5 Good Reasons to Have Doubts about Your Faith

Here are five valid reasons why you might question your religious beliefs.

Christians sometimes have doubts about what they believe. People, especially our Christian youth, don’t always have a safe place where they can question their faith. Too often, doubt is seen as a sin or as an act of defiance. But many people have honest doubts that they can’t seem to get rid of. A common theme among people who stopped believing is that no one was willing to help them when they had questions.

I once had serious doubts about my faith. It happened to me, of all places, at seminary. I realized that I didn’t have good reasons to believe that Christianity was true, and doubts rushed in. I focused on my questions and found the answers. This is important: my doubts led me to the truth, which made my faith stronger. So, in a strange way, my doubting faith made me have more faith.

Doubt Defined

So, what exactly is doubt? At its core, doubt is the mental tension we feel when we think something we believe might not be true. This happens when we realize, like I did in Seminary, that we don’t have good reasons for a belief or when we hear an argument that seems to disprove our belief. All of a sudden, something we believe seems like it might not be true. We have a lot of questions.

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. It’s okay to question your faith, but that doesn’t mean that doubt is the goal. Doubt is not where you’re going. Doubt is just a stop on the way to faith, though I think it’s an important one. In spite of what some famous pastors and hipsters say online, we don’t want to end up in a place of doubt and deconstruction. Even if we change our minds about some things, the goal is to know the truth and base our faith on that. Doubt gives you a chance to lean in and ask the deep and hard questions that will help clear up your doubts.

So, here are five reasons why it’s OK to have doubts about your faith:

It’s normal to have doubts along the way.

We humans aren’t perfect, which is painfully obvious. We all have both good times and bad times. We all have our wins and our losses. And it’s okay to have trouble now and then. We all do. Paul says that what we know is only a dim picture of how things really are (1 Corin. 13:12). We won’t know everything, and having doubts as we try to figure things out is just part of the deal. It’s a normal thing to happen on the way.

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In my new book, Wandering Toward God, I say the following:

If you have doubts, I want you to know that you are just like everyone else. Here’s what: You. Are. Normal. It is not a sin to have honest questions and doubts. You are not doing badly. You are brave, probably more brave than people who act like they already know everything. I look up to you. Most likely, you are having doubts about your faith because you are intellectually honest and want to know the truth, not just be liked by your peers. This place can be lonely, but please hear me: You are not on your own. Some of the most devoted Christians had doubts and big questions about God before they became Christians.

Most of the time, we don’t choose to doubt.

It’s okay to have doubts about our faith, because it’s not usually something we choose. People often don’t want to have doubts. They simply do. There is some intellectual tension between them that they are trying to work out. It’s something that happens to us in the same way that we feel fear or love. Even though we have a lot of choices about what to do about these things, we didn’t choose them. When we don’t know how to answer a question, we often can’t help but feel some intellectual tension. If someone gives us a hard reason to doubt our belief, we can’t help but feel like it might be wrong. Now, doubt makes us feel and act in a lot of different ways, including being rebellious. But it starts with intellectual tension, and then we start to make decisions.

The Bible helps those who have doubts.

It’s true that the Bible sometimes sounds like it doesn’t like doubt. James, for example, says that a person who doubts is unstable and has two minds, like a wave on the ocean (James 1:6-8). But I think James isn’t talking about all doubters. Instead, he’s talking about a certain kind of doubt. In the context of the passage, he is talking to someone who loves God in different ways.

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But the Bible is very helpful for people who are honestly struggling with doubt. For example, we should think of all the brutally honest struggles written about in the Psalms and other poetry (such as the book of Job). “Where are you, God?” is a common question, especially when God’s people are in trouble and their enemies do well. There is no other way to make sense of these passages than as people having doubts about God, and they come from the Bible! In the New Testament, Jude tells Christian leaders to have mercy on those who doubt. This is the clearest statement of how Christians should treat those who don’t believe (Jude 1:22).

Doubt is not the same thing as not having faith.

The most important thing I want to say is that you can have faith and still have doubts. And you won’t blow up if you do this! “Doubt is not the opposite of faith,” says Os Guinness. Unbelief is” (God in the Dark: The Assurance of Faith Beyond a Shadow of Doubt). We can have 100% faith and still have doubts, even big ones.

Let me give you an example. I fly on planes often, but I don’t really know much about how they work. When a craft that weighs about a million pounds and is mostly made of metal drives down a small road and lifts off into the air to fly about 6 miles above the Earth, it is a very strange thing. When you really think about it, it’s almost funny. It wouldn’t take much for someone to make me wonder if it’s a good idea to get on an airplane or not. But even if I have a lot of doubts, I can still get on my flight (and probably will if we are going somewhere with a beach!). Even though I have doubts, I can have full faith in the plane. I can even have doubts about flying while I’m in the air. This is a good picture of what it means to be a Christian. Even if we have faith in Christ, we can and probably will have doubts along the way.

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Now, it’s true that doubts can make us question our faith. The point is, though, that they don’t have to.

Doubt, when dealt with in the right way, leads to knowledge and makes faith even stronger.

The last reason it’s okay to question your faith is that it gives you a chance to find the truth. And finding the truth makes you feel more sure of yourself.

Let’s say a coworker of yours tells you that they just found a lost Gospel that shows Jesus in a very different way. In this Gospel, he didn’t even die on a cross, let alone come back to life. Imagine that this gives you some mental stress. Let’s say you even start to wonder if the Bible is true.

What do you need to do? Just wait and see if it goes away? Run away? Of course not! Now is the time to get close and find out more. Let’s say you look into this claim and, as has happened many times in the past, find that the supposed lost Gospel isn’t true. Imagine that it was written a long time after the events in the Bible. It seems to be a creative but made-up version of what happened in the Bible. No more intellectual tension!

Now, look at what’s going on. You had some doubts, but instead of hoping they would go away, you faced them head-on and worked through them. But there’s more. Now you have even more reasons to trust the Bible. You now know more than you did before. What will happen the next time someone questions whether or not the Bible is true? You might still have doubts, but I think you’ll be more sure of yourself when you face the challenge. You have more faith now because you faced your doubts and dealt with them.

Doubt Isn’t Fun

Having doubts about your faith is not a fun thing to do. But that’s fine because it’s good to lean in. One might find a stronger faith, like I did.

Nobelie’s Founder

My Passion for The Gospel bought about this great Platform.. I love to share the Good News. That's my PASSION. I don't believe the Gospel should be boring. Nobelie is so exclusive. You won't find what we offer any where else. You ask a friend.
About Nobelie 6884 Articles
My Passion for The Gospel bought about this great Platform.. I love to share the Good News. That's my PASSION. I don't believe the Gospel should be boring. Nobelie is so exclusive. You won't find what we offer any where else. You ask a friend.

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