This past Sunday I shared a lesson about doubts. We are looking at things that quench or put out the Spirit’s fire in our life, and doubt was at the top of my list. Doubt is a true spirit killer because it is a faith killer and it can turn any joy we have into a dark depressing journey that leads away from God. Doubt isn’t all bad! In fact, it is part of our seeking and learning journey. If we are asking tough questions about faith and godliness because we want to learn and grow – it’s an amazing and natural tool. If we stay ignorant and are searching for justification for our lack of faith, doubt is a powerful tool that Satan uses to distance us from God. I offered this catchy reminder to help us all keep doubts in perspective. Doubt is a process not an address! Use it to learn and grow, but we don’t have to live there!
One of the biggest reasons we have doubts as Christians is because there are spiritual things we can’t explain or defend, like the Holy Spirit, angels, and Heaven. We also struggle with things that are just complicated and difficult to understand so we allow doubts to creep in. Things like grace, apologetics, and problem of pain and suffering, cause us to hesitate, wonder, and doubt. The reasons for doubting are endless, but they ALL boil down to what we can’t see, touch, smell, hear, or feel. They all come from some struggle with our faith. I have had my share of those struggles over my half-century of faith formation, and while I don’t struggle today with any of the mentioned subjects, I struggle – but it’s not with doubts. I wonder about what God wants me to do and what He’s constantly doing to guide me, but I don’t doubt He’s involved or that He cares. I wonder what His will is for me when I trying to make a big decision, but I don’t doubt that He will help me see something that will give me some kind of guidance!
Wonder is not doubt. I wonder sometimes what my wife is doing when she is out shopping, but I never doubt her ability to make the right decision and to be a good steward of our “meager” resources. We wonder what God is doing because we have no other choice – we can’t know, but because we trust and love Him our wonder is exciting and joyful. We KNOW He will do what is best for us and we KNOW that He care. So, whatever happens, whatever He chooses to do or not do – I have no doubt about it being good for me, even if it may take years or eternity for me to know what it is or was.
Don’t let Satan trick you into thinking that wonder and doubt are the same or anything alike. They aren’t! Wonder is simply recognizing that there are always things you don’t know. Doubt is Satan pushing you to question things that will harm your relationship with our Father. He’s always wonderful – no doubt!