Doubt: To hold the truth, validity or reliability of as uncertain;
Hesitate to believe or accept. Lack of certainty
about the truth or fact of something.
Devotion for Doubt
“I highly doubt it.” or “I just can’t believe it.” How often have we heard those statements? I’ve heard both countless times and have said them myself. So what’s wrong with doubt anyway? Is it okay to doubt rumors about someone you know really well? Of course it is, if you know them well enough to know that the rumor isn’t within their character. We’ve even seen things with our own eyes that the mind simply refuses to believe as the truth. “I’ve seen it and I still can’t believe it!” Many things in this old world are unbelievable.
If you know someone who is a habitual liar, you also know that it becomes difficult to believe a word that comes out of their mouth. In this case, doubt is a very good thing; the person has proven that their word isn’t believable. But what about God, is his word believable, is it trustworthy? I think I can answer that safely with a resounding “Yes!” By his word, he created the world and all that we behold, including mankind. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
I’m married to a man who’s middle name is Thomas, and I’ve actually been guilty of calling him doubting Thomas. Oddly enough, he does seem to doubt a lot of things, even things he actually sees. In the bible, Thomas gets his famous reputation as “Doubting Thomas”. However, Jesus didn’t rebuke Thomas for his doubt, he knew him inside and out. He knew very well that Thomas’ personality needed proof positive before he would believe. However, Jesus also told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That would include all Christians since the death of Jesus, which includes you and me. If we believe, we are blessed. Praise God!
I believe the reason that Mark 9:23-24 is included in the bible, is to help us deal with our unbelief and doubts. In earlier verses, a man told Jesus that his son was possessed by a spirit that had robbed him of his speech. He had previously asked his disciples to drive out the spirit, but they couldn’t. Jesus called them an unbelieving generation. God is fully aware of our hesitation to believe, after all, he did create us.
However, James 1 5-8 says that a man who goes from believing to doubting is double-minded and he is unstable in all his ways. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be unstable, the world needs people who are stable and can be counted on when stability is what they need. The verses also tell us that he will not receive anything from God. We all know, too well, how easy it is to believe, then we start listening to that little voice in our head. Before we know it, we’re back to doubting. It seems that many times when I start believing for something, I read God’s word, I get it settled in my heart and mind, then I start praising God for the answer to come. But something happens and invariably that little voice starts to chatter away in my head! It gives me so much comfort to know that I can ask Jesus to help me overcome that unbelief and I can receive from God!
In conclusion, I’m very selective about what I believe. It’s okay to doubt, but not God or His word, they are the truth and should be believed. I think I will choose to use Peter as my example, he jumped out of the boat and headed for Jesus, while walking on the water. After all, just like Thomas, Jesus expects me to believe him and trust him. He’s standing ready, with his hand outstretched and is faithfully standing by to catch me, if I should fall. He’s my safety net, we all need one. Isn’t it better to have walked on water for just a little while, than to have never walked on water at all? Come, join me…..jump in, the water is fine.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.”
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear…hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”