Fighting Doubt: Remembering what God has done

When we bring something to God, how can we know that He will act? Does God hear us with the big things and the small things? What should we do when we are fighting doubt about God? 🤔Let’s discuss.

Discover effective strategies for fighting doubt and strengthening faith in God. Doubt often plagues our belief systems, but by understanding its roots and addressing it head-on, we can develop a stronger foundation of trust. Explore the reasons behind doubting God, such as the need for evidence and our reliance on our senses. Learn how doubt manifests in different aspects of life, whether it’s questioning God’s existence or hesitating to bring certain matters to Him.

To combat doubt, seek counsel from trusted sources and engage with testimonies of others who have experienced God’s work. Turn to the Word of God for inspiration and wisdom, drawing from stories that emphasize the consequences of doubt versus the rewards of faith.

By taking small steps of faith, witnessing evidence of God’s intervention, and gradually entrusting more of your life to Him, you can reduce doubt and cultivate a deepened trust in God’s unseen guidance.

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In the past few days, before I was even aware of the topic for this week’s messages I have had many discussions about our belief systems and in particular beliefs and doubts about God.

I have a variety of friends with different beliefs about God. I have a couple of atheist friends that completely disagree with me that there is any evidence of God. I have others that are on the fence and have heard about God but don’t have an opinion one way or the other.  I also have friends who identify as Muslim and Christian and wholeheartedly believe in God but have different beliefs when it comes to religion. So, in all of these circumstances, doubt is front and center in one way or another. 

Today, we are going to focus specifically on the doubts that may arise in our hearts about God. 

Why do we doubt God?

Why do we doubt God? I think it is in our human nature to seek evidence for things before we trust.  It is how we learn, it is how we survive and it is how we navigate the world.

We have our 5 senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste to help us to gather evidence for things we experience in our world each day.  Evidence plays such a crucial role in considering doubts that evidence can be used to establish the truth “beyond a shadow of a doubt” as we say in society.

So why do we doubt God?  Well, for starters trusting God relies on us having faith in the unknown and the unseen.  This feeling is not totally unreasonable.  Depending on who you speak to and your beliefs, you may hear different reasons for doubting God.  Individuals in my life who don’t believe there is a God at all suggest that there is no God because of all the pain and suffering in the world that is allowed to happen.  Persons who do believe in God experience feelings of doubt from time to time as well for a variety of reasons such as ego, pride, and fear.  Believing and trusting God, and faith in general is an exercise of turning away from our 5 senses for evidence and even reasoning. 

Speaking from personal experience, I believe I have doubted God less and less over the years as I see evidence of Him working in my life and in others’ lives.  At the beginning of my walk, I would confess I was largely skeptical of what God would do in my life.  Today, I recognize there are still very rare occasions of doubt which are typically dismissed very quickly.  So, you see, we all experience moments of doubt. 

How do we doubt God?

How does doubt play out in our lives?  Again, depending on who you are and your circumstances, it could play out in a number of ways.  

Are you on the fence about believing that God exists? Then perhaps your doubt plays out by feeling that you cannot talk with Him or have a relationship with Him, let alone ask Him to help you with circumstances in your life.

Do you believe in God and have a relationship with Him? Perhaps your doubt manifests in what you bring to God and what you don’t.  Maybe you bring the things to God that you, in your reasoning consider ‘low risk’ if God does not produce the outcome you desire. 

Perhaps you do believe in God fully, but your doubt manifests by not asking God for help with things you consider too small and insignificant for the Creator of the universe.

Here is another example.  You do believe in God, you do believe you trust in God.  You worked up the will to bring something time-sensitive before God that will have a significant impact on your life. Your doubt is manifesting in wondering if God will get back to you “in time”.  In other words, on “your time”.  While waiting for God’s response to your prayer, you become impatient.  Ultimately, your doubt comes in feeling the need to take the reigns back of what you asked Him to help you with. To take back control by making your own decision instead of waiting for God.

All of these scenarios are examples of how we doubt God.  I confess, at one point or another I have experienced each and every one of these types of doubts.

Fighting doubt of God

So we have discussed why we doubt God and how we doubt God.  How do we fight our tendency to doubt God?  As for me, I would say it has been a process to learn to trust God in more and more areas of my life.  Fighting doubt for me has been a gradual process where God allowed me to learn from each of my experiences one by one.  

Evidence of God

One of the most interesting and powerful ways I have learned over time to trust God is by witnessing the evidence of Him working in my life.   Depending on the amount of time you have been in a relationship with God, I feel confident in saying that if you have learned to trust Him, at least some of you have experienced some things you cannot explain what happened to this day – other than by God’s intervention.   You have likely experienced something where God has allowed one or more of your 5 senses to experience evidence of Him.  In these experiences, your belief has grown, and continued evidence of His working in your life has also grown.

This can be such a broad and controversial subject because each person’s experience is unique and can be considered to be objective or subjective depending on one’s perspective of an experience.

I once attempted to share a story where I believe God revealed Himself to me with someone who I know did not believe in God. He very cordially and politely explained, “Steve, I believe that you believe that you experienced that.”  I remember being cordial on the outside but on the inside, I remember thinking “What?! How do you not see that was God? C’mon?!?”

I have so many stories of what I believe was evidence of God. Some are very lighthearted, one, in particular, made me jump out of my chair and sent me to my knees in reverent fear.

I believe that God knows each and every one of our hearts and what we believe. When I look at how He has revealed Himself to me, I feel as though He knew just the right buttons to push that would get my attention. Interestingly, I think each story had a dual purpose of strengthening my faith in Him and serving as a testimony to share with others with less belief or others experiencing doubt.

I’d like to share a story where I believe I experienced evidence of His working in my life. 

A couple of years back I had a small injury to my lip.  Nothing major, but enough such that it was a bit unsightly to see and it became a bit irritating to feel when I drank or ate.  It also became a problem that I would keep fidgeting with it instead of allowing it to heal.

Over weeks and then into months the wound did not heal because I kept fussing with it. I had such a difficult time ignoring the slight but annoying irritation on my lip.  I tried over-the-counter creams to provide relief and healing. I even went to the doctor to complain and was prescribed a very expensive ointment to use.  The medication and over-the-counter solutions did not solve the problem.

One day, many months after this all started I was looking at my face in the mirror and I remembered my walk with God.  I said something along the lines of “God, I know this is probably such an insignificant and small request, but would you please heal my lip? It is so irritating and I keep messing with it and I am just over it.”  I went on with my day.  About 2 weeks later I was looking in the mirror and I noticed the wound had completely healed.   I remembered I had asked God for help and I praised Him in that instant.

So, what happened here?  I believe God heard my prayer about my lip.  I believe God touched my heart and mind in a way that made me forget the wound was there. In doing so, over the course of 2 weeks, the wound was able to heal naturally because it was not disturbed as it had been for many months up to the moment of my prayer. I thought back over the 2 weeks prior and it was as if I had no knowledge of the wound – so it was undisturbed.  Folks, the wound was part of my life for months and months, then I prayed about it and it was gone two weeks after.  That is one of many experiences that I believe is evidence of God. 

Do you have an “Evidence of God” story?  Let us know in the comments.  

How to strengthen your faith and lower your doubts.

So how do we fight our doubts?  How do we deal with our doubts when it comes to trusting God?  I have 4 suggestions.

#1 Seek counsel from others you trust or your place of worship.  If there are individuals in your life that are also on a walk with God, ask them about their experiences when it came to trusting God.  Talking to others in your life that you trust can provide you with comfort and assurance – no different than would be with other doubts in your life. Counsel from someone you trust, including trusted members at your place of worship can be valuable in dismissing doubt.

#2 Remember what God has done through others’ testimonies.  Did my testimony help you to feel more confident in trusting God?  I have no doubt in my mind that one of the reasons God touched my heart and mind in such a way that my lip would be allowed to heal is so that someone, maybe even you could hear that story and be encouraged.  Take some time and search YouTube or Google for other testimonies related to your circumstances and doubts.  Hearing others share their stories of evidence of God will shed light on what God has done for others and can equip you with the courage to follow a path of faith and trust in God as well.

#3 Remember what God has done as shared in the Word of God.  The Word of God is always an amazing reference for instruction and wisdom. The Word is full of instructions concerning doubt and inspiration as to why we should not have doubt. Quite a few stories in the Word explain how embracing doubt resulted in undesirable outcomes and consequences because individuals who experienced doubt took situations into their own hands.  There are also, thankfully, stories where an individual chose to have faith instead of doubt and experienced outcomes that go far beyond their wildest expectations.  

#4 Take a step of faith.  Ultimately, the number one reason my own walk with God has resulted in a life in that doubt is not at the forefront of my mind is my willingness to walk in faith.  God rewards those who are willing to have faith in Him.  He knows that it is our nature to be weary and suspect of holding trust in our hearts for things unseen and unknown.  I certainly felt this way early in my walk with God.  How did I fight doubt? Over time I would take baby steps in acts of faith, watching and waiting to examine the outcomes.  I can testify that over time, God allowed me to see His influence in the areas where I had faith in His leading.   God would reward my faith in ways that exceeded my expectations time and time again.  Over time, I learned to trust God with more and more of my life until the point where I am today, where I can honestly say I cannot conceive of a life without trusting Him for any and all things in my life.  Doubt is no longer in the front of my mind when it comes to trusting God with my life.  Do I have hesitation from time to time? Yes. Do I have thoughts of doubt from time to time? Yes, but they are fleeting at best because I always remember all the other times that God has proven His influence in my life. Do I still wonder what God will do when I pray? Of course! But I no longer wonder IF God will respond to prayer.  I no longer doubt that He will hear me and respond to my prayer in His timing to His will.

Wrap Up

In this message, we have explored the subject of doubt and explored ways of fighting doubt when it comes to trusting God. Are you dealing with doubt? Do you have doubts in your mind about God hearing your prayer? For answering your prayer? I am hopeful that the 4 steps I have outlined today will guide you in the right direction to replacing thoughts of doubt with thoughts of faith.  I encourage you to trust God with your life.  Trust God with your circumstances.  If you have thoughts of doubt, bring your concerns to God. Find something in your life that you can bring to Him and decide to step forward in faith that He will reveal Himself to you. Know that He hears your prayer and will know just the right response to get your attention and invite you to walk one step closer to Him.

Are you interested in discovering more about the guidance offered in this message? Learn more in the companion article Going Deeper with the Word – Fighting Doubt: Remembering What God has done

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