Do My Doubts Keep Me Far from Jesus?

November 2, 2021

Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”

Matthew 28:18

Written by Paul Wilkinson from the Brentwood Campus

Doubts and Discovery

As a philosopher, I love wandering about in the realm of doubt. Doubts leads to discovery, to truth. But isn’t doubting a sin? Isn’t faith, by definition, not doubting? Do my doubts keep me far from Jesus?

I struggled with this question for a long time. As usual, the Scriptures bring clarity. Two people helped me understand faithful doubting: Habakkuk and Job. Both of these men suffered incredible doubts: Habakkuk doubted that the Lord who is truly righteous could use the wicked empires of the world to judge His chosen people; Job doubted that God truly recognized the situation, longing for an intercessor to plead his case before the Lord.

Knowing and Seeking

I was struck by two truths. First, it was their deep, accurate understanding of God that generated the doubts in the first place. And second, their response was to seek an answer from the Lord while being ready to submit to the response.

It was precisely because Habakkuk understood God’s worthiness of worship as a just and righteous God that drove him to doubts. Likewise, Job knew that God was just and fair, working out his wisdom in the world for righteous purposes, and that truth caused his doubts. They asked; they received.

He Can Handle It

We should adopt their methods. Jesus has all authority in Heaven and Earth; Jesus does not fear our doubts. I believe there are only two attitudes with which God cannot work: apathy and pride. The apathetic person doesn’t care enough to engage God; the prideful refuse to admit their need of God. But doubters? Oh, I believe God is excited by doubts as an opportunity to mature us in faith to a greater life of joy and discipleship.

My advice: lean into the doubt; God can handle it!

What Now?

Acknowledge your doubts; write them down if you must. Share your doubts with a trusted friend, group member, or pastor. And most importantly, seek Jesus through prayer, Scripture study, biblical community, service, and worship. The Holy Spirit will confront your doubts as you obediently live the faith.

Related Resources

Doubt as Virtue by Travis M. Dickinson
Apologetics 315 (learning to understand, defend, and share the faith)