I sometimes think that the world functions just like one would expect if God did not exist.

“Doubt is a necessary evil on our journey toward belief.”

We have all felt feelings of doubt. A troubled mind that reaches down and nags at your heart asking it to reconsider. Your heart says no, but feelings of inadequacy continue to plague your thoughts. Maybe this is not every day, but it is more often than you would like or expect. I thought the Christian faith was to be one without doubt, without fear? You think to yourself. Do I really believe if I can entertain such doubt? I can’t tell anyone about this!

The fact is that our faith is not perfect. If our faith is not perfect, it is lacking in something. The bridge between a perfect faith and the faith that we possess today is called Doubt. John the Baptist stood on this bridge when he asked “Are you the expected one or do we look for someone else?” (Lk. 7:19-20). John the Baptist, the one about whom Christ said, “Among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11). Yes, he doubted. When things were not going as expected. As his mind reflected upon his situation, being held up in the prison of Herod, his heart was asked this question, “Is Christ really the one? Is He really the one?”

Have you ever asked “Is Christ really the one?” I have and sometimes still do.

My questions come more like this:

Who am I fooling? Do I really think that I have been called into ministry?

Why should anyone listen to me? I am a sinner—the worst of all.

All this—the Christian faith—is just too good to be true.

God, where are you? Are you just a bandage for my insecurity?

Why don’t you come to our aid when we need you most?

When I stand on the bridge called Doubt, I will often remain, frozen fear and silence. I know that I can run to the other side, but I am not sure that this is always the best thing. I need to experience this doubt so that I can overcome it. I will not let it master me.

The bridge gets smaller all the time. Traversing from one side to the other does not cover the distance that it once did. In fact, the more I am on this bridge, the smaller it gets. I know it is an ironic thing to say, but this bridge strengthens my faith. Facing your fears inclines those fears to turn on themselves. Doubt should not be feared. If it is, it will control you. You will never be able to move.

Those who have stood on the bridge of doubt and can admit it, are better able to help other who stand on it now.

Is doubt sin?

That is a good question. Its not an easy one to answer. The answer is yes, doubt is sin. But I think it is best to put it this way: Doubt is a result of a sin infected world. It is the residue of our antagonism toward God. This residue will plague us until we see Him face to face.

Do you really believe if you experience doubt? I think so. In fact, it may be a sign of our weakness being strengthened.

“Doubt is a necessary evil on our journey toward belief.”

“And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet. 1:8-9)

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

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