Universal Doubt
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Only God and certain madmen have no doubts!” - Martin Luther


Doubt is very common. "Knowledge and doubt are inseparable to man. The sole alternative to "knowledge-with-doubt" is no knowledge at all. Only God and certain madmen have no doubts!" -Martin Luther. Again he says "The art of doubting is easy, for it is an ability that is born with us." We as humans live in a finite state. We do not possess total knowledge, and from the fall of man we were born cut off from the One who does (Rom 5:12-14). Doubt is not trusting that which can't be perceived and proven by the human's senses. Only those who have total knowledge can be free from doubt. Where total knowledge is absent the door to doubt is open. People doubt what they do not understand and question what they do not know. As Paul puts it, we only know in part.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. - 1 Cor. 13:12

What about Christians? Through Jesus Christ we are born again, and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and are re-attached to God, therefore doubts should come to a cease right? Not exactly. (Someday though!) We are indeed born again, and have been given the gift of faith. (Eph. 2:8, Heb. 12:2) However, we still have this element of flesh with us. (Romans 7:25) The flesh is never regenerated when we are made alive together with Jesus Christ, but it does lose it's authority (John 6:63, Col. 2:13-14).

Os Guinness states, "The root of doubt is not in our faith but in our humanness" (In Two Minds). Since we still have our flesh, our humanness, we still have the element of doubt available. Failing to recognize that doubt is not automatically removed from the human condition can be devastating to new believers and can render passive the faith of older Christians. Faith is separate from doubt and are not fused together. Faith is a gift from God, doubt is rooted in our flesh. Many Christians panic at the first sign of doubt and are quick to view this doubt as their faith being insufficient or absent altogether and may react in drastic ways.

Doubt is not rooted in our faith. Therefore, we can walk in faith along side of our doubts. Doubt does not render our faith void. When I first learned this it was relieving. Understanding this truth helped me realize my faith wasn't the problem, and it helped turn my faith from being the issue, to being my advocate in tackling the persistent problem of doubt. Interestingly, when the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5) He responded by saying;

And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you. - Luke 17:6

If a mustard seed of faith can do that than surely it can tackle my doubts.



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