I don’t know about you, but I struggle with doubt. I question what I’ve heard from the Lord. I question the character of God. I question His love for me. I question His faithfulness.
Typically, I think that I’m the only one who struggles with doubt. I think that is Satan’s way to make me feel isolated from truth and community.
One day, I really felt like I was all alone in this battle of doubt. I brought it to the Lord and asked for forgiveness and begged Him to change my heart. I desperately wanted to believe the Word of God. I desperately wanted to be confident in His love for me. I wanted to believe and stand on His faithfulness. As I cried out to God, I opened my Bible to Matthew 11 to continue studying. Needless to say, God met me right there.
He showed me that I was not alone. He showed me that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with doubt. But He also showed me how to fight my doubt!
Check this out:
Matthew 11:2-3 says, “Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?'”
Remember John is the one who baptized Jesus. On that day, John watched how “the heavens were opened to him [Jesus] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him, and behold a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased'” (Matthew 3:16-17). John heard audibly the voice of God, while being in the very presence of Christ–who he could clearly touch.
Talk about confidence; John the Baptist, heard THE voice of God. John’s eyes were fixed on God, and he knew without a doubt that Christ was the One they had been waiting for.
Somewhere along the way he was put into prison. Prison does not sound fun to me. I think we can all agree that John was in the middle of a bad situation. He was vulnerable. He started listening to other people; looking at his circumstances instead of looking to God, he was a little unsure what was happening or maybe why it was happening. So what does John do? He doubts. He sends his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
Wait… So John; the man who baptized Jesus, who watched the heavens be opened, and who heard the voice of God clearly present Jesus as His Son; DOUBTED what God had spoken so clearly?!
How could he doubt what was so clear and direct from God?
- He was facing a difficult circumstance. He was in prison. Things were a little rocky. Life was shaking up. The possibility of death was close.
- He started listening to people instead of God. He was being swayed by the voices of people rather than God.
What about you?
When do you doubt what God has told you?
Do you let your circumstances dictate what you believe about God?
Do you let your circumstances sway you to believe what God said clearly could not be true?
What about listening to people?
Do you ever find it easier to hear the voice of people versus the voice of God?
Whose voice do you let be louder?
For me, it’s easy when life gets hard to doubt. I want to understand why things are happening or changing. I want an explanation for everything. Somewhere along the way, I will stop listening to God’s voice and I will look for answers from people. I want to hear from people what God is doing. All of this only creates more doubt.
What are we to do with our doubt?
Looking at John as an example, he brought it to Christ. He didn’t hold on to it. He wasn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. God is not bigger than our questions. And He most certainly is not bigger than our doubt. So we bring our doubt to Christ!
So Jesus’s response to John’s disciple was, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” In essence, Jesus is challenging John to remember all that Jesus has done.
When we face doubt, how often do we stop to remember all that Christ has done? Do we ever look to see where God is working? Do we even remember His work?
The answer to doubt is remembering Christ.
We remember that Christ came and lived the perfect life that you and I could never live. We remember that Christ died the death we deserve on the cross.
We remember that the grave could not hold Him.
We remember that Christ is living AGAIN!
We remember that Christ holds our circumstances (easy and difficult) in His hand!
We remember the Truth!
When we take the time to remember all that God has done for us (even beyond our salvation), we stop looking at our circumstances and we stop listening to the voices of others. We see God for who He is: our Savior! We see His power and we see that He who conquered death can carry us through the tough seasons of life.
Remembering allows our confidence to be strengthened in God. It allows us to see all God has ALREADY done for us! The more confidence we have, the less we doubt, the more faith we have!
Remembering Christ is the answer to doubt.