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Overcoming Doubt with Faith

“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!'” (Mark 9:24, ESV).

Doubt is a part of our human condition, but it does not have to define our relationship with God. In fact, it is often through our doubts that our faith can grow stronger. This is beautifully illustrated in the story of the father in the book of Mark. His desperate cry, “I believe; help my unbelief!” is one many of us can resonate with.

We see throughout the scriptures that faith is not the absence of doubt, but choosing to trust in God despite our uncertainties. Take Abraham, for example. God promised him that he would be the father of many nations, yet he and his wife Sarah were old and childless (Genesis 17:5, ESV). Despite the seeming impossibility of this promise, “he did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:19-21, ESV).

In the New Testament, we find Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, doubting the resurrection of Jesus until he could see and touch His wounds. Yet when Jesus appeared to him and invited him to touch His wounds, Thomas made one of the most profound confessions of faith in the Bible, exclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28, ESV).

In each of these examples, we see that doubt did not disqualify these individuals from God’s love or His plans. Instead, it was an opportunity for their faith to grow stronger. As we grapple with our own doubts, we can take comfort in these words from the book of James: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5, ESV).

Our faith, like a muscle, grows stronger when exercised. Every time we choose to trust in God despite our doubts, our faith muscles grow a little stronger. We are reminded in Hebrews that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, ESV).

If you are grappling with doubt today, bring it to God in prayer. Like the father in Mark 9:24, cry out to Him, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Remember that God is not threatened by your questions or doubts. He welcomes them and is ready to meet you in them. Your doubts can become a pathway to a deeper, stronger faith.

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