When you are facing a situation such as the loss of a job right after you have had a major unexplained expense such as a car repair or medical bill you may feel as if you have been struck by a punch in the stomach and wonder what is happening. You then go to God and say with a trembling voice, “Lord, I love you and trust that you know what is best for me. I believe you are able to take care of me and I have faith you will see me through.”
As the days go on and you are still unemployed, the bills begin to come in and you are now getting shutoff notices. That faith you so boldly proclaimed a few weeks ago you still say in your prayers, but in your heart you begin to feel the pangs of doubt. At this time, you begin to feel guilty for the doubt you are feeling and believe this means you are failing in your walk with God.
The good news is this is not the case at all. In fact, I am going to say something that may surprise you. Doubt is a vital component of faith. You may think that my statement makes absolutely no sense, after all how can doubt in God and His ability possibly have anything to do with faith. In fact, it seems like doubt is just the opposite of faith.
And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:23-24)
One of the great things about God is things that seem to make perfect sense according to the world’s wisdom are often contrary to principles taught by the Word of God. Notice in our verse there was a father who had a son who was demon possessed. He went to see Jesus’ disciples and they were not able to cast the demon out. To this man’s credit, he had enough faith to go to the people that could help him.
Jesus then told him he would need to believe in order for the demon to be cast out of his son. He replied that he did in fact believe, but then he asked Jesus to “help my unbelief.” In other words, while he believed God could answer his prayer, he was feeling a little bit of doubt.
Jesus did not rebuke him for his statement, but went ahead and cast out the demon. The three Hebrew children boldly told King Nebuchadnezzar they would not bow to the idol made of gold and they believed that God would deliver them. Then they said, “but if not” they would still not bow. Even they weren’t totally sure that God would deliver them and admitted there was a chance they could be burned up.
Faith does not mean not having any doubt. Rather, faith consists of believing God, then having doubt. What completes the process is when you decide to go forward and trust God in spite of your doubt. Faith doesn’t eliminate doubt, it enables us to overcome it.
God understands that you are human and will experience doubt when trials come. The key to exercising your faith and making it stronger is for you move forward and decide that in spite of your doubt you are going trust what His Word says. When you do this your faith will become stronger for the next trial that comes your way.