What To Do When Doubt Happens

What a crazy time. The world seems to be spinning off its axis like a child’s toy top about to fall over. It feels like so many angry voices drown out the voices of wisdom and discernment. So much so that there are times when I have questioned my beliefs. Am I on the right side? Do I trust what I believe about God’s will? Could those loud voices, those opposite voices be right? Do you sometimes doubt your beliefs in a world of opposite views?

I have wondered many times whether I heard God correctly. Did I hear Him say what I think He said? Do I have a godly point of view? Because of my prodigal past and years of negative self-talk, doubt can come easily and the enemy uses it often to sideline me. In this crazy time, fighting doubt is a constant battle.

Scripture warns about doubt. The one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. If doubt is not dealt with quickly, it can lead to believing whatever the latest news tells us to believe.

In times of doubting what I know, I have wondered, am I on the right side of things, or am I deluded and the other side of things is correct. It’s hard to discern the right voice amid the many, many voices screaming to tell us whether we fit or not, whether we are right or wrong.

Speaking out is scary, but remaining silent leaves me vulnerable to making others’ beliefs my own. What if I speak out? Will my position cause me to be “canceled?” I don’t want to be canceled, but I also want to land on the side of God Our Father, the ultimate victor in this world. 

This is a real concern, I believe, for Christians in today’s chaos. I see and hear so many Christians supporting views that do not fully align with scripture. Why can’t they see? Or, could I be wrong and they right? How can I know? At the peak of the confusion, I didn’t know what to believe.

Real Life Doubt

Recently I spent time with Christian friends during this emotionally charged upheaval demanding our attention. Neither of us had been following the news in an effort to weed out the voices and silence the opposition in our minds. I had been looking forward to the time, and the visit did not disappoint. There was great conversation, food, and memory-making. 

But I realized something about myself and my Christian beliefs. 

My friends disagreed with my view of the issues. We are both Christians but did not see eye to eye on the problems. This unsettled me. Was I right or wrong? Does it matter?

Shouldn’t all Christians believe the same foundational truths, I thought to myself. Why did my beliefs not align with my Christian friend’s values?

I was surprised and concerned. I began to doubt myself. Were my foundational beliefs about God and His will for my life and the world right? Or, was the view of my Christian friends more in line with correctness?

It’s so easy to be silent out of fear and, and, on the other end, so easy to be loud and combative out of anger. I leaned toward the fear end of the spectrum, and perhaps that is why I felt I was wrong. Because I stayed out of the fray, I had no affirmation or confirmation from the crowd. But is that really where my faith should be measured? I stayed quiet again.

In my mind, I wrestled with this fear of being wrong about what God wants me to believe and how He wants me to live compared to that of those I love and trust. I wanted to be accepted and affirmed but at what cost?

So, I prayed. And wept. And prayed some more.  

I prayed for clarity. I prayed for an answer to my doubts. 

Lord, please show me if I am wrong for taking the position I have chosen. Please show me your will for my views on the world situation. What is real, right, and eternal? What are your people, me, your daughter, to stand behind and support? 

Hearing answers

God answers prayers through His Word, other people, circumstances, and, for my prayer, in a still small voice. When I knew He answered, I cried again. I knew it was not a familiar voice in my head so it wasn’t my voice. It was not the voice of the world either. It was sound, reliable, unwavering, straightforward, and trustworthy.  

“What does my Word say?” I heard God answer. 

We do not have to wonder what is important to God. He has already told us in 66 books, from Genesis to Revelation. We have a textbook on how to live and what to believe. His Word has all the affirmation we need. 

My heart was immediately at peace. 

And then I wept again because I realized the people I love might be treading down the wide path, grabbing hold of the world’s view and turning away from God’s will. I cannot judge; only pray for them. 

If you are wondering and wrestling with whether you stand on the side of Jesus, here are some suggestions for answering your fears. 

Pray.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ” (James 1: 5 NIV ) Ask God for wisdom and discernment. God wants us to live according to His Word and The Truth. If we are unsure what to believe, ask God, and he will give us discernment. Charles Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between what is right and what is almost right.”

Seek God’s Word

Paul wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Scripture is our guide. If you wonder what to believe, search God’s Word. It does not change with the winds of the world. It always stays the same. 

Listen to the right voices.

Choose to listen to the voices that unerringly fall in line with God’s Word and His Will. I listen to and follow the Billy Graham family, for example. I trust their words. Listen to the godly people in your life. Is there a person whom you trust entirely to speak the truth? Listen to that person. Listen to your pastor. I trust my pastor’s words completely because he never fails to seek God’s Word first. Listen to the voices that speak the truth. Turn off everything else. 

When in doubt, repeat the steps listed above.

The enemy is in the world, seeking to steal, kill, and destroy. That plan begins with doubt. If you feel yourself doubting God’s Word, His Voice, or His Will, repeat these steps until you are standing on solid ground and not shifting sand. 

It is my opinion that we are rushing toward the last days. Jesus is coming soon. He is closer than ever before. We can see the world slip further and further away into sin, and we can see our need for His return. Stand firm, and know what is right, not just almost right. Trust in God and know that you are not alone.

Psalm 46:10 reminds us, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Thanks to Biblegateway.com for scripture references.

Photos by Phil Henry on Unsplash and by Riaan Myburgh on Unsplash

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