Benjamin Franklin once stated, “When in doubt – don’t“. Although wise and witty, this simple proverb is nearly impossible to apply on a consistent basis, for we all struggle with the occasional bout with doubt. It may be with a decision we made, a situation we’re in, or even in areas of faith. However, we needn’t be discouraged, for God is not surprised by our doubts. Instead, He provides instruction in His word on how we can effectively deal with them, whenever they arise:
Reflect: When we are faced with doubt one of our first responses should be to reflect back on all the ways God has provided and protected us thus far, which stimulates our heart to praise (Psalm 77:11-12). In addition, it’s a powerful tool in overcoming doubt when we remember all His promises made to us and that He possesses the power to keep them – now and for eternity.
Reclaim: Once we have recalled all He has done and is capable of doing, we reclaim their truth and validity through our faith in Jesus Christ. We then confess and surrender our doubts in prayer, give thanks for His love and mercy, trust in His word and depend on the reliabilty of His promises (John 11:27).
Reapply: Even if our faith is no larger than a mustard seed, we can face our doubts boldly. Even though we may not always receive the exact answers we want when we want them, we can accept that our Father in heaven knows our struggles, hears our prayers, provides what is necessary and will achieve His plans for each of us – for His glory (Psalm 138:7-8).
Application: “When In Doubt – Reach Out” – Matthew 14:31
In many ways, our doubts often serve to strengthen and mature our Christian walk when we approach God with our questions. For when we believe and make Jesus the Lord of our life, we discover He’s right there with us, lovingly reaching out to raise our hope, refresh our spirit, restore our confidence and refine our faith.