In this post, I want to get real about why doubt shows up, offer some hope if you're there right now, and share what's helped me work through times of doubt to a place of deeper intimacy with God. You got this!
Why Doubt Creeps InI think we all wonder at times, right? Life gets complicated, questions arise, and suddenly our core beliefs don't feel so solid. Here are some common triggers for doubt:
Unanswered Prayers Shake UsWhen we pray passionately for something specific - a relationship healed, a health need met, a prodigal child to return - and don't see breakthrough, it's so easy to start questioning God's power and goodness. We wonder, why doesn't a loving, all-powerful God answer this heartfelt prayer? (James 1:5-8)
I've been there for sure. I prayed for years for some family members to return to the Lord. When it didn't play out how I hoped, I struggled with disillusionment. Does prayer even matter?
But here's what I've learned - God sees a much bigger picture and acts for our ultimate eternal good, even when the outcome disappoints us or makes no sense (Romans 8:28). Just because something doesn't go how we asked doesn't mean God isn't active behind the scenes in powerful ways we can't understand. We can lean into Him even in the unknown.
Trauma and Suffering Challenge Our FaithSeeing intense pain, injustice, violence, and distress in the world can really shake our faith in a good God. How could a loving Creator allow such horrors? It stretches our limited human comprehension.
When a close friend experienced a brutal trauma, I agonized over how this could possibly be part of a loving plan. I found myself angry at God for allowing such darkness in the world (Psalms 34:18).
But the Biblical worldview ultimately helps make sense of evil co-existing with a sovereign God. I learned to trust that God is still powerfully present even when He seems silent. He walks through suffering with us and promises to one day make all things right (John 16:33, Revelation 21:4-5).
Loneliness in Our Faith JourneyWithout trusted mentors and fellow believers to walk closely with, doubts can fester and grow. We desperately need spiritual friendships who can listen without judgment, empathize with our struggles, and gently guide us with wisdom (Proverbs 11:14).
God designed us for community! But I often kept my questions to myself out of fear of what other Christians would think. Isolated and unsure, I felt so alone. Don't make the same mistake! Confide in a mature believer you trust. Seek out deeper connections in your church community. We need each other.
The Comparison TrapIt's really discouraging seeing Christian leaders, pastors, or even friends who seem to just have it all together spiritually. Their lives look so put-together, their faith unshakable. Compared to them, our doubts feel like pathetic failures.
But comparison distorts reality. No one has it 100% figured out. Behind closed doors every Christian struggles in some way. Focus on your own personal faith journey without judging someone else's (Galatians 6:4-5). Your relationship with God is unique.
For me, spending less time on social media helped a lot! The highlight reels of others made me feel inadequate. But in real life, we're all a work in progress. Give yourself grace.
Questions Emerging from New PerspectivesEncountering intelligent thinkers with different beliefs - whether at college, through media, or in everyday life - can rattle our own long-held convictions. Is Christianity really the only way? Is it anti-science? Does it make sense to believe the Bible literally?
While unnerving, exposure to different worldviews is healthy! Asking sincere questions leads to growth. Use it as motivation to strengthen your understanding of truth with empathy (Acts 17:11). Remember, a diversity of opinions is expected in the world. You can stand confident in the reasonable defense of the hope within you (1 Peter 3:15).
How to Walk Through DoubtSo when you hit those periods of uncertainty and questioning, how do you stay grounded? Here are some proven ways to work through doubt to a place of deeper intimacy with Christ:
Pray HonestlyI cannot emphasize this one enough! Pour out your genuine emotions, frustrations, confusions, and questions to God. Yes, He already knows the doubts raging in your mind and heart. But verbalizing it creates intimacy and clarity.
God can handle all our raw, uncensored thoughts. Bring Him your authentic self - nothing you think will shock Him or push Him away! Your willingness to engage with Him through unfiltered prayer during doubt displays profound trust (Psalms 62:8).
Combat Lies With God's TruthImmerse yourself in the Word during times of uncertainty. Take note of verses that reveal God's true nature - He is good (Psalms 119:68), He loves you unconditionally (Romans 8:38-39), He works all things for our eternal joy (John 15:11). Meditate on scriptural truths about who God is. They dismantle lies and renew your mind.
Learn Apologetics for Logical ReassuranceWhen faith feels shaky, learning solid apologetics can help reinforce our trust. Christian apologetics use logic, philosophy, science, and history to demonstrate the reasonableness of believing in the Bible, Jesus, and God’s existence.
Studying apologetics has answered so many of my questions - helping me see that Christianity squares with evidence, common sense, and a thinking faith (Isaiah 1:18). It removed stumbling blocks to wholehearted belief for me. Excellent resources abound online and in books!
Find a Mature Faith MentorSeek out a wise, discerning Christian who has walked through doubt themselves - a pastor, counselor, or older believer you trust. Their guidance and perspective can bring clarity without judgment or simplistic answers.
Talking through my questions openly with a mentor always reassures me I’m not crazy or defective. I’m reminded doubt is normal. Their patience helps me find peace in the process (Titus 2:2-8).
Immerse Yourself in Faith CommunityFill your life with faith-building friendships, church involvement, podcasts, books, conferences, and music. Surrounding yourself with believers who model vibrant faith is contagious! Their confident hope rubs off. You may walk this season largely alone, but know others have traveled through the wilderness of doubt and found joy on the other side. Let their wisdom guide you.
Remember Your Identity is in ChristDoubt will try to become your identity and steal your joy. But you are defined by Jesus, not your questions! At your core, you are a beloved child of God. When you feel like a failure, remember He offers total acceptance. Your worth isn't based on perfect theology or a doubt-free mind - it's secure in Christ alone (John 1:12).
Hope for the Doubt JourneyIf you're in a season of wrestling with faith right now, please receive this hug - you are not alone! God loves you deeply as His precious child. While the path through doubt feels lonely and terrifying at times, you need not stay in the wilderness forever.
By leaning wholly on God for comfort rather than running from Him, He promises to complete the good work He's begun in you (Philippians 1:6). Tough questions can actually refine our belief into bedrock convictions rather than destroying them. Keep pursing Jesus! He will lead you to that settled assurance and vibrant faith your soul longs for (Joshua 1:9).
Friend, you’ve so got this. God believes in you and is with you each step. Let Him love you right where you’re at - doubts and all. The struggle is temporary, but His faithful love endures forever.