How to Handle Doubt

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (NIV)

Doubt is normal. Even Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, doubted—and that was after following Jesus for three years. He saw the Savior up close, witnessed countless miracles, and watched Jesus heal the sick. Still, he doubted.

Remember that doubt is not total disbelief; it’s more like a point somewhere between belief and disbelief. It’s normal for even mature Christians to experience times of doubt. You see, faith wouldn’t be faith if there were no possibility of doubt.

The Scriptures tell about a desperate father who brought his son to Jesus to be healed. The son was possessed by an evil spirit. Jesus told the father that all things are possible for those who believe.

The father exclaimed, “I believe; help my unbelief!” What he was really saying was, “I want to believe, but I need your help because I’m really somewhere between completely believing and not believing at all.” If we’re honest, doesn’t that describe most of us at some point in our walk with God?

So what do you do when you find yourself doubting? The starting place is to do just what this father did. Tell God that you’re having doubts and allow Him to meet your need. Beyond that, one of the most powerful tools I’ve discovered for doubt is spending time in God’s Word. When I spend time reading the Bible, God chases away my doubts. Truth has a way of doing just that—removing untruth and doubt. Once, when Jesus was praying for us (John 17:17), He asked the Father to sanctify us in the truth. This happens when we spend time in God’s Word.

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. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)


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