Today’s conversation centers on the question of how to combat doubts about the faith. More specifically, it focuses on the struggle (which is more common than is often acknowledged!) of Christians facing doubts. For these believers, their doubts are far different from the doubts of non-Christians looking to oppose the faith; the difference here is between honest questions joined with a longing for belief and obstinate refusal to believe. Unfortunately, Christians are often ill-equipped for helping brothers and sisters wrestling with doubts. Their willingness to help the one questioning may last the length of a conversation over coffee, while the Christian facing the painful struggle of doubt actually needs robust discipleship and to know he/she is not alone. Struggling believers also need to realize that skepticism comes from too little rather than too much thinking. If questions fester in their minds, these questions should be addressed. Of course, we must trust what we know (namely, the God in whom we believe!) even in the face of doubt, but Christianity also offers answers to doubters and space for asking honest questions!
Experiences with doubt vary from Christian to Christian, and they relate to personality, spiritual warfare, trials, too much listening to the world, and other factors. But whatever the doubters’ specific circumstances, they are called to be bound up in a local body of believers with different strengths and experiences – a body called to mutual exhortation in the truth! Not only should believers bring their doubts before God in prayer, but they should bring them to fellow believers in the church. They should continue to step forward doing what is right (and thus showing their faith by their works no matter how they feel at the time), and examine themselves to see if any of their doubts may be rooted in sin rather than true questions. They must keep themselves in the Word consistently and, perhaps surprisingly, may even be helped by simply getting enough rest! And at the end of the day, the fact remains that God is willing to show grace to the person facing honest questions. He is holding onto and will sustain even His doubting children!