There are many occurrences that can cause doubt in the heart of a Christian.
A particularly eye-catching documentary on Darwin’s theory of evolution can raise doubts about the Bible’s assertion that God created the universe.
A conversation with a dear unsaved friend can make it hard to stick to one’s guns on sin, repentance, and the judgment—could God really send him to Hell?
A long illness or a sudden accident or a global catastrophe can make one wonder if God really cares.
Or simply a never-before-seen bit of trivia—that Mark’s gospel says Jesus cast a demon out of a man of Gerasa, while Matthew’s gospel says that He cast demons out of two men of Gadara—can cause one to question the inspiration of the Scripture.
The Bible does not attempt to varnish over incidents of doubt. Abraham began to doubt that God was ever going to get around to fulfilling His promise to give him a son, and so he sought to produce an heir by other means. Job repeatedly wondered why he was forced to suffer, and groaned when the heavens gave no answer. Asaph came right out and admitted in Psalm 73 that his feet had almost stumbled when he saw wicked people rich and comfortable. Even Jesus’ cry on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” can be interpreted as a moment of doubt.
For some, a wave of doubt simply causes them to work harder to discover the answers to the questions—the foundations of the truth of God’s existence and the inspiration of His word are so firmly established by years of investigation that they cannot be easily shaken, and the doubt is fleeting. They know there is an answer, and are content to wait for it.
For others, who “are tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine,” a little speck of doubt is a sleeping dragon, that once roused can cause him to reject his religion. If doubts will inevitably come from time to time, how can you prevent them from derailing your faith?
The answer is to approach God in worship! It might be difficult to see the connection at first. After all, the opposite of doubt is faith, not worship. But one can’t just wipe away doubt automatically. Worship is the exercise of faith, and this flexing of the muscles of faith will remind us why we believed in the first place.
While faith in God is based on a reasonable interpretation of the evidence He has provided, it still cannot be proved. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” No one can confirm the existence of God in a test tube (nor can it be disproved). Because God wishes each person to seek Him by faith, He has left enough questions in the universe that a determined skeptic may refuse Him and come up with a satisfying worldview. God will allow skeptics “to believe what is false, so that they may all be judged who did not believe the truth.” God could wipe away our doubts with one glimpse of His Being—but He doesn’t, not in this life, for this would destroy the need for faith and hope.
The evidence that speaks to God’s existence and His love for mankind is overwhelming. The anticipation that Jesus will return and judge the living and the dead is nearly tangible. And so, if for one fleeting moment a doubt enters my mind, I must understand that it is not the oversight of a careless God. It is an attack of Satan, designed to assault my weak and fleshly mind. And so I worship! I remember why I devoted myself to Him in the first place! Worship is the humble expression of faith. Even though I may not have all the answers of the cosmos, even though my own life is difficult, worship confidently expresses my continued devotion to Christ. While a few doubts may nibble at the margins of a healthy faith, worship shows that the doubts are in no danger of overwhelming the faith.
When Job’s situation was darkest, he worshiped. Asaph received the answers to his questions when he went to the Temple and worshiped. Jesus yielded up His spirit in trust of what God had promised, that though He must die, He would be raised.
For some Christians, it’s scary to have a doubt. But doubt indicates one is doing what it takes to seek the unseen God. Anyone’s faith can be strong when he’s relaxing on the back porch gazing at the clear night sky, taking a Bible class, or witnessing the birth of his child. But struggle to establish your faith firmly enough so that it remains just as strong when you’re stuck in a sixty hour work week, or forced to sit through a skeptical attack on the faith, or when the same child is diagnosed with cancer. Faith is not a constant religious high—but a willingness to trust in moments of questioning, a backing up to the steady ground of what I know to be true until I get the answers. Like the young father who said, “Lord, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).