Today’s post is a continuation of last week’s post where I shared two things not to do when you have doubts about your faith. Those two things—which I learned through personal experience—are (1) isolating and (2) pretending that you’re not struggling. But there are a couple other lessons I learned from my struggle with doubt, and as promised, I’ve included them below. These are two more things not to do when you have doubts about your faith:
1. Give into lies.
I obviously agree with what Paul told the Corinthians about testing themselves to ensure their faith was genuine (1 Corinthians 13:5). However, I also agree with Paul’s words and the words of other New Testament writers who told their readers to stand firm in their faith and hold fast to their hope (for example, in 1 Corinthians 16:13 and Hebrews 3:6). If—after we’ve tested ourselves—we conclude that we indeed belong to Christ based on Scripture’s definition of what a Christ-follower is, then we have no reason to waver in our faith.
As a four-year-old, I invited Christ to come into my heart. My salvation story is simple, but it’s real. Christ saved me—an undeserving, young, but far from innocent child—and has never let me go. Yet, a decade later after I trusted Him for salvation, I doubted my faith. I couldn’t shake the feeling that my childhood salvation hadn’t really “counted.”
Satan had twisted my biblically-grounded perspective not only on what a Christ-follower is but also on who Christ is. Satan couldn’t steal my salvation, but he certainly stole my joy and my confidence for many years. Thankfully, you and I don’t have to be victims of lies; we aren’t helpless in the fight against him because the Truth never fails.
Takeaway: The only way to overcome Satan’s lies about your faith is to keep returning to the Truth.
2. Walk away from your faith.
I honestly believe that countless Christians have walked away from God simply because they had doubts about their faith and weren’t sure how to handle those doubts. I completely understand that having doubts—especially about something as critical as one’s eternal destiny—can cause frustration, stress, and fear. Giving into despair is the easiest choice to make when you feel insecure and alone.
But walking away from God is never the solution to doubt. That’s exactly what Satan wants you to do. The moment you walk away from your faith is the moment that you let him win.
When I was struggling hardcore with doubts about my salvation as a teenager, I honestly wasn’t sure if I would ever feel relief or have respite from them. But that season didn’t last forever, and yours won’t either. As I said above, you have to remember that you’re not helpless; God is on your side, friends.
Takeaway: The path that leads away from God is the path that Satan desperately wants you to take; choose the path that leads toward God.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this: ‘I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow downat your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:7-13 NASB1995, emphasis mine)
While I’m not an expert on the book of Revelation, I included this passage from Revelation because its theme is so applicable to our doubts and our faith. Although John penned this message to the church of Philadelphia centuries ago, I believe that his encouragement to that church is the same encouragement that we need when we struggle with doubt: hold fast, don’t let your guard down, and don’t give into temptation when you are tested.
Friends, when we put our faith in Christ, we are given the gift of salvation—a gift that can’t be revoked, stolen, or destroyed. Yes, there may be days when that gift feels like it’s been revoked, stolen, or destroyed—or days when you feel like you never truly received it. But ultimately, you can’t trust the way you feel or the deceptive whispers in your ear; the kingdom that you received can’t be shaken (Hebrews 12:28).