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Dealing with doubts

Time has a way of affecting our memories. Things that we once believed unquestioningly can fade. Something that we were absolutely sure about can become an uncertainty. So it is with many aspects of our lives. Satan wants this to be the case with the most important things in our lives, particularly about our relationship with Jesus. Do I really have saving faith? Is my faith real or simply a cultural affectation? Of course, I write as a Christian clergyman. I truly believe all that the Bible teaches, but those words will be meaningless to someone who does not believe as I do. Some might even make fun of such a statement because they do not believe that Satan is real. That’s OK–many with your current persuasion have come to believe exactly like me.

How does one deal with doubts as they arise? As time goes by, do you waffle, or do you remember that God is not like us and that, where we are changeable, he is utterly unchanging; when we are sometimes like a weather vane, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever?

God is not like the taciturn husband who told his wife that he loved her twice: the day he proposed and the day of their wedding, and not since. God tells us throughout his word that he loves us over and over again. He loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die in order to satisfy our sin debt. Sadly, many people do not read their Bibles enough or get to church enough for that truth to sink into their bones where it belongs. Because of this, they become vulnerable to doubt and a target for the purveyors of the Did God really say? line of reasoning.

How are we to guard ourselves in this regard? My advice to you is to do it this way: remember that (1) God’s word is always objectively true, and (2) your subjective understanding and doubts do not overrule God’s objective truth.

Here’s a prima facie example for the subject. The apostle Paul as he wrote to the church at Rome as the Holy Ghost gave him utterance, taught: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

There are two ways to take those words: (1) that they are utterly true, or (2) that they are not. If you believe they are true, stop worrying because you are believing the objectively stated truth of God. Don’t let Satan rob your peace or joy, and live with the assurance that comes by faith.

Originally appeared in the Caymanian Times.

  • Chris Pierce is an Anglican minister in Northern Ireland.

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