John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’” John 7:20 NLT
“I don’t know if I believe in God anymore,” he said. And he left. Never to be seen or heard from again.
Rob and I were good friends during my first semester of college. How firm his spiritual foundation stood before coming to college, I’m not sure, but a new doctrine soon shook it to the core. Toward the end of his first semester, he met up with a group of men who were studying predestination. Rob joined in.
Why the doctrine affected him the way it did, I’m not sure, but soon Rob doubted his salvation and his belief in God. His doubts overwhelmed him. As I walked into my apartment for lunch one day, he greeted me with the news. He planned to leave.
John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, also doubted. John had announced Jesus as the Messiah, had baptized Him, and had watched his own disciples leave him and follow Jesus. But at one point in his life, he doubted whether Jesus was whom He had proclaimed Him to be. When John’s two disciples approached Jesus with John’s question, Jesus merely sent them back and told them to remind John of all He had done.
Doubt isn’t a sin; only unbelief is. Jesus didn’t tell John’s disciples to rebuke him with scathing denunciations for doubting. He told them to gently remind John of the things Jesus had done which proved His Messiahship. Jesus also declared John to be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Unbelief keeps us from God—presently and in eternity—but doubt doesn’t have to.
Our human nature leads us to doubt. Our minds react against what appears illogical or beyond the bounds of scientific proof. If something doesn’t make sense—or if science says it isn’t true—we naturally doubt.
Rather than destroy our faith—as it did Rob’s—doubt, when approached correctly, strengthens our faith. It did for John when his disciples brought back word from Jesus. Jesus assurances reassured John and drove away his doubts. Doubt leads to research, prayer, Bible study, and other forms of action so we can discover answers—all healthy approaches when dealing with doubt.
Don’t let your doubts overwhelm you, but also don’t demean yourself because you have them. Take them to God. As with John, He’ll soothe your doubts and reassure your faith.
Tweetable: Are you battling doubt?
Prayer: Father, thank You for not casting us aside when we have doubts but for lovingly reassuring us of Your love and existence.