Everyone struggles with it. It’s not relegated to a certain age or stage in life. And it can rob us of our productivity and purpose, seeping into our lives with paralyzing results.
The insidious menace I’m writing about is “doubt.”
Doubt often sneaks in when we least expect it, especially active in God’s sanctuary on Sundays—replacing adoration and worship with niggling uncertainties: Did I get the baby’s name correct in the card I sent? Am I singing on pitch? Is this the place I should call my church home? Have I done enough good this week?
Yet, doubt isn’t content to only work on the Sabbath day. It seems to have few boundaries. Consider a few of my most vulnerable times:
- Every time I write, I doubt the worth of my words: Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say?
- Whenever I catch myself messing up in my faith walk, I doubt that I’m worthy of salvation.
- When I yell at my children or blow it with my husband, doubt about my abilities as a mother and wife creep into my thoughts.
Proper examination of our actions and thoughts are important, in fact vital, in leading a God-centered and God-honoring life. However, if not properly controlled, “What if,” “Will I,” and “Can I” questions can be deadly to our faith and to a productive life.
God doesn’t want us to wallow in doubt. It is difficult to be an emboldened disciple of Jesus Christ when we are skeptical of our every word and action.
The good news is we don’t have to live as victims of self-doubt. The Bible is filled with great examples of overcoming this temptation.
Take for example Queen Esther (Esther 3–5). If anyone had a reason to be doubtful of her role, it would be her. She obtained her position by virtue of her looks alone for goodness sake! What else did she have to offer? Not to mention her husband King Xerxes could easily have put her to death if she messed up even once.
Yet, Esther didn’t let her fear and misgivings control her. She took proactive steps.
- First she took captive her thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5), not letting the emotions of the moment rule.
- Second, she sought counsel of one wiser, her uncle Mordecai. His words gave her confidence and a different perspective.
- Most importantly, though, Esther brought her doubt to the Lord. She fasted and asked others to fast on her behalf. In other words, she looked to the Almighty for the truth of the situation and her actions.
Other examples from Scripture include Jesus’ mother Mary, King David, Samuel’s mother Hannah, Elijah, Elisha, Ruth, and Jacob. They also followed a similar three-step process for controlling their fears and uncertainties.
It is easy to get mired in uncertainty and fear. The pressure to perform is intense.
But God doesn’t leave us to conquer our doubts alone. In His divine grace, He provides a plan. All we have to do is put it in action.
“[Mordecai replied to Esther] perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and assemble all the Jews who can be found in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, day or night. I and my female servants will also fast in the same way. After that, I will go to the king even if it is against the law. If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:14–16).
Q4U: What area of doubt do you struggle with the most? Is there a Scripture verse that has helped you control your doubt?
By His grace,
- Smiling moon; Watching talented hight school speech students perform; Signed up for (in)courage in(RL) meetup in April
- Headlights twinkling off frosty trees; Bank tellers who help navigate multiple account options;
- Making a dent in the to-do pile; Replugging in to school happenings; Connecting w/ concerned, compassionate parents
- Three swans on the lake; Fitting in time to exercise; Helpful feedback from my writers critique group
- Pushing a laughing Rach on her bike thru snow on the road; Wrinkle-free dress shirts; Heroes of the Bible
- Unable to attend Zach’s speech contest, so spent the day doing little; Seeing turkey & deer on walk w/ Joey; Free apps
- Found the lost iPod; “Adventuring” with my boys; Freshly popped popcorn
Also linking with the following wonderful sites:
and my friend Rachel Wojnarowski’s site.