Day 16 of 21
The deadline is approaching. I am not as overwhelmed by doubt. Because I was dealing with doubt, it led me to look into my own doubt this morning. Was my doubt a sin? Is doubt on its own a sin?
My conclusion: After studying and looking through scripture, my belief is that doubt can lead to sin when it comes from disbelief. Doubt is a matter of the mind while unbelief is a matter of the will. When I doubt I am saying, "I don't get it. Help me to understand and work through this with me."
When I choose not to believe I am saying, "I get it but I don't like it so I am refusing to accept it."
It has been said that sometimes doubt is not the opposite of faith but instead an element of faith. It can mean that we are trying to process and understand something. If not careful, it can become sinful because it can turn into unbelief.
Unbelief is the result of doubt when doubt is unchecked. Doubt is like a slippery path and unbelief can be that dark jungle that we find ourselves tumbling into unless our momentum is stopped. Those moments of doubt in our lives will occur. When those moments come about, faith should step. We should hold tight to the hand of God, as He will keep us from falling causing our doubt to dissipate.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."
When we doubt, it is because we are standing with one foot on the world's truth and the other foot on God's truth. This is what makes us double minded and doubtful. The foolishness of the world may masquerade as wisdom but truly, it is a state of spiritual blindness. It makes people unable to comprehend the truth of God. "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:14
What causes us to struggle with doubt? Different factors take place that lead us to question our faith and doubt. There are those unmet expectations or suffering that can cause us to question our faith. When we experience hypocrisy in the church or intellectual challenges to our faith, we can doubt. Great moments of doubt can happen when we come to a major crossroads in our life or because of great sin in our life. How we respond to our doubt determines the outcome. If we choose to ignore and excuse or sin and isolate, our disbelief will grow. If we choose to pray and confide in others as well as seek out truth and endure obedience, our faith will grow and our doubt will diminish. It is only when we put our trust in God that our faith grows stronger putting those doubts to rest.
Our faith is what unites us to God. God uses our doubts to bring about maturity in our faith. Sometimes our stubborn hearts are forced to yield to God's will through trials because of our doubt. The writer of Hebrews lists out the names of those in the "Faith Hall of Fame".
Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah and the list goes on. Each was different. Not one was perfect but the common factor between them all was their faith. They were not necessarily kind, loving or pure. Some were drunkards, while others gave their wives to other men. Still others brutally killed communities and a certain hero fell into adultery and plotted the murder of the husband. Despite each of their flaws, God was pleased with one thing; they had faith. It is impossible to please God without faith.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
When doubt enters into our lives, we must examine our hearts, test all things and seek wisdom. It is only then that our faith will mature and our doubt will diminish.
"Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22