This winter of 2017, according to the news there are so many people who are sick including children because of a virus. The truth is there is another virus other than the virus that make us sick physically. Do you know what kind of virus is that?
It has been going around in Christian circles for centuries – it is the virus of doubt. The question is what do you do once you get that virus – the virus of doubt? How do you prevent this virus from ravaging your faith? What can you do?
It is a very important issue, therefore, we are going to explore this virus of doubt. The First Part of this article we discussed, “What is Doubt?”
Second – How Does the Virus of Doubt Infect Us?
Basically in three ways:
First, doubt often gains a foothold through our mind.
Intellectual doubts come in through our mind. We read the Bible, put it down wait a second and ask, “Am I to believe there are really things like angels and demons and Satan and heaven and hell and that Jesus is coming back. Are these things credible?”
Doubt can come into our mind if we don’t know why we believe, what we believe. Like a friend comes up to you and says, “I know you are a Christian and you believe that Jesus is God, Why do you believe Jesus is God?”
So you take a Bible and you are going to show him some verses and he says, “You can’t trust that book! This is twenty-first century!
Everybody knows that’s a book of mythology and legend and make believe and wishful thinking. You can’t believe that. What makes you think that the Bible is a trustworthy book that you can put your trust in?” Then, you say, “I just believe it, that’s all!” And then doubt begins to erode your faith.
You begin to think, “Maybe he’s right. Maybe I haven’t thought critically enough about it.” And those doubts begin to take a foothold, if you don’t know why you believe the basic truth in the Bible.
Doubt can affect us if we don’t know what we believe. You may know a lot about the love and the forgiveness and the mercy of God.
But if you don’t know anything about the righteousness and the holiness and the justice of God, then you are going to wonder why He doesn’t do certain things that you think He ought to do.
Like: why He allows pain and suffering, why He did not destroy the devil, when He is all-powerful God? Then doubts begin to come in because you don’t have the big picture of who God is.
The problem is not with God, it is with our understanding of who God is. In the same way, we may think that God has promised to answer all of our prayers the way we want them to be answered.
And when we pray and our prayers aren’t answered the way we expect them to be, we begin to doubt that He’s there at all. Some people think that God promises health and wealth to everybody who follows Jesus Christ.
And when they are not particularly healthy, and not particularly wealthy, then they are going to have doubts about God. The problem is not with God. He never promised those things.
The problem is with us in having an inaccurate view of who God is and that allows questions and uncertainties to come in. That is why when I conduct Bible studies I always encourage the participants to ask questions to clear any doubt in their minds. There is no such thing as dumb questions.
Second, not only can doubt breed in our minds, it also develop in our emotion.
Some people have a faith that is fundamentally built on feelings. Like the moment they gave their life to Jesus Christ, it was such a happy experience and it is for many people – it’s exciting to know that all your sins are forgiven and you’re going to spend eternity in heaven.
With some people it is an emotional high. But that doesn’t last. When that emotional high fades away people begin to think that their faith is going away. The feeling is not the same, so they think there’s a problem with their faith and they begin to doubt.
The reality is, they are just misunderstanding the relationship between feelings and emotions. Faith is not fundamentally about feelings and emotions. Faith is fundamentally a decision, a choice to follow Jesus Christ.
With a choice that we make, our faith doesn’t go away and flow according to how we feel or according to our emotion. Emotion can create barriers between us and God whether we are aware of them or not.
Third, the virus of doubt can also infect through our will.
Doubt can come in through our decisions. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you have made the willful decision to continue to pursue, a pattern of sinful and immoral behavior in your life, where you don’t want God to be part of it, like- gambling (casino, & buying lotto ticket).
Some think that gambling going to casino or buying lotto ticket are not gambling, but they are just games. Yes, they are games, because the definition of gambling is “a game of chance.”
No matter how you justify it, it is still gambling and it is a sin in the eyes of the Lord. You might reason out that it is very minor thing compared to murder or robbery. You have to remember that in the eyes of God, white lie, gambling, or murder are equal in the eyes of God.
There is no small or big sin in God’s eyes. You cannot say, “I’m just a little pregnant”, you are still pregnant. In the eyes of God, sin is sin, period.
If you are going to continue to pursue this sin because you enjoy it, and you are going to continue to practice what you know that God doesn’t want you do, that kind of choice can introduce doubt in your faith. Why?
Because sin causes a lack of peace in your life. When you struggle for lack of peace you begin to wonder, “Where is God to give me peace.” Sin creates a barrier between us an God. Then, you begin to feel like “Where is God.?” And you begin to doubt that God is there at all.
Doubts can also infect our will if we do not make the conscious decision to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
So doubts can breed in our minds, our emotions, our wills. But the key thing is what do you do with it when you’ve doubt.
On the next issue – “If I have Faith Why I Doubt? Part -III”
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