Doubt is a companion I know well. When I look back on my journey with the Lord, it is a swirl of doubt mixed with “tiny” faith. That I am still walking with the Lord-and even a missionary-is proof that there is a God and his Holy Spirit is at work.
In the past, I wrestled with the guilt my doubt carried. But, time and wisdom have taught me that doubt is not my enemy. When carried by the Holy Spirit, doubt can be a powerful tool to draw us to Jesus.
Have you ever doubted God’s love for you? His character? His very existence? You are not alone. The Bible is full of doubters and God gave us their stories to teach us how to walk the journey of faith while holding doubt’s hand.
Eve is the doubter who started it all. She gets a bad rap and I often joke that when I get to heaven, I want to punch her in the face. But, if I’m honest with myself, if she had not eaten that fruit first, I probably would have.
She was a doubter, like me, and instead of allowing her doubt to draw her to God, she turned from him and, with Adam, ushered sin into the world.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."
Eve’s doubt began with a simple lie from the Enemy-does God really love you? Because if He did, He wouldn’t be withholding this good thing from you, Eve.
For the first time in all creation, Eve doubted God. She let this lie seep into her soul-she considered that maybe God really didn’t love her and maybe he was withholding something good from her. So, in her doubt she chose to sin by eating the fruit God told her not to eat.
Let me clear-doubting is not the sin. As far as I see in the Bible, doubt is never called a sin. It is a by-product of the Fall. However, when we doubt, we choose whether or not we will respond to that doubt with sin or obedience.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world and doubt was the by product. Nearly every doubt we have about God’s character is based in this first lie-Does God really love me? Does he really care? Is He withholding something good from me?
The story of Eve does not end on this sad note. God provides an answer to her sin-which also happens to be the answer to our doubt.
"So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush our head and you will strike his heel.”
This is a prophecy about Jesus. He is the one who bruised the head of the enemy when He paid for our sins on the cross. If the lie is the root of our doubt, then Jesus is the answer to our doubt.
I don’t mean this in a trite way. Jesus is the answer because he walks with us through the muck and mire and fog of our doubt. He doesn’t always wash away the muck and mire and he does not usually clear away the fog, but He offers his hand to us-to lead us through the fog, to pull us through the muck, to carry us through the mire. Jesus is the answer to our doubt-and it is not an easy answer, but a way of living that requires trust in the face of unanswered questions.
What unanswered question are you facing today? Is there something good you fear God is withholding from you and you’re asking why? Deep down, are you afraid that maybe God doesn’t really love you? Tell him. Be honest. Take his hand and consider how Jesus is the answer to your questions.
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