Unshakeable - Facing doubt with faith – Part II
Doubt is like a virus that infects our soul and spiritual life. Everyone struggles with it. But God wants us to confront our doubts with faith. Last week, we discussed four truths about doubts from Mark 9. They are:
1. Faith is easy on the mountaintop, but it’s hard not to doubt in the valley.
2. Doubts limit God’s power in our life.
3. Jesus only requires a small amount of faith.
4. Prayer is the essential tool for overcoming doubt.
As we continue to look at doubt, let’s look at the kind of doubt that God wants us to overcome.
1. Doubts about God
Facing difficult circumstances is one of the biggest reasons why we doubt God. In tough times, Satan’s first step is to put doubt between us and God, to push us further from Him.
What difficult situation are you going through – sickness, death of a loved one, financial woes, relationship challenges, work trouble? When these difficult circumstances surround us, doubt creeps in, and we begin to think, “God, why would You allow this to happen to me, do You really love me?” God may not have caused those difficult circumstances in our lives, but He wants to use them to draw us closer to Him. God wants you to turn to Him and pray. ‘Prayer is God’s power pipeline’. Our prayers release God’s power into our lives. We receive God’s power when we connect to Him in prayer. As we pray, God’s peace, presence, and power come in and help us to deal with the difficult circumstances that we are going through.
Sometimes we hear intellectual arguments that are against Jesus or Christianity from friend or a teacher, a professor, or other sources, and it can plant the seed of doubt in our minds and makes us question our faith – and Jesus.
This is illustrated in the story told in Mark 9, where a father took his sick son to Jesus’ disciples to be healed, but the disciples could not heal him. The religious leaders of the time were present, and seeing that the disciples could not heal this child, they started making arguments that the disciples were fake and that Jesus must be a fraud. The disciples doubted their abilities, even though they had healed in the past. Intellectual arguments cause doubts, but our prayers remind us of God’s presence.
If you are struggling with a seed of doubt planted in your mind because of an intellectual argument, take a moment now and simply pray: “Jesus, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief that has been caused by a seed of doubt in my mind.”
The third kind of doubt that creeps into our lives is a big one. It is …
3. Spiritual Doubt – doubting our faith in Jesus
In the story told in Mark 9, the father was scared when he brought his son to the disciples and they couldn’t heal him. His doubts grew, and his faith in Jesus’ ability to heal his son was shaken. Like this father, a lot of us allow our faith to be shaken when a Christian or a professed Christian lets us down. Some persons have even walked away from their faith because they got burned by a church experience. Imperfect Christians cause us to doubt our faith, but our prayers enable us to look past them to God’s Son.
That’s why prayer is so important, especially when we have been hurt by a Christian/church. It helps us to fix our eyes on Jesus, who helps us to see past the person’s imperfections and see Him. If you are experiencing hurt by a church/Christian, maybe you need to pray this prayer today: “Jesus, I believe, but help me overcome the unbelief that is in my life because of an imperfect Christian/church hurt I experienced in the past. Jesus, I believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.”
So far, we have looked at three of the five biggest doubts in our lives, and we see that prayer is the essential tool used to overcome them. Join us next week as we look at the final two doubts that God wants us to overcome.