it does not mean He loves us less.