I was listening some spoken word the other day and the artist said: “why do you doubt your faith when you should be doubting your doubts.” Now I cannot give credit to this individual because I have no idea who it was but I think it was brilliant.
When you have been walking with God for any length of time, doubts start to come in and try to make you question your faith, God’s love, and even your standing before Him. It can be little things like nagging doubts or even big shaking ones but doubt is doubt. When they come in we start to question and think does God love me, where is God, or why I am going through this. They are somewhat different but basically they all serve the same purpose and that is to put a strain on our relationship with Christ. Being in a place of doubt is hard because you were so sure yesterday and now you don’t know up from down or left from right. Everything is turned upside down and nothing makes sense.
Most of the time when we think about doubt in the Bible we think about Thomas in John 20:25 who said “ if I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe.” This is a great example because Thomas had been following Jesus and was probably crushed to see Jesus die. Just because the other disciples said Jesus rose from the dead did not mean anything to him because He watched Jesus die (more or less). It is not that it is bad to use Thomas as an example but I think we can do one better.
In my opinion Job is that one better. I think Job is a great story to look at when thinking about doubt and faith because his is a story of both. Job does not get to know what is going on behind the scenes. Through the story of Job, we find that we the reader are aware that of the heavenly conversation between God and the devil but little ol’ Job has no idea. When we look at the story of Job we can see to an extent what it means to doubt our doubt.
Not to analogize Job, but Job’s friends and even his wife play the part of doubt in Jobs life. They bring up all sorts of questions, explanations, and suggestions for why Job is suffering and what to do about it. They try to get him to question his motives and actions. Sometimes they are little nagging things and sometimes bigger ones but again they all serve the point of causing strain on Jobs relationship with God. Now I am not saying Job is faultless or perfect because he is not but I do think he serves as a good example of what it can look like to have doubt attack you.
Job spends a good deal of time questioning and answering his doubters. Job understands that he cannot demand answers or explain why God does what He does (Job 42:2-3). Job did what we need to do. We need to stop doubting God and start to doubt our doubts. When the doubts come, and they will come, we need to remind ourselves of what God has already done and said. This is why when you read the Old Testament you see that every time someone had an encounter with God or God did something for the community as a whole they built a monument or tabernacle. It was so that later on when things got hard they could look to it and say “see what God did” (see Genesis 12:7, Exodus 17:15, Deuteronomy 27:4-7). Alter building was important because it was a reminder that God was for them.
So when our doubts and fears come we need to stop doubting God and questioning our faith and start to question the doubts. We need to ask the doubts where they get off making us think God is not for us. We need to spend time reading and memorizing the Word of God because when doubts come in we need to be able to go back to what God said. In the garden the snake said “did God say?” and because they did not remember they fell to their doubts. But Jesus, when tested, said, “as it is written.” So start questioning your doubts and you will find you doubt your God less.
Just a thought,