Doubt is a little five letter word, but it can have a huge impact on our thinking and consequently the way in which we live and govern our lives. There have been times in my life where I have had doubts about myself. Even worse than that, is when I have experienced doubts about God. Honestly, I do not enjoy those times at all! But I take comfort in the fact that people in the Bible had their doubts as well. Significantly, Peter a disciple of Jesus had a number of moments of doubt. One such incident is recorded in Matthew chapter 14 when Jesus is walking on the water and Peter sees Him and calls out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on water.” Jesus said, “Come!” Peter got out of the boat and walked towards Jesus, but as soon as he took his eyes off Jesus and saw the waves he was overcome with doubt and fear. He started sinking, but Jesus reached out His hand to save him. He looked at Peter, probably with compassion, and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
It is easy to be critical of Peter and wonder why he doubted, and how it was possible to lack faith when Jesus was right there with him. The truth is, we have God’s Word and His promise that He is with us, and yet, we at times have our doubts. So how do we deal a deathblow to doubt?
1. Keep your eyes on Jesus: If you look at the circumstances around you and focus on the wind and the waves you will start to doubt. But, if you keep your focus on Jesus your faith will be strengthened.
2. Take courage: Remind yourself of your humanity and then affirm the greatness of your God. You are human, you cannot do anything in your own strength – and it is good to admit that your capacity is limited. Then turn your eyes to the greatness of God and take courage in Him.
3. Don’t give up: Often times when we feel defeated we tend to give in to our feelings. When you are experiencing doubt in your faith don’t throw in the towel, but keep on keeping on.
4. Surround yourself with good people: Church is a great place to be when you are having struggles. Why stop going to church at this crucial time? You don’t stop seeing a doctor when your symptoms worsen, but some Christians stop going to church when their doubt intensifies. No, fellowship and community is exactly what you need when you are troubled by doubt.
5. Remind yourself that your season will pass: If you put these principles into practice your doubt will not linger forever. If you need help from Christian friends then ask for help. Don’t be proud. Talk about your struggles. Don’t try and do it on your own.
6. Remember God never changes: Your doubts have nothing to do with God. He is always the same. He never stops loving you and pursuing you.
Take courage in a God who is there for you. He knows you and understands you better than you do yourself. Peter doubted, and yet Jesus never left him for a moment. He will never leave you even through your times of doubting. May His grace and peace fill each troubled mind and doubting heart and grant you a wonderful and blessed day.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,