Doubt is a common struggle for many Christians in their walk with God. Seeing the pain and injustice in the world, wondering if God really hears our prayers, questioning core doctrines of the faith – these kinds of doubts can shake us and make us feel distant from God. Even faithful biblical heroes like John the Baptist experienced doubt (Matthew 11:2-3). So know that if you struggle with doubt, you’re not alone!
The good news is that the Bible has a lot to say about dealing with doubt and drawing closer to God through it. Here are some key biblical truths and promises that can help us overcome seasons of doubt:
1. God invites us to come to Him honestly with our doubts
God is big enough to handle our doubts! The Psalms show King David and other writers pouring out their honest doubts and questions to God (Psalms 13:1, 22:1, 77:7-9). God could strike them down for their lack of faith, but instead He listens compassionately. God isn’t threatened or surprised by our doubts – He wants us to bring them to Him. James 1:5 promises that if we ask God for wisdom to understand our doubts, He will give it generously.
2. Lean on the promises of Scripture when faith feels weak
Even when we can’t feel God’s presence or trust His promises, we can still choose to rely on the truth of His Word. Isaiah 26:3 promises God will keep in perfect peace those who trust in Him. When doubt makes it hard to trust, claim Scriptures about God’s love and faithfulness as your lifeline. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
3. Recall specific times God has been faithful to you
One way to fight doubt is by remembering how God has proven Himself trustworthy time and time again. The Israelites erected memorial stones after God parted the Jordan River so future generations would remember His faithfulness and miraculous power (Joshua 4:20-24). When doubt arises, recalling how God answered a prayer, provided a job, healed an illness or transformed your heart in the past can re-ignite faith. “Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (1 Chronicles 16:12).
4. Choose to obey God even when emotions lag behind
Faith is not simply an emotion – it involves our will and choices. Jesus told Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). We may not always feel like trusting God or worshipping Him when doubt strikes, but we can still choose to obey. You may not feel close to God while reading your Bible or praying, but doing these spiritual disciplines positions you to encounter Him. As we step out in faith during doubt, our feelings often follow.
5. Express your feelings and questions to God honestly
Don’t bottle up doubts inside – bring them to God! Many Psalms honestly voice the writers’ feelings of abandonment, fear, anger and doubt. For example, Psalm 88 is one long prayer of despair. But even that psalm ends by turning to God for help! Tell God exactly how you feel and ask Him the tough questions on your mind. He can handle your emotions. Being authentic with God about doubts can help release the burden of feeling you can’t admit them.
6. Ask other believers to pray for and support you
Don’t try to walk through serious doubts alone. Share what you’re experiencing with mature Christians you trust – both so they can pray for you and so their faith can be an encouragement. In Mark 9:14-29, a father with a sick boy pleads, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (v. 24). Admitting our doubts to Christian friends allows them to help restore our faith. Their insights might also help address any misunderstandings feeding your doubts.
7. Seek wise guidance from your church leaders or a Christian counselor
Talking to a pastor, small group leader or Christian counselor provides spiritual wisdom you can’t get alone. They can recommend resources to strengthen shaky faith areas and help identify faulty thinking patterns leading to doubt. Most importantly, they can gently guide you back to God’s truth and remind you of His love. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5).
8. Immerse yourself in Christian community and service
Staying isolated while doubting often worsens despair. Make church attendance and small group participation a priority when doubts strike – even if you don’t feel like going. Digging into God’s Word, worshipping Him with other believers, and serving those in need restores spiritual vitality. Christian fellowship and service take our focus off ourselves and doubting by lifting our eyes to the hope we have in Christ.
9. Persevere in seeking God until your faith is renewed
Seasons of doubt do not last forever for followers of Jesus! Many biblical heroes like David and Elijah went through dark times of doubt but came through with revived trust in God. Keep praying, reading Scripture, participating in church community and pursuing God daily. Ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sin blocking your relationship with Him. Over time, your roots in Christ will grow deeper than the doubts trying to uproot you (Colossians 2:6-7).
10. Rest in God’s sovereignty and love while waiting for doubt to pass
Rather than being overwhelmed by the uncertainty of doubt, find comfort in God’s sovereignty. Nothing takes Him by surprise and He promises to complete His good work in you (Philippians 1:6, Lamentations 3:22-24). You may not understand all your doubts right now, but you can still choose to rest in the faithful arms of a loving Father. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Walking through doubt is difficult, but see it as a doorway to knowing God more deeply. When doubt shows where we’re relying on our own understanding rather than His truth, it gives us the chance to surrender our misplaced trust and embrace faith afresh. Be patient with yourself, don’t be afraid of hard questions, and keep seeking Jesus – He promises that those who seek Him wholeheartedly will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).