As thinking people it is completely right for us to ask questions. God has given us brains and it glorifies Him when we use them humbly. Despite this, when doubts arise, we often hesitate to go in search of answers because of fear or confusion about where to look. So here are 10 things to do when doubting.
- Pray: The heart of your problem probably has to do with who God is and how he acts, so if you are a Christian you should submit the quest for an answer to God himself before you do anything else. This could be as simple as saying: “God, thank you for saving me. People have often said that science proves you do not exist. Please help me to understand why they say this and what a Christian answer to this doubt is”.
- Act now: Doubts left unattended to are highly destructive, but when answered can kick start great personal and spiritual growth. A common error we make when experiencing doubt is to ‘take a break from’ our relationship with God, but this will only perpetuate the problem and leave us feeling more doubtful and distant. Instead, when you doubt let this motivate you to read the Bible and pray even more.
- Understand: The severity of your doubts varies on a number of factors, from stress levels to tiredness and even to diet. Your doubts may seem overwhelming right now, but in a week, under different circumstances, this same doubt may hardly cause you to worry at all. This helps us put the quest for answers in perspective.
- Doubt: Doubt your doubts. Almost all of the objections to the Christian faith require more faith to believe than the Christian faith requires. For example, you need way more faith to believe that suffering proves God doesn’t exist than to believe that God has it under control and is doing something through it that you just cannot see at the moment.
- Search: Ask yourself, Where can I find an answer to this doubt? Different types of doubts will require answers in different forms and from different places. For example, if your doubt concerns a specific Christian teaching (e.g. the trinity), a good place to start is a book or recorded talk. Alternatively, you could ask your Bible study leader if you could investigate this subject in the coming weeks. If your doubt is more personal (e.g. why is God allowing this sickness?), then a more personal answer is required and, while books on suffering will definitely help, the most appropriate answer will come from a Christian friend or an older Christian that you trust. Look for books, talks and other resources that have been written to help people with your doubt.