Sunday September 1, 2019
The Great Power of Doubt
Jude was the half-brother of the Lord Jesus (Matt.13:55) and the leader of the Jerusalem church. The church at that time was under attack from false teachings resulting in division and strife. Jude was writing to defend the truth and encourage the weary. He encouraged them to continue to “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3), build themselves up on “the most holy faith” (Jude 1:20), and have mercy on those with little faith. Little faith? That is what doubt is…and they were to doubt the doubters.
And have mercy on some, who are doubting. (Jude 1:22 NAS)
Doubt is all around us. We doubt people’s motives. We doubt fake news. We question re-touched photos. There is a general lack of trust of politics, politicians, lawyers, and contractors. Doubt even swirls around some in ministry. We doubt absolute truth. And then tragically, there is a grave doubt of God’s very Word. (See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of word)
Doubt is defined in the scriptures as, “to waiver in opinion,” “to dispute and reason,” “to fluctuate in midair,” and “to be without resource, utterly at a loss.” They sound like terrible, frightening places to be!
Now, doubt is not always a complete lack of faith, but rather a state of qualified faith. It is saying, “I have faith, but…” There is always a qualification in doubt. It is a weak faith not an absent faith. Where does this doubt come from? Jesus asks that very question:
And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? (Lk.24:38)
What a great question! What is the root of doubt? Simply stated, it is not a lack of faith but a lack of exercised faith. Paul tells us that we are each given a measure of faith (Rom.12:3)…faith enough for each circumstance in our lives. But instead of using that faith and acting in faith, we reason in doubt, throwing our situation into chaos.
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. (Jas.1:6-8)
When we doubt we become unstable, unanchored, and tossed about. But faith anchors us in the storm. We are not driven and governed by what we see through the eyes of doubt…we are moved by what we cannot see through the spiritual eyes of faith. That is true faith.
Without doubt, we have power to move mountains (Matt.21:21). Without doubt our faith pleases God (Heb.11:6). Let that sink in…faith pleases God, doubt never does. In fact, the writer of Hebrews says it is absolutely impossible to please God with doubt…only faith.
So, when those around you begin to doubt God and all of His promises, doubt them! Trust God and simple doubt them. And once we are stronger in our faith, we are able to show them mercy (as Jude declared) so that they, too, might find the amazing place of true faith.
An unknown author put it this way, “Doubt sees the obstacles, faith sees the way. Doubt sees the darkest night, faith sees the day. Doubt dreads to take a step, faith soars on high. Doubt questions ‘Who believes?’ faith answers ‘I’.
Doubting the doubters is a powerful weapon!