Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman


From Doubt To Full Faith


  We all face them, life tumbles in, scary times come, fear creeps in, doubts arise. We can't seem to shake them: Is there a God? Is He sovereign? Does He care for me? Is He at work in my life? What can we expect? Sometimes our confidence is shaken, really shaken!


  We preachers tend to discount doubts in our own life, pretend they don't exist. They do! We tend to preach against doubt. We shouldn't! Doubts and doubting moments are inevitable. We all struggle with such.


The question becomes:

How does God, Jesus, deal with our doubts?...


  First, He never writes off the doubter. Perhaps it would be best if we understood that doubt is not the opposite of faith. The word doubt suggests two minds or a struggle to choose between opposite options. Doubters are not always people who refuse to believe, but people who are struggling to believe. Jesus doesn't dismiss those of us in this state.


  You recall a father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus; he pleaded, "If you can do anything, please help us." Jesus said, "Anything is possible for those who believe!" "Lord I believe, help my unbelief."  Jesus accepted this man's 'doubting-faith' and his son was healed.


  We're all familiar with Thomas. The disciples came telling him they had seen the Lord! Thomas expresses his doubt, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hand and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." Jesus doesn't condemn. The very next weekend, He gives Thomas an opportunity to move from doubt to faith. Indeed, like Thomas, God's desire is that we each move from doubt to full faith.


  So, the application is: 1) God understands our times of doubt; 2) He gives us opportunities to move from doubt to faith.The question is, are we willing to make the journey?


  Secondly God challenges us to work with Him. Faith is a work. Faith is a verb. Full faith is working with God to accomplish His will and way.


  Read Hebrews chapter eleven again: Able offered an acceptable sacrifice. Enoch walked with God. Noah built an ark. Abraham went when called. Faith is working with God, doing what He asks of us.


What are some things that

God does to help us move from doubt to faith?


  First – He provides evidence for our faith. He gives us enough evidence to support our believing and ultimate full faith. For instance – Was Jesus raised from the dead? Evidence: There was the empty tomb. The collapsed grave wrappings were left. Jesus walked and talked with them by the Sea of Galilee. He cooked their breakfast. Ate fish with them. Plus other activities that dead people, or spirits don't do.


  Secondly, God gives us time to cultivate faith. Time for us to move from doubt to an obedient faith.Years after the empty tomb, Peter wrote: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3.9).


Well, what are some signs

that we have moved from doubt to a deeper faith?


 1) When we give God our will. We are free moral agents. We can decide to align our life with God's will or we can decide to live as we want without regard to God's will and word. Obedience is always a sign of a genuine faith, a lack of total obedience signals that we are stuck in doubt.


 2) When we worship in spirit and truth. We become a people and person of faith when we give Him our worship: Not just the ritual of singing songs, offering prayers, listening to the Word, giving of our means, but truly offering our entire life to Him. Remember, at the Sea of Galilee, it was said of the Apostles: "They left everything and followed Him." Paul put it this way– "So then, my brothers, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him. This is the true worship that you should offer" (Romans 12.1, TEV)


 Indeed, when tough times come, things don't go as we wish, we sometimes find doubts creeping in, standing between us and God's promise and purpose for us. Don't panic! God is willing to work with our doubts, bringing us to a full measure of saving faith. Amen?


—Randall Caselman