Doubt vs Faith

Over the past 60 years of my life I have had periodic seasons where my faith in God, Jesus, heaven, and the Bible have waned. I have these huge doubts pop into my mind, and have thoughts like, “I only believe this because I was brainwashed when I was a kid”, or “If this all is really true it seems that I would see more answers to my praying, or “Why are there so few people who seem to be truly changed on the inside by the Gospel?” In talking to other followers of Jesus it looks like what I have experienced is common to most believers. Even in the Bible those who wrote thousands of years ago what we read today went through these seasons of doubt and confusion. In Psalms 73 the writer was having such an experience and writes, “But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, My steps had almost slipped”, and also, “When I pondered to understand this, It was troublesome in my sight.” It is weird the timing and the content of these thoughts and doubts that periodically flood over me. I have come to the conclusion that God does to me what He did to Job, He gives satan permission to harass me for the purpose of testing me, and he does this by trash talking to me, as it were, and I hear him in my thoughts. 1 Timothy 4:1 “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”. Also in Revelation 2:10 “Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested”. And it appears that God also tests us, in Genesis 22:1 “Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham”. There was a mental wrestling match inside my brain and heart on each of these events, and the result has been that I have come out a bit stronger in my faith. It feels like when I was in wrestling in high school and won a match. In Revelation 2:11 it says, “He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” The Greek Word for “overcomes” is where we get “Niki” as in the shoe company, and it means “winner”. I don’t enjoy these wrestling matches and I hope I have had my last, but they do appear to be part of life that God has planned as He makes us like Himself in character.

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