“What does the Bible say about doubt?”Doubt is an experience common to all people. Even those with faith in God struggle with doubt on occasion cry out like the father of the little boy in

Mark 9:24

The father instantly cried out, "I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"

Some people are hindered greatly by doubt; some see it as a springboard to life; and others see it as an obstacle to be overcome. The Bible has something to say about the cause of doubt and provides examples of people who struggled with it.Classical humanism says that doubt, while uncomfortable, is absolutely essential for life.

RenÔö£┬« Descartes said, "If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things."

This is similar to what the founder of Buddhism said: "Doubt everything. Find your own light."

If we take their advice, we would have to doubt what they said, which seems rather contradictory. Instead of taking the advice of skeptics and false teachers, we will see what the Bible has to say.A working definition of doubt is "to lack confidence, to consider unlikely." The very first expression of doubt in the Bible is in Genesis 3, when Satan tempted Eve.

God had given a clear command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and had specified the consequence of disobedience. Satan introduced doubt into Eve's mind when he asked, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"

He wanted her to lack confidence in God's command. When she affirmed God's command, including the consequences, Satan replied with a denial, which is a stronger statement of doubt: "You will not surely die."

Doubt is a tool of Satan to make us lack confidence in God's Word and consider His judgment unlikely.Lest we think that we can lay all of the blame on Satan, the Bible clearly holds us accountable for our own doubts.

When Zechariah was visited by the angel of the Lord and told that he would have a son, he doubted the word given to him.

Luke 1:11-17

While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar.Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly."

He logically assumed that he and his wife were too old to have children, and in response to his doubt, the angel said he would be mute until the day God's promise was fulfilled

Luke 1:18-20Zechariah said to the angel, "How can I be sure this will happen? I'm an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years." Then the angel said, "I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news! But now, since you didn't believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time."

Zechariah doubted God's ability to overcome natural obstacles ÔÇô many people today share the same doubt. Any time we allow human reason to overshadow faith in God, sinful doubt is the result. No matter how logical our reasons may seem, God has made foolish the wisdom of the world and His seemingly foolish plans are far wiser than man's.

1 Corinthians 1:20

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world's brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.

Faith is trusting God even when His plan goes against human reason or experience.Contrary to the humanistic view that doubt is essential to life, the Bible says that doubt is a destroyer of life.

When we ask God for wisdom, we are to ask in faith, without doubt. If we doubt God's ability to respond to our request, what would be the point of asking in the first place? God says that if we doubt while we ask, we will not receive anything

James 1:5-8

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

James 1:6

But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

The remedy for doubt is faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God Romans 10:17

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

God gave us the Bible as a testimony of His works in the past, so we will have a reason to trust Him in the present.

Psalm 77:11

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.

In order for us to have faith in God, we must study to know what He has said. Once we have an understanding of what God has done in the past, what He has promised us for the present, and what we can expect from Him in the future, we are able to act in faith instead of doubt.The most famous doubter in the Bible was Thomas, who declared that he would not believe that the Lord was resurrected unless he could see and touch Jesus himself

John 20:25-28They told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side." Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. "Peace be with you," he said. Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!" "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed.

When he later saw Jesus and believed, he received the gentle rebuke, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Hebrews 11:1 says,

"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." We can have confidence even in the things we cannot see, because God has proven Himself faithful, true, and able.We may doubt some timesOne significant New Testament personality who actually announced Jesus in the Jordan river when he said thaere is the Lamb of God

John 1:3636 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!"The highlight of John's ministry was whenhe had the privilege od baptizing Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17 The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. "I am the one who needs to be baptized by you," he said, "so why are you coming to me?"15 But Jesus said, "It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.[a]" So John agreed to baptize him.16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened[] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy."We pick up John's story where he had been locked up in a dark dampprison cell.

Why was he locked up in prison, Mark's gospel tells us that John had openly rebuked King Herod for having an adulterous relationship with his own brother's wife, Herodias.

He probably expected that Jesus was going to come and break him out of prison, after all the Messiah had come to set up His Kingdom Right? Surely freeing John would be high on the Messiah's "To do list"

So sitting there for a long time , what do you think went on in his mind

Matthew tells us Matthew 11:2-32 John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, 3 "Are you the Messiah we've been expecting,[a] or should we keep looking for someone else?"John was having doubts about Jesus the same Jesus he had baptized that day with all the fanfare from heaven, the same one he had really believed to be the Messiah

Now if Matthew's Gospel was written to convince us all to believe in Jesus, why in the world would he include an account like this in his book? I mean this is the story of how John , a great man of faith, struggled with doubt about whether Jesus was the Christ.

This is one reason why I love the Bible so much, it is honest and realistic . John doubted and Matthew didn't try to spin it, he didn't try to hide it, he was honest about it.

God knew that you and I might have questions and doubts, that sometimes our lives feel like we are trapped in some prison, with little to no hope of getting, feeling though God was ignoring our circumstances and refusing to come to our rescue . Her knew that some of us would have intellectual questions about our faith that would twist our minds into all kinds of contortions wondering if God even exists, or if He does , whether He hears our prayers, whether He knows the things we are feeling as we go through those dark nights of the soul.

That is why God inspired Matthew to tell the whole truth , to include this account, to remind you and I that we aren't that much different from one of the greatest people of faith who ever lived John the Baptist

Matthew continued what happened that day4 Jesus told them, "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen- 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.How did Jesus answered John's questions ? By pointing to the miracles He was performing and the message He was preaching.Both of these tied Him to the Old Testament messianic prophecy. He reminded John that the truth he was seeking had been revealed in Scripture and in the midst of John's doubts and troubles, it was the word of the Lord that would sustain him

It's about recognizing that the object of our faith (Jesus) is also the source of our faith Hebrews 12:2

2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.

King David also knew about the power of God's Word, to sustain us during tough timesPsalm 119:17-24

17 Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word.18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.19 I am only a foreigner in the land. Don't hide your commands from me!20 I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations.21 You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed.22 Don't let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws.23 Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees.24 Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.

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