In the New Testament, the apostle Jude says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt” (Jude 1:20-22, ESV). Jude is saying, “Be gracious toward people who are struggling with doubts.”
The enemy wants to use our doubts to shame us, but don’t be ashamed. Satan’s lies and shame will deter you from honestly seeking after the truth. There is a difference between a doubting, unbelieving heart and a seeking heart that searches after God and experiences doubts along the way. What is that difference? The doubting heart – one that adheres to an obstinate unbelief which challenges any kind of change – is the one that Jesus came to confront.
When God created the world, he brought order to chaos, but Jesus also brought chaos to order. He upended the false beliefs of people like the Pharisees who were entrenched in them. His message challenged centuries-old, man-made ideologies and doctrines that had lost sight of God. In contrast, the seeking heart is one we want to embrace.
During Paul’s second missionary journey, he and Silas preached to citizens of a city called Berea. The Bereans are remembered in part because of their response to the gospel message. They were effective doubters who applied a healthy skepticism to what they were taught. They compared the teachings of Paul and Silas with Old Testament scriptures and examined them. Because they had seeking hearts, they continued to thrive in their faith.
This is healthy spirituality. Whenever I preach or teach, I always love it when people who are truly listening say, "I need to challenge that assumption in a good way. I want to know more so I can better understand this.”
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Don’t let your doubts harden into unbelief. Instead, lift them up before God so he can use them to deepen your faith. May we always live with childlike honesty before God. He has promised to walk alongside us every step of the way and give us a spirit of discernment as we examine our doubts.