How Should A Christian Handle Doubts?
How should a Christian deal with doubt? If you’re doubting whether Christianity is even true, and you feel yourself sliding into the world of unbelief, how should you handle that? Unfortunately given the blind faith theology that’s propounded in many churches across America today, not many pastors are equipped to attend to people’s intellectual doubts about the Christian faith. In fact, thanks to the blind faith theology that’s propounded in many churches today, many pastors don’t even try to help their members resolve their intellectual doubts about the Christian faith, but merely bid them to “have faith” or “pray about it, and let The Holy Spirit speak to you.” Some Christians are ashamed of their doubts, and so they hide them and let them fester, either because they’re afraid of rebuke or because they’re afraid of infecting others with the same doubt they themselves are having.
I can easily empathize with people struggling with doubt. I myself struggled with intellectual doubts prior to stumbling upon Christian Apologetics. Here’s some advice I give to you to help guide you from doubt into certainty.
*Ask God To Increase Your Faith
One thing you should do to help you resolve your doubts is to ask God to increase your confidence in truth of Christianity. In fact, not only is this one thing you should do, it’s probably the most important thing you should do. This is probably the first thing you should do. In Mark 9, a man came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his son (verse 20). Jesus asked the man how long his son had been demon possessed (verse 21), and the man responded “from childhood.” He replied. He then said “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” (verses 21-22) And Jesus responded “If I can? Everything is possible for him who believes” (verse 23) to which the boy’s father replied “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (verse 24)
You should do the same thing that that boy’s father in Mark 9:24 did. You should ask God to help you with your unbelief. Now, you might be wondering “But I’m having trouble even believing God exists. Why in the world would I ask this being whom I’m not even sure is there to help me with ANYTHING?” I don’t think this is an unreasonable thing to do. After all, if you were to walk into a dark room somewhere and were wondering if anyone was in the building, would you not cry out “Hello? Is anyone in here?” or if you wanted to use a restroom stall and you were uncertain whether anyone was in the stall, would you not knock and ask “Is anyone in there?” In the same way, I think it makes sense to ask “God, are you there? Do you exist?” And if He does, He’ll answer, just as someone in a restroom stall might respond “occupied.”
As someone who has wrestled with doubts myself, take it from me. Prayer to resolve such doubts is a must. Ask God to help you overcome your doubt. He will. After all, He wants everyone saved (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:4), and you don’t believe you won’t be saved (John 3:18). So certainly, He will help you overcome your doubts if you ask Him.
*Search For Answers Diligently
God said in His word “If you seek Me, you will find Me, if you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) and Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8). The Bible also says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8). If Christianity is true, then The Bible is true. If The Bible is true, these verses are true. If these verses are true, then if you diligently seek answers to your hard questions, you will find those answers. I believe Christianity is true, and so I believe you’ll find the answers to your hard questions if you diligently seek them. Not only do I believe you'll find answers because I believe the promises of these verses, but because I too have struggled with objections to Christianity and have overcome them.
One of the tasks of Cerebral Faith is to supply answers to such hard questions. It is to solidify a Christian’s confidence that Christianity is in fact true. It is to help those Christians who are struggling with doubt. It is also my mission to win over those who disbelieve and win them over. Maybe you’re struggling with The Problem Of Evil and Suffering (the idea that suffering and evil are evidence against God). In that case, click on these blue letters and it will take you to a blog post I wrote arguing that it’s not unreasonable to believe that God exists in light of suffering. Maybe you’re struggling with The Problem Of Hell (the idea that a loving God wouldn’t send unbelievers to a place of eternal torment). In that case, I’ve got several blog posts you could look at. One of them is called “The Doctrine Of Hell And Objections To It” where I look at several objections to the doctrine of Hell that non-Christians have brought up. I argue that Hell is not at all incompatible with either God’s love or God’s justice. You could also look at “ACritique Of Counter Apologist’s Article ‘The Argument From Hell’” and also "ACritique Of Counter Apologist’s Article ‘The Argument From Hell’ PART 2” Where I tackle specific objections made by CounterApologist. I also debated him on the topic of Hell so you could also check out this debate I had with him on The Therefore God Exists Podcast.
Or perhaps you’re not struggling with either of those. Maybe you’re doubting Christianity is true because you’ve just been believing on blind faith this whole time, and really have no idea why you should believe. In that case, I’d advise you to read several articles I wrote on the arguments for God’s existence and also the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection
Arguments For God’s Existence:
The Evidence For Jesus’ Deity And Resurrection:
Check out those articles for powerful scientific and philosophical evidence for God’s existence, and for powerful historical evidence for Jesus’ divine self understanding, and historical evidence for His resurrection.
Or maybe you’re doubting because you think you’ve found errors in The Bible, and think that it therefore cannot be God’s Word. In that case, I’d advise you to check out a whole section of blog posts called “Supposed Contradictions” where every now and then, I’ll post a blog post reconciling some seeming contradiction a skeptic thinks he’s found in scripture. Scroll the page until you find a post reconciling an apparent tension you’re looking for and then read it. If I haven’t addressed that supposed contradiction you think you've found, just post on Cerebral Faith’s Facebook page and ask me about it. I’ll write a blog post on it. If I don't know the answer, I'll do some research, and then post about my findings.
In any case, Cerebral Faith is here for you to find good reasons to believe that Christianity is true. You don’t have to abandon rational thinking in order to be a Christian. You can be a Christian because you used the brain that God gave you.
*Be Content To Live With Unresolved Issues
You should definitely pursue answers to your questions, but be aware that given our finite understanding, there will always be a few unresolved issues. But just ask yourself this question; “Does this answer, if left unanswered, cast doubt on the overall case for Christianity?” For example, there are questions that I have that I haven’t been able to resolve, but such issues don’t make me doubt that Christianity is true. There’s an overabundance of evidence for God’s existence and for Jesus’ resurrection (see above), and a great deal of my objections have been resolved (e.g suffering, the doctrine of Hell), and The Bible has been demonstrated to be remarkably historically accurate. So I’m still confident that my trust in Jesus has been well placed even if a few issues remain.
Nevertheless, don’t give up on trying to find answers to those issues. Keep pursuing them. You may one day figure it out. I can’t even count how many objections and questions I’ve had resolved through doggedly pursuing answers.