Doubt is a dirty word in Christian circles. It’s something we don’t talk about just in case the pastor is listening. And we pretend we don’t feel it because we think our friends will look down on us if we admit it. So, in this devotional, we’ll read the words of Jesus from Matthew 14:3,1 and learn how to overcome doubt.
What is the meaning of Matthew 14:31?
Let’s read this scripture together…
O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
The truth is… No matter how long we’ve been Christians, or how strongly we feel about our faith in God, we all have doubt. Every single one of us.
I have doubt, and I bet you do too.
Having doubt doesn’t mean we’re bad or that we don’t love Jesus. It just means we’re human. Because it’s human nature to doubt what we can’t see.
We think if we can’t touch it or hold it in our hand, then maybe it’s not real. Sometimes doubt is just a fleeting thought. It comes to us in an instant and leaves just as quickly. But other times doubt lingers. It plays tricks with our minds, tears us apart on the inside, and robs us of our joy.
What causes doubt?
Before we go into how to overcome doubt, let’s look at where it comes from. If we can understand the source of our doubt, we can easily quiet it when it comes calling.
All Christians have an enemy in Satan. He seeks to destroy us. And doubt is one of the many tactics he uses against us.
He will search for a way into our lives to achieve his goal of utterly demolishing us. And once he has found a way in, He is relentless in his attack.
He slinks in, like the snake he is and puts doubt in our minds leaving us feeling hopeless. Then he’ll slink off again to look for some other poor soul to terrorize.
But we don’t need to fear Satan or listen to his lies. Jesus has already defeated him. However, we do need to be mindful of his plan to place doubt in our hearts and minds and learn to recognize his devious actions.
#2 Outside Sources
We are called to live in the world but not of it. But sometimes living in the world leaves us vulnerable to doubt. These outside sources are the things of this world that distract us from God’s plan. They could be the people we surround ourselves with, the things we read or watch on TV, social media, etc. Anything we put into our minds can cause doubt to form if we allow it to influence our thoughts and beliefs.
Sometimes our doubt is much closer to home than we would like it to be. At times, we can be our own worst enemy. Our view of ourselves can leave us feeling like we’re not good enough or that we’re a failure. These negative thoughts can cause doubt to creep into our minds if we allow them to take hold.
How to Overcome Doubt in Faith
God, in His infinite wisdom, knows the innermost workings of our minds. He knows we have doubt and He knows we wonder where He is when everything goes wrong in our lives. He understands our hearts and He has not left us alone to face doubt on our own. We can recognize what causes doubt and quickly overcome it with one simple God-given tool…our Faith!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is the gift of God, given to us to help in the times we face doubt and unbelief. It is the evidence of the things we can’t see but know in our hearts to be true.
How do you overcome doubt?
In Matthew 14:31, Jesus said to the disciples, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” But what does this simple scripture means?
The disciples had been with Jesus, and they saw Him perform miracle after miracle. They had the unique opportunity of being an eyewitness to the ministry of the Savior. And they still had doubt!
At some point, each of us made the decision to give our lives to Christ because the Holy Spirit showed us the truth of who Jesus is.
Unlike the disciples, we have not physically witnessed the miracles of Jesus. But we know for a fact God is real and Jesus is the Son of God because of our faith.
And even though We may not be able to reach out and touch God or witness the miracles of Jesus with our own eyes, but we can see what He has done in our lives, around us, and for us.
We have seen the hand of God at work. This is the evidence of our faith Hebrews 11 talks about. And our salvation through Jesus at work.
If we look around we will see God’s goodness surrounding us. And when doubt enters our minds, we can remember those times when we were so close to God it did feel like we could touch Him.
How to Overcome Doubt Biblically
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We have the most powerful weapon on earth at our disposal, God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and understanding the truth within it. We can grow our faith by reading the Bible and storing it in our hearts. When we become firmly grounded in God’s truth, doubt will no longer have a hold on us. Instead of allowing doubt to destroy us, we can simply turn to the Scriptures and lean on the promises of God to get us through. Because God’s word is real!
Prayer to Overcome Doubt and Unbelief
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”
This is a prayer of a man who had doubt in his heart but still wanted to believe. It’s an honest and heartbreaking cry to the only One who could help him in his suffering.
We all know how this man felt because we’ve been there, on our knees begging God to help us in our pain and unbelief.
But when doubt creeps in, we have a direct line to God. We can shoot up a prayer to Him in a second and ask Him for strength and guidance.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Our prayers are not effective because we have great faith or because we are faithful to God. They are effective only because we are righteous through our belief in Jesus.
This is our promise from God… He is always faithful to us, and He will hear our prayers when we call out to Him.
How to Overcome Doubt as a Christian
Yes, we all have doubt, but doubt doesn’t have to keep us from experiencing the loving touch of God’s hand in our lives.
It’s okay to have questions. And it’s okay to ask God to help us when we doubt.
But we cannot afford to let doubt penetrate our minds and our souls. We must recognize it for what it is and stop it in its tracks.
Our faith is the tool that helps us to overcome our doubt and seek God’s face in times of need. Each of the Bible verses in this devotional teaches us how to overcome doubt in God and persevere in times of unbelief.
And this final Bible verse tells us where to find hope for such times…
For You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
Psalm 71:5 NKJV
So today, I pray each of us will turn away from doubt, seek hope in God, and grow our faith in Jesus.
May God bless you! And help you through times of doubt and unbelief!