How can we respond with we find ourselves doubting God? This is the topic addressed in program 3 of Dr. Ankerberg’s series with Dr. Erwin Lutzer entitled Pandemics, Plagues, and Natural Disasters: What is God Saying to Us? (Part 2).
Scripture offers a powerful antidote to doubt in Mark 9. A man brought his son to Jesus to have an unclean spirit removed from him. In verse 22, the father says, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Jesus replied to the father in verse 23, “Everything is possible for the one who believes.”
The father answered, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (v. 24).
The biblical response to doubt is to ask the Lord to help us overcome our lack of faith. Every person has doubts about God or aspects of their faith at various points in their life. It is how we respond to these doubts that is important to the Lord.
When we face doubts, whether sickness, relationships, or other concerns, we are called to take our concerns to God for help. The biblical example of Job is also helpful. Despite not understanding why bad things were happening to him, he continued to place his faith in God. Why? Everything he had was from God. Job viewed the loss of his possessions or family members or even his health as gifts the Lord can freely give or take at His choosing.
Three applications for dealing with doubt can help us during difficult times. First, present your doubts to God.He may be using a difficult situation to guide you into a closer relationship with Him. Many of the Psalms are cries to God out of pain that resulted in a more intimate connection with the Lord.
For example, in Psalm 3:5-6, we read, “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” Despite intense attack, the Lord’s power overcomes doubt and provides victory.
Second, do not confuse bad circumstances with a bad view of God. We tend to think when bad things happen, it is either due to something we have done wrong or that someone else has done wrong. However, God may allow challenges for other reasons. When we blame God for bad things in our lives, we deny the biblical teaching that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
Third, view doubts as opportunities for growth. Just as a plant grows stronger after being pruned, our spiritual lives often become stronger through adversity. Many of our greatest victories and lessons in life result from overcoming struggles. We may not enjoy doubts or other problems, but we can grow through them.
Like the man who brought his son to Jesus, let’s ask the Lord to help us overcome our unbelief. Jesus has the power to increase our faith through doubt. Just as Jesus healed the man’s son, He can work in great power through our difficult situations to help us better live for Him.