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Part 11 - When Doubt Sets In

It is a very rare person indeed who has not suffered some form of doubt, and asked questions similar to those of Jeremiah in the passage of Lamentations I read earlier. By doubt, I do not mean as in doubting God’s very existence, but rather doubting some aspect of the Christian life such as assurance of salvation, any of the other of God’s promises or doubting an attribute of God such as His innate sovereignty or His infinite goodness.

When doubt rises in you concerning God’s assured promise of salvation of you that usually occurs after engaging in wilful sin or having lost a spiritual battle. Doubting God’s sovereignty will usually occur after experiencing a great personal tragedy or of reading about an international disaster. When this occurs, it is important to have faith. Have faith in your knowledge of Scripture, and trust in its authority as God’s Word. When we sin, not only do we forget who we are as His children, but we also doubt what God has said is true in the Bible. The Christian Disciple learns to believe and trust God regardless of circumstances however divergent the experience is or was.

The originator of a lot of doubt in the life of a Christian Disciple is Satan, just as it was for Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1). Remember that Satan roams the earth like a devouring lion in order to stop Christian Disciples trusting in God and their testimony about God’s goodness (1 Peter 5:8).

Another source of doubt is the world we live in, with its own moral codes and perceived wisdom contrary to that of God expressed in the Bible. Whereas the Christian Disciple gains wisdom from God through having the indwelling Holy Spirit and reading the Bible, the world often has wisdom that is contrary. One only has to look at the perceived wisdom of atheistic scientific materialism countering the Christian arguments.

One final source of doubt, is the spiritual immaturity of the Christian Disciple. Doubting whether prayer works is often down to being double minded (James 1:8). Elsewhere Paul writes that doubt arises because of not knowing the basic doctrines of God (Ephesians 4:14). This source of doubt is only defeated through experience and having a maturing, disciplined life of obedience through prayer, studying the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform. In doing these things, the relationship between God and a Christian Disciple is nurtured and growing.

Next week we conclude this series, with the topic of overcoming doubt in the life of the Christian Disciple

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