Faith in God can often be elusive in our lives. We know that we should have faith in God; yet everything around us is crying out saying: “Can you really trust God?”. “Why is God taking so long.?” “Where is God in all of this?” How can we move beyond these doubts and live in faith towards God?
How do we doubt God in our daily lives?
- We doubt the protection of God. We feel vulnerable when events bring hurt into our lives. Like the Israelites, we feel that God has left us on our own.
- We doubt the promises of God. God’s Word is full of promises, but we don’t accept them for our own lives. We feel undeserving. We may be ignorant of his promises. We think these promises don’t apply to our circumstances. Thus, we lose out on the blessings that these promises provide.
- We doubt the presence of God. God says that “He will never leave us nor forsake us.” We look for God, but we can’t seem to find Him. We may think that he doesn’t care.
- We doubt the power of God. Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ which sterngtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13) However, we fail to experience this power when we are expecting God “to come through for us.”
- We doubt the provision of God. God says that He will take care of us; yet we fret and worry about our money and possessions.
- We doubt the plan of God. God is not working in our lives in the way we would like. We decide to go our own way. Joseph could have doubted God’s plan because the path was dark and difficult to which God had called him.
What causes us to doubt God?
- We doubt God because of our own human nature. One of the conflicts we have in our Christian life is that we choose to walk by sight and not by faith. We allow our circumstances to cloud our view of God. Sin blinds us to the reality of God’s Word and His Promises.
- We doubt God because of the influence of others. When those around us doubt God and His Word, they can infect us with this same thinking. The ten spies influenced one another to doubt God. Caleb and Joshua had enough faith to withstand the pressure from the other spies.
- We doubt God because of the many obstacles that happen in our lives. Job had some difficulties with his faith because his whole world had collapsed. Likewise, we tend to doubt God in the tough times.
- We doubt God because of his “divine delays”. God doesn’t work His plans in our time. Because of this, we become impatient and we begin to doubt God. We say: “Why hasn’t God done something!”
How do we move beyond doubt into faith?
We know that we should walk by faith and not by sight. We know that living by faith pleases God, but we still struggle with our doubts. What can we do to cultivate our faith.
- We cultivate our faith through reading and studying the Word of God. Romans 10:17 says: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The reading of the Word enables us to learn more about God, His promises, and His working in our lives. The more we know God; the more we will trust Him. The heroes of the faith in Hebrews knew their God. This resulted in their unwavering faith. How well do we know our God?
- We cultivate our faith by learning to cry out to God. Once Jesus met a man whose son was demon possessed. This father understood his need to cry out to God: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) Crying out to God is saying: “I can’t do it.” “I can’t continue without you.” God will respond when we cry out to Him.
- We cultivate faith by choosing faith when doubt is crying out to us. When we choose faith, we are siding with God and His Word. We put aside our viewpoints and opinions and accept the ways of God. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” Paul made a choice to choose faith in spite of all the obstacles. Our problems should be stepping stones to our faith and not stumbling blocks to our faith.
God is totally worthy of our faith. He doesn’t need to prove Himself to us. When we choose to move beyond doubt unto faith, we will live a life that is pleasing to God. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) Faith in God brings pleasure to God because it shows that we know Him, we love Him, and we need Him.
Faith is a choice in the midst of obstacles. Let’s move beyond our doubts and place our faith in Him. Doubt will make cowards of us all. Faith will enable us to face life with courage. Doubt will keep us from moving forward in our Christian life. Faith will keep us walking close to God.
“Father, I doubt you quite often. I choose to walk by sight instead of by faith. Like the man who cried out to you to help his unbelief, I cry out to you: “Increase my faith.”