I picked up a book the other at Barnes and Noble and discovered something that made my stomach turn and my skin crawl. As I sit here in my office the thought of it still irks me. I do not remember the title of the book, which is probably a good thing, because you do not need to know. It was written by one of my favorite Christian authors - and that, of course, makes it worse. While browsing the pages I discovered a chapter on doubt. To my astonishment, this writer claims that it is OK for Christians to doubt God.
Let that sink in for a moment. Sadly, this is not the first time I have heard Christian leaders say something along these lines. In the case of this author, the premise was that doubt is not a form of unbelief, but rather a temptation to think more than one way. By definition, doubt is being double-minded. It is having more than one thought about a situation or circumstance. To this writer, doubting God is an occasion to grow in one's faith. How that works in this person's mind is beyond me. Doubt is the exact opposite of faith. And it is not something to be condoned.
The Scripture tells us the same thing about doubt as this author did. However, unlike what I read at Barnes and Noble, the Bible is adamant that we refrain from all traces of doubt
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
How do we condone doubt as Christians? For those of you immediately wanting to play "devil's advocate" (why do people advocate for the devil?! Find a better expression!), no, this author did not mean that doubt is not something wrong. They were laying claim to the idea that doubting God can and at times is a good thing. Clearly, from the Bible itself, that is not true.
We have all had times where we have been tempted to doubt. It is not something to feel guilty over or to condemn one's self about. However, it is also not something to be tolerated, either. There is no stability in a doubtful person. Faith remains; doubt wavers. Doubt is a tool of the devil to break our confidence in God and His Word. When tempted to doubt, doubt the doubt. What? When you feel doubt in God and His Word rising within you, doubt it. Know that God is not the Author of doubt or confusion, so anything that falls into those categories are not from Him. When feeling doubt about health, healing, provision, direction or any other promises of God, doubt those doubts.
It is insulting to God when we do not trust Him. How much more does He have to do for us? Many will say, "I do so trust God!" Feelings of doubt prove otherwise. While those moments can, and often will, be turned around by God, it is always better that we acknowledge what they are and begin to resist them from here on out. Perhaps the reason many of us are not seeing manifestations of God's promises in our lives is because we have fallen pray to the idea that doubt in a tool in the Hand of God. One pastor says otherwise, "Doubt is a cancer growth in the spirit. It must be removed using the scalpel of faith."