Have you ever had a time when you knew something to be true, but physical evidence–the things you could see, hear, and feel–said otherwise? And in a matter of minutes, you began to doubt the truth you previously believed?
A couple days ago, my brother celebrated his birthday. Being the kind, caring sister that I am (and because I had this wonderful and perhaps slightly crazy picture I was dying to share), I began typing a “Happy Birthday” Facebook post for him.
Then I realized something. Facebook hadn’t given me a notification it was his birthday. I glanced at the calendar. Yep, it was still the day it had been when I woke up that morning. I checked the notifications again. Two other friends had birthdays, but nothing about my brother.
So I clicked over to his profile. Nothing.
395 friends and none of them are wishing him a happy birthday?
And just like that, I began to doubt myself.
Is his birthday tomorrow? Have I really forgotten what day it is? Should I text Mom? Am I losing my mind? I’m only 40!
Just a few minutes before, I was absolutely sure it was his birthday. But the physical evidence caused me to doubt what I had known for many, many years.
This same thing can happen to us spiritually. What we have known and believed can be whisked away in the face of physical “evidence.”
It happened to Abraham, of whom it was written, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” (Romans 4:20)
Strong in faith. Staggered not at the promise of God.
Doesn’t sound like the kind of man who would have seasons of doubt.
But before his promised son was born, what do we find Abraham doing? He doubted God so much he tried to make the promise come to pass by his own efforts.
Why? Although he knew the promise of God, the years were dragging on. He and Sarah were well past child-bearing age, and still nothing had happened. What he could see contradicted what God had said.
It happens to all of us.
We know God has promised to supply all our needs, but we see the bills coming in and the bank account balance shrinking.
We know God has promised to never leave us or forsake us, but we feel so lonely.
We know God has promised to speak to us, but we hear the voices of the world shouting louder.
As the things we see, feel, and hear pile up, we begin to doubt God.
Will He really take care of my needs? Does He even care? Does He love me? Does He even exist?
So what should we do when we are bombarded by doubts? What should we do when our faith is growing weak?
First, realize that doubting is normal.
Just because you have seasons of doubt in your life, doesn’t mean you have failed God. Abraham had an intense period of doubt, and yet he is highly commended for his faith in Scripture.
John the Baptist faced doubt after being thrown in prison. He spent his life proclaiming Jesus was the Messiah, even baptizing Him. John heard the voice of God declare that Jesus was His Beloved Son. Yet near the end of his life, John sent his followers to Jesus to ask Him once again if He was truly the Messiah.
Second, immerse yourself in the living, breathing, powerful Word of God.
We must choose to make the voice of God the most prominent voice in our lives, so strong that it drowns out all the other voices whispering doubts into our minds.
We are told in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.
Make time in God’s Word your highest priority. Read it, study it, meditate on it. Write verses down, carry them with you, pull them out during the day to fix your mind on what you know to be true.
Surround yourself with people who will speak God’s Word into your life. Be in church. Attend Bible studies. Put yourself in the path of God’s Word.
Listen to uplifting Christian music. While working or driving, let the truth of God’s Word set to music saturate your mind. Let His promises continually wash over you.
Third, pray for God to strengthen your faith.
I love the words of the father who brought his son to Jesus, begging for the demon to be cast out of his son.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
This man knew his faith was lacking, but he wanted to believe. So he cried out to Jesus, begging for the faith he was lacking.
My friend, if you are in a season of doubting God, know that this is normal. Even the “giants of the faith” struggled with doubts and fears.
But don’t give up. Keep yourself in the Word of God, and pray earnestly for God to replace your doubts with faith.
God will answer your prayers. Perhaps not in the time or way you think, but He will answer.
Keep believing, even in the dark.
“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” (Psalm 5:11)