Three Ways to Deal With Doubt

Take sides with faith. That’s what the distressed father did when he brought his demon-possessed boy to Jesus. He exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)! He put his weight on the faith side of the scales. He did not have perfect faith. He admitted his doubts and fears. But he committed himself to the faith side of the proposition; “I do believe!”

The celebrated evangelist Vance Havner wrote, “We are too inclined to doubt our beliefs and believe our doubts. We ought to believe our beliefs and doubt our doubts.”

The father of the troubled boy was honest. He faced and confessed his doubts. Instead of surrendering to doubt, he committed himself, in faith, to Jesus. He asked the Lord to deal with his doubts. He took sides with the Lord Jesus. He was saying, as did the hymn writer, “My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay.”

Here are three things to do when your faith is imperfect and doubts trouble your mind.

  1. Come near to God.  There is a wonderful promise in James 4:8 — “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” God will come close to you if you do what James, in this context, says to do: submit to God, repent of sin, and humble yourself before him. Doubts arise when fellowship with God is interrupted by sin. Communion with God is restored when we confess our sins.
  2. Preach the gospel to yourself. Paul reminded himself that he had trusted in  Christ for salvation. This meant that he had participated spiritually in Christ’s death and resurrection. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Remind yourself of this truth when you are attacked by doubts.
  3. Worship God. Whether you feel like it or not, acknowledge God’s goodness, generosity, kindness, mercy, faithfulness, and love. Train your mind to praise him for his attributes, his power and his wisdom. When Jeremiah’s world was crumbling around him, he turned fear into faith. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Someone has said, “Feed your faith and your doubts will diminish.” Here are three ways to feed your faith. They will help you to believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts.

Pastor Randy Faulkner