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October 16, 2023

Ep.1303: How Can I Doubt My Doubts? (Part II)

Learning to cope with differing kinds of doubt in our Christian walk

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Peter doubted twice in dramatic ways. What do these accounts teach us about our own doubts?

Several accounts in the Bible show us a surprised and confused kind of doubt. What blessings resulted?

What should we do when our doubts make us feel like there is no way out?

Theme Scripture: Matthew 28:16-17

In our last episode, we talked about doubt as a permanent fixture in our present world and experiences and how this can be both a positive thing as well as a negative thing. There are many ways the seeds of doubt are planted. It might be as a result of misinformation or misunderstanding. Or when we have a limited perception of our circumstances. We can doubt when we are in a difficult situation or have unmet expectations. Whatever the case may be, itis a very real part of our Christian experience. As we continue our conversation in this episode, we focus on how doubt manifested itself in the New Testament and what we can learn from it. To clearly understand it is to open the door that can diffuse it or use it, whichever brings glory to God!

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Choices in the New Testament

Understanding New Testament doubt can be tricky, as there seems to be marked differences in the kinds of doubt that are revealed. The more common words for doubt have the sense of choice and indicate a wavering or hesitation: I am presented with a dilemma and can either handle it this way or that way. On the surface, this can sound simple - you have the choices before you, so just decide already! However, rather than being simple, this kind of doubt can be somewhat paralyzing. If I focus on option A, then this or that may not happen. Option B feels safer, but then I have this inconvenient issue to handle.

You of little faith

Then there is that hesitation or wavering caused by looming and dramatic circumstances when we need to choose right now. The Apostle Peter getting out of the boat to walk on water towards Jesus is a great example of this. The wind is fierce, and the waves are big. Jesus tells Peter to come to him against all common sense and natural law, Peter steps out of the boat to walk on top of the water. He then wavers as he sees the strength of the wind and begins to sink. Jesus saves him then asks, “Why did you doubt, you of little faith?”

Was Peter’s doubting really an example of having “little faith”? Could this in any way have been a constructive doubt? What about the women who went to Jesus’ tomb to anoint his body and found the body was gone? What about the Apostle Peter’s doubt after he had the vision that instructed him to eat the meat of unclean animals?

Check out our October 16, 2023 podcast for answers. We consider these examples along with several others as we draw lessons from both constructive and destructive doubts. Doubt - just like trust - can keep us safe or get us in trouble. Join us for Part II of this series and learn how to hold on to the positive power of doubt while avoiding its negative results!


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