The Thing about Doubt
Let’s now examine what expectation and perspective have to do with psychological doubt or, more plainly stated, self-doubt. Self-doubt often begins in childhood, when a child’s expectations of love (affection and care), affirmation (acceptance) and viability (recognition) are not met. When these basic elements of a child’s life are not provided, the seeds of self-doubt and low self-esteem are planted. These will grow exponentially throughout a person’s growth, particularly in their teen years, when feelings of self-worth are so important. Research has informed us lack of self-worth is one of the strongest predictors of teen suicide and teen murder.
However, the focus of this teaching is ‘doubt of Yahweh/God’ and of His Son Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus. Clearly, those who do not at all believe in Yahweh and Adonai Yeshua, have no doubt as to their existence. These are often labeled atheists. And there are those who claim not to believe in the existence of Yahweh and Adonai Yeshua but have some confusion – great doubt. These are labeled agnostics. Then there are believers.
The question has been posed to me, “If I doubt, am I truly saved?” This is an intriguing question, as it suggests salvation is tied to our certainty. There is a positive correlation between doubt and uncertainty, apprehension and suspicion. Are there any examples in Scripture of those who received Yahweh’s Grace and still doubted?
Well, first there was Hava/Eve, who obviously carried doubt within her, even though she was an immortal creation. This doubt came about when the serpent fed her the lie “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?” As soon as doubt entered Hava’s heart, she was easily turned.
Then, we know both Avraham and Sarah doubted. Avraham doubted Yahweh’s protection, when he lied about Sarah being his sister and not his wife, and Sarah doubted Yahweh’s power to cause her to become the mother of Isaac. Another righteous person who doubted was Zechariah, the Cohen Gadol and the father of Yochanan the Immerser. When he was approached by ‘the Angel of God’ this high priest doubted – ‘Z’kharyah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man; my wife too is well on in years’.” For this doubt, he was made mute until his son was born. And what about Y’hudah, also called Thomas, who doubted in the resurrection of Adonai Yeshua? Each of these had received Yahweh’s Grace and doubted. Does that mean the Grace they received was taken away?
Let’s be clear, when one doubts salvation freely given by Yahweh, faithlessness creeps into the mind and heart. But, does Yahweh abandon us, when we entertain these doubts? For an answer to this question, we need to go directly to Yahweh’s Word. Our first stop is 2 Timothy 2:13, where we read – “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” Then we read Romans 8:37,38, which tells us – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers, neither what exists nor what is coming, neither powers above nor powers below, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.” Our final stop is Matthew 14:28-30, where we read: “Then Kefa called to him, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come!” He said. So Kefa got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Yeshua. But when he saw the wind, he became afraid; and as he began to sink, he yelled, “Lord! Save me!”
Beloved, all of us have doubt, at one time or another during our faith journey. The issue is not that we have doubts but what do we do with them? We can hold onto these doubts and nurture them; we can ignore them, as if nothing has changed or we can explore them and find evidence to either confirm them or prove there is no reason for them to exist. Adonai will not abandon you in this quest for understanding; He will only leave you to your own doubts, when you do not rely on Him for help.
CONSIDER: Have you dealt with the questions: “If I doubt, am I truly saved? How can I stop doubting?” The answers to these questions are to be found in your Bible. I urge you to open yours today.
ACT: If you have doubts about your salvation or are toying with the concept of salvation, I urge you to call upon the Holy Spirit of the Living God to help you in your quest for understanding. Don’t wallow in your doubts, face them and seek answers.
PRAY: Beloved Abba, I have doubts about my salvation. Please help me, as I search for answers and certainty. Point me in the right direction, I humbly pray. In Your Beloved Name I ask this.
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.