March 14, 2017

Why Having Spiritual Doubts Can Be a Good Thing

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 14, 2017

By Shana Schutte

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

When it comes to faith, doubt has kind of gotten a bad rap. It’s like a naughty kid that no one wants to bring to church. But the truth is that many of us struggle with spiritual doubt at some time or another. The great news is that we are not alone. Many godly Christians have wrestled with doubt too.

C.S. Lewis, the beloved author of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, struggled with deep spiritual doubt and trusting God’s love when his wife, Joy, passed away from cancer. Mother Teresa occasionally battled doubt and wrote raw, honest thoughts about it in her journal. Martin Luther sometimes had doubts about God’s character. In a sermon entitled, “The Minister’s Fainting Fits” he wrote, “The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.” And even John Calvin once said, “Surely, while we teach that faith ought to be certain and assured, we cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety.”

In my own life, when I have wrestled with doubts about spiritual things that I once felt certain of, I knew that I couldn’t do anything to save myself from that which plagued me. But I did hold onto the comfort that even when I felt that I wasn’t holding tightly to God, He was holding tightly to me.

“He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

In his article, Am I Losing My Faith or Just Losing My Mind? John Pavlovitz provides us with some encouraging words about doubt:

“. . . in those times when you are filled with doubt and guilt and worry, be okay with both the questions that come and the emotional upheaval they bring. You are being stretched beyond what you are currently capable of understanding, and these are the soul’s growing pains.”

Author Peter Enns echoes John Pavolitz’ sentiment:

“Sometimes we think of our faith as a castle—safe, comfortable, familiar. But what if God doesn’t want us to be comfortable and safe? What if comfortable and safe keep God at a distance?

“Doubt tears down the castle walls to force us on a journey. It may feel like God is far away or absent when in fact doubt is a gift of God to move us to spiritual maturity.”

“Doubt is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth.”

“Doubting God is painful and frightening because we think we are leaving God behind, but we are only leaving behind the idea of God we like to surround ourselves with—the small God, the God we control, the God who agrees with us.”

When doubt does its job, it can cause us to seek answers for questions we have never asked before. Certainly, our Adversary would love to use doubt to drive us away from God, but God wants to use it to drive us closer to His heart. Are you experiencing doubt today? Ask the Lord to work in your life and allow doubt to do a good work to push you further into His arms. Then trust that He is doing something good in you.

 

Prayer

Lord, when I wrestle with doubt, remind me of your love and help me to rest knowing that it’s okay that I don’t have all the answers. Remind me that you love me and that I can trust in your grace that will never let me go. Amen.

Application

Talk with someone you trust about what you learned today if you are wrestling with doubt.

Related Reading

Romans 8:31; Luke 12:32; Isaiah 41:10; Psalm 27:1

Post/Tweet today

Our adversary would love to use doubt to drive us away from God, but God wants to use it to drive us closer to His heart. #WisdomHunters #healthydoubts

Worship Resource

7 minute video: Hillsong Young and Free: Passion Check out Shana and Boyd’s newest devotional book Two Minutes in the Bible for Women. Available now! If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision. Learn how to help. Our free Apple app

Comments

  1. Bill Edmonds says:

    Bravo Shana! Well said!

    We’ve taught a double standard in the church – don’t doubt God (“ye of little faith”), ever! Yet we read the Psalms and find a man after God’s own heart asking God if He’s really there. And we see Jesus’ cousin who was once positive Jesus was the Messiah asking from his prison cell, “Are you the one or should we expect someone else?”

    I wrote on the subject last year in my weekly blog in a two part series:
    “Bout With Doubt” (Part 1)
    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Weekly-Winning-Thought—-Bout-With-Doubt-.html?soid=1100420528462&aid=Qpf9-2pJWxM
    Bout With Doubt” (Part 2)
    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Weekly-Winning-Thought—-It-s-Hard-to-Believe-in-Nothing–Bout-With-Doubt-Part-2–.html?soid=1100420528462&aid=gJS9iweG_Mo

    Blessings to you!

    Bill Edmonds

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Bill,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to reach out to Shana. Please know I am forwarding your comments on to her and I know she will appreciate them. This devotional “spoke to” many in our wisdom hunter’s family. I am anxious to read what you had to say in your blogs, as well. Thank you for sending us those links!
      We are grateful for you and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Believing and trusting~
      “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
      1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
      Gwynne

  2. mike y. says:

    This is good Shana! I follow a lot of what you’ve written and am glad that you’re on the Wisdom Hunter’s Team. This past year has been a real struggle for me and my faith has been stretched to the breaking point with doubt. When I doubt God, I feel guilt and shame. After all, good Christians aren’t suppose to doubt! My My!! This helps me see my doubts in a new light and that doubting can be used as stepping stones to greater faith. You’ve researched this topic well.
    And by the way, congratulations on getting better with the skiing! That experience has a lot to do with doubts too, but you’ve picked yourself back up and pressed on and put doubt aside which has built your confidence in yourself and God.
    I’m blessed by your writing. Thanks again!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Mike,
      I agree with you! This devotional was good and I, too, along with many other wisdom hunters are blessed by Shana’s writing! Please know that I will pass your encouraging comments along to Shana and I know she will be thankful for them.
      I am grateful that you were able to see your doubts “in a new light” and as “stepping stones to greater faith”.
      Shana stated in the devotional, “But I did hold onto the comfort that even when I felt that I wasn’t holding tightly to God, He was holding tightly to me”.
      What a great reminder that He is always with us, walking beside us every day.
      Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We are so thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter and look forward to hearing from you again sometime.
      Believing and trusting,
      Gwynne
      “So do not fear, for I am with you;
      do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you and help you;
      I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
      Isaiah 41:10

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