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7 Ways to Deal with Doubt 1

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Do you ever struggle with doubt? You do if you’re honest. 

Doubt affects the lives of many believers. The reality is that no one’s faith is ever perfect in this life. That includes you. And if your faith is not perfect, then it can grow and become stronger today than it was yesterday.

I like to think of doubt as the gap between our current faith and perfect faith. If this is the case, we all doubt.

Not only this, but there is nothing Christians cannot doubt. Sometimes we doubt our salvation; other times we doubt God’s love. Many times we will even doubt the reliability of Scripture, the existence of God, or the identity of Christ. Even John the Baptist, whom Christ called the greatest man ever born (Matt. 11:11), once expressed doubt about the very identity of Christ (Matt. 11:3).

Here are seven principles to consider when dealing with doubt.

1. Have mercy on those who doubt.
Jude 22 tells us to “have mercy on those who doubt.” It is easy to judge, condemn, and look down on doubters as if they are second-rate Christians. But to have mercy on those who doubt is to be there for them, comforting and building them up.

Many times, this isn’t just an overnight bout with doubt that ends after a good night’s sleep. Some are doubters for a lifetime. It’s just in their nature. You need to learn to have mercy on them (and on yourself). You may have to answer the same questions over and over again. That’s all right. And it’s an opportunity for you to learn patience.

2. Realize doubt is often the birth pangs of deepened faith. 
Many of us became believers at an early age, with a faith mediated through our parents whom we trusted implicitly. As we become older, our faith is tested though trials, temptations, and suffering (Job; Luke 8:5–15; Rom. 5:3–4; James 1:3).

This is why our most significant doubt often comes during our 20s and 30s. But this is not a bad thing. We all need to consider that the truths we espouse might be wrong, in order to embrace our faith more deeply. Such doubt often results in stronger faith.

3. Be ready to live with mystery.
Sometimes we want all the answers. We want complete understanding before we commit to God.

While God has revealed so much to us, and there is much we can understand, there are the “secret” things that belong to him alone (Deut. 29:29). We will never be able to comprehend the Trinity, or how God created everything out of nothing. But what we can comprehend is enough for us to rest in God when mystery arises.

thegospelcoalition.org

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