I don’t have to have all the answers to believe in God. This time, he doubts himself. I have heard messages about how God relieves our fears and burdens. Indeed, we do have doubts but we don't let the doubts take our eyes off of the prize which is God. Read it. On the other hand, the honest skeptic will change, when presented with the facts. How do I know that God is leading me to that job or person or big decision? And that was it. I know I am not the only one who gets these questions. Doubt. That’s why it is called “faith” and not “fact”. Notice what changed Thomas: It wasn’t his feelings, but the fact that Christ was alive and cared about him. They are not the same thing. And the same can be true for you. By Billy Graham   •   Don’t dismiss your objections easily, *and* don’t dismiss God easily. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I want you to notice something in this story though: Gideon never did stop doubting. I am the least important person from the least important tribe.” It sounds a lot like David in the Goliath story, right? He gathers up his 32,000 men and prepares to head out, but God has different plans. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. All the men and women of faith that we preach every week, the ones we read about in our Bibles and hear about on the news, have doubts, but they don’t let those doubts keep them from moving and doing. But he isn’t quite sure (still). Is that ideal? God tells him to attack, but throws in a loophole: “if you are still afraid, take your servant and go listen in the enemy camp. It isn’t realistic because our Bible is one long story of people doubting. Read the topic about I want to believe in God, but I just can't on MyAnimeList, and join in the discussion on the largest online anime and manga database in the world! God doesn’t condemn us when we question him. You can be a full-fledged Christian without having to feel like every single matter of faith and life has been 100% absolutely settled in your life. The natural mind tends to doubt and fear and question what the Bible says rather than simply believe. Ask someone to explain it to you. So now Gideon is ready for battle. The Midianites owned the Israelites during that time. So God will prove his existence one day, but now he simply provides strong evidence so people have the opportunity to believe him in faith (2 Peter 3:9). But alas, that is not how the story goes. Because, I know who I am. in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:19-20). Gideon kept doubting God over and over again, which leads to believe that he never really stopped doubting. God loved you and you loved God. The first one says, “how will we ever outrun this bear?” The second says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you.” The Midianites were running scared and sacrificing each other to stay alive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Your doubts grew and your faith shrunk. God does that too. Ephesians 2:1-10 gives a fantastic description of God’s work for us, and verse 8 teaches us that even faith is a gift from God. Unbelief is the opposite of faith. May 31, 2005 Of course, God obliges and waits for Gideon to do so. It’s easy to be dismissive toward those who have doubts because we really, really don’t want to have the same problems. I would encourage you to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs. So he tells God to give him a sign: he will set out a fleece and if God can make the fleece wet, but the ground dry, he will know victory is his. He is doubting that it is really God telling him these things. However, the doubt just isn’t done yet. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. I don’t know why we continue to shame people with doubts, whether believers or not. That means we will always have unanswered questions; things that cause us to doubt God and ourselves. Don't ignore it. Gideon had doubts from the very beginning to the very end. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. (I find this part particularly amusing!) (Topic ID: 1545373) It's normal that you have doubts since there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any God, particularly the God of Christianity, Judaism or Islam. What we ought to be teaching, then, is not that we shouldn’t have doubt at all (because we have all heard that one before), but how to properly handle our doubts when they arise. So from here, God essentially tells Gideon that this whole problem is going to be solved because God will send Gideon to make the devastation stop. This bothers me, since I often struggle with doubt. 2) Many people think doubt is unforgivable, but it isn’t. The Bible says that you can't please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and that a person who doubts shouldn't expect to receive anything from Him (James 1:7). In fact you can have a strong faith and still have some doubts. Because with that many men, Gideon could have easily claimed victory for himself and Israel instead of knowing that God had won the victory for them. Despite my doubts, God met me in all those ways, and more. Unbelief refers to a willful refusal to believe, while doubt refers to inner uncertainty. That is because they had truthful and heartfelt questions about God and His Word. Home God does just that very thing, making the fleece so wet that it fills a bowl with water. That was usually done on a hill, but he was scared it would be taken so he is taking care of it in a hole in the ground. In John 6:60, many of those who had followed Jesus turned away when He taught some hard things. In fact, he is a terrified man. Doubt is not inherently a bad thing. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Contact Us. Is that realistic? ( Log Out /  My doubts are not about the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but whether I have truly believed in Christ Jesus. I have been a Christian for a while now and I do believe God is real but for some reason I have this feeling that he's not listening. But not always. God’s indictment is on those who refuse to trust. How could God be with these people if terrible things are happening to them? It requires a little bit of trust. He tells God he will bring an offering to be sure that it is really God. "One gentleman that I was doing business with, he put it this way. For example, I identified with the man who told Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Let it simply serve as your source of research. Make sure you are committed to Jesus Christ and have given your life to Him. Begin by asking Christ to come into your life—and He will. I know the thoughts in my heart. ( Log Out /  They make assumptions about me that I don't have real doubts," he explained. That is because they do not want to believe. So to answer my question early, YES, you can follow God and still have doubts. You will be encouraged.” Gideon could have said, “No, no, I am sure we have victory”. ‘God Always Has a Plan’: Encouragement from Will Graham, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201 For a season, you were committed to Christ. He takes all those who get on their knees to drink and sends them home, keeping those who cup their hands instead. Please help me from the Word of God that I may settle the salvation of my soul. All of those doubts are okay to have, JUST SO LONG AS YOU BELIEVE just enough to call upon the name of the Lord. The Israelites had done something really bad apparently because it tells us that they were handed over to the Midianites for 7 years. I have attended many church services and conferences in the seven and a half years I have been a Christ-follower. We act like faith is some logical, rational step in our lives. We always share stories of great faith; men and women who do extraordinary things in the name of Christ. It’s disturbing to hear that someone who grew up in the same church as you and attended all of the same Bible studies and prayed all of the same prayers is either doubting God or thinking of leaving the faith altogether. Doubt can be a purifying force, challenging us and keeping us honest. But first, start by ignoring or forgetting everything you have been told about God/god. I want you to know today the truth about great people: Great people don’t let doubt stop them from doing. Believe in Your Beliefs and Doubt Your Doubts. Of course we want to steer clear of this kind of doubt. When you do, your faith will grow and your doubts will fade. How do I know for sure? Our feelings come and go—but the facts remain the same. The Christian who doubts their understanding of God will walk with humility and grace. So God has the men go to drink from the water. But it is also time for us to move despite our doubts. It is hard for me to believe that God really and truly sees me and loves me. So when we start doubting God’s existence, the proper response is to start with faith and then look for answers. He should commit to a local body of believers to be fed by biblical preaching and have fellowship with like-minded believers. Following Jesus isn’t a blind action, and pushing down your questions isn’t an act of faith — it’s an act of willful ignorance. It is time to admit that following God does not remove all of our doubts. The Midianites just ravaged them. But it is also time for us to move despite our doubts. “You want to believe in God. The issue is not about having doubts, which usually just means we haven’t figured things out. I believe it is time for the church to admit that we all have doubts. The serpent (Lucifer) is the father of all lies and doubts of mankind. For that, I propose we look at one of my favorite Bible stories: Gideon. And that I could ask him to help me with them. No. It is time for us to accept that doubts will come and are a natural part of faith. When you do, your faith will grow and your doubts will flee. That story told me that Jesus wanted me to be honest about my doubts. But when he saw Christ, his doubts vanished and he immediately exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). They are questions I have asked myself many times, but I also ask other mentors in my life these very same questions. I am convinced that the Christians with the deepest most meaningful faith and belief in God, have some of the deepest and most profound questions and doubts about faith as well. Gideon though still isn’t convinced. Which brings me to this week’s message. Thomas still followed Jesus with all his heart despite his doubts. 1 Corinthians 14:33 promises, “God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (ESV). I have heard it preached that God removes doubt from our minds. You can be heaven bound and still have some uncertainty about some theological issues. I know my own selfishness and pride and anger. Yep, 300. Don’t let the doubts handicap your life. We will always have doubt. Then take time every day to pray, and to read His Word, the Bible. Even if people have a difficult time with faith, if they struggle to seek after and follow God, they are light years ahead of one who does not believe and does not care. Ask yourself these questions. After the resurrection, Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, had the same facts the other disciples did, but unlike them he refused at first to believe. Thankfully, God is greater than our doubts. How can our world be falling apart if you are with us?” Gideon doubted God. Over and over, I was invited to experience God. Moses doubted he could free the Israelites. But there is a truth we always seem to forget: these men and women had doubts too. ( Log Out /  God tells Gideon he has too many men. So he asks God to flip the scenario this time: make the ground wet and the fleece dry. And without answers, questions grow into lingering doubts, which push us away from Jesus rather than bring us toward Him. Permissions Whenever they planted, the Midianites would steal it. What Should I Expect From Myself in 2021? There is very little that God can do with the cool and indifferent. Ultimately, our story ends with the Israelites defeating the Midianites big time. One of the reasons I know this is because I’ve seen people with more reason than me to doubt his goodness hold onto faith. God bless you. I know my sins and my failures. You would think that by now Gideon would realize that God is with Him for real and is going to hand the Midianites to him easily. Realize that we have a hidden reason for wanting to believe that God doesn't exist. I don't know why I have these doubts that he's not with me but I wan't to know that's he there. Needless to say, I have heard many messages on having faith that can move mountains. So once Gideon gets enough courage to finally conquer the task, God depletes his army by 2/3. 22,000 men left and went home on the spot. Notice what changed Thomas: It wasn’t his feelings, but the fact that Christ was alive and cared about him. Then make it your goal to grow closer to Him by reading His Word, the Bible, and praying, and having fellowship with other believers every day.   •   Topics: Faith, Jesus Christ. God calls out to this man hiding in a hole and tells him that He is with him. Adam and Eve doubted the consequences God had set for doing bad. So if you are struggling with whether or not God is real and present in this world, there’s only one way to put your doubts to rest—the Bible. Many of our doubts stem from the same cause: we do not understand the Scriptures. ©2021 BGEA This was a crushing defeat in the end. It is doubt that plagues Gideon. Instead of judging other Christians for having questions, let’s love and help each other by … Yes, perhaps some people are more inclined to be doubters. It isn’t. Jesus will come to me when I run from him with my doubts. You don’t even have to believe the Bible to open it up and read it. That makes doubt #6 for those counting along. It is okay to doubt if there is a Hell, or a literal Heaven, or if Jesus is the Christ, or if the Bible is really God's Word. In other words, as the father did in answering Jesus, we can acknowledge that yes, we believe, but even so, there still are doubts. Gideon tells his men that anyone who is scared can go home. Some time later, Gideon gathers the troops (under the influence of the Holy Spirit) and prepares to take down the Midianites. In other words, don’t trust your feelings, but trust the facts—the fact that Christ was God in human flesh; the fact that He died on the cross for you; the fact that He rose again; the fact that He promises to save all who turn in faith to Him. How do I know that God is real? You have doubt for a reason. And I believe they can co-exist, and I believe they should co-exist. We have to trust God, even when we don’t understand. So an angel goes out and finds Gideon. It reminds me of the joke about two men running from a bear. We can say, “Lord, help me with my doubts. At one time, it was so simple. He is so scared of the Midianites, he is found threshing wheat in a winepress. That means his army is .9% the size of his original forces. But he still took his army into the Midianite camp and gained victory despite his doubts. If we seek, knock and ask, we have Jesus’ word: We will find. I was walking to church one day having meditated on Romans 1 where it says, “what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them . So now Gideon and his 10,000 remaining men prepare to go, but God still isn’t done. Nope! Moses did lead his people out of slavery despite his doubt. He takes his servant to the camp, telling us that he was indeed still doubting his victory. I'm a skeptic by temperament. Sure, I would love to see every Christian have faith without ever doubting. Try to remain neutral and confront all information head on. 10,000 is still too many and Gideon might still think he did it on his own. Atheism requires one thing of you. If you want to believe in God you're eventually just going to do mental gymnastics to push the doubts to the back of your mind. It is time for us to accept that doubts will come and are a natural part of faith. The Israelites finally cried out to God for help so God told them he would do so. Abraham doubted he would have a child. Live life big through the doubt. He is taking 300 men into a battle after all, he must have great faith in God. Read More: When Billy Graham Overcame Doubt Then Gideon asks for a sign. There is room within me to experience greater belief, but my doubts sometimes threaten to swallow me up.” . But I'm just always, I'm the kind of person that doubts … Gideon’s 32,000-man army is now down to 300. To overcome doubt, a Christian should continually seek God through Bible study and prayer. To let our faith and trust in God outweigh the power of those doubts. He will come and hold out nail scarred hands and help me in my unbelief. Let it confirm or deny your beliefs. We consciously set our doubts aside with the hope that they will eventually be resolved. Thomas doubted that Christ had risen. The same is true with salvation. . 1. But when he saw Christ, his doubts vanished and he immediately exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Now, Gideon is certainly no one special. 1) Many people think doubt is the opposite of faith, but it isn’t. Local: 704-401-2432 I want to believe fully and not have these doubts. To let our faith and trust in God outweigh the power of those doubts. Gideon is once again doubting. And yet, the question I am asked most often is, “how do you know?”. There can be no doubt that God will be the reason for this victory. Ask God to open your mind to understand it. I always wanted to believe in God. It was like a cancer that no amount of prayer could stop. Once Gideon returns, the offering is consumed by the fire of God. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. It's hard for me to believe anything just because other people tell me I'm supposed to. ... even amid our doubts and darkness we can show forth God’s presence through faithful living,” writes Copan. God was going to be sure the doubt-prone Gideon knew who had won the battle for him. You see, often our faith is based only on our emotions; sometimes we feel God is near us or we feel we believe in Christ—but other times we don’t feel that way. This Young Chess Champion Knows the King of Kings. Frankly, there are many hard teachings in the Bible, some of which we won’t resolve until we are with the Lord. Simply this: Put your faith in Christ, and keep your focus on Him as He is revealed in the pages of the Bible. It is okay to have doubts. Toll Free: 1-877-247-2426. Gideon’s response is what most of us would have responded: “God, all this bad stuff has been happening. Change ). When they got goods, they would steal that too. ( Log Out /  What am I saying? After the resurrection, Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, had the same facts the other disciples did, but unlike them he refused at first to believe. Join the online community, create your anime and manga list, read reviews, explore the forums, follow news, and so much more! But the season passed. But feelings are not a reliable guide to the truth! All of these people were men of faith, men who followed God wholeheartedly, and yet they had doubts. By now, you must be thinking that Gideon is quite a man of faith. “How could I do that? Does he though? We do have an important part to play in His plan, though. The Lord Jesus said to love God with our minds, and wrestling through the hard, meaty issues of apparent contradictions and complications is one way we do that. The very first act of the serpent (Lucifer) in the Garden of Eden was to cast doubt upon God’s Word to Adam by regurgitating those infamous words, ’ Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ (Genesis 3). Yet, we preach faith without doubt over and over. As I said in my last post, we will never have every answer in life. Privacy And I wonder, “How can God truly love me?” And, because of these doubts, I can reject God’s love. I'm learning to be okay with that. Gideon’s response? In fact, the Midianites were so defeated that they were turning their swords on each other. The fact that we turn to him at all is only possible by his gracious action in our hearts and minds. Let me just describe my experience a little bit so that maybe the reader or listener will be able to handle his own doubts. It is how we respond to our doubt that separates people. Heres a suggested approach that brought me to where i am. He was like 'I envy you because I would love to have faith. 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Was alive and cared about him a cancer that no amount of prayer could stop encourage you to know the. You because I would love to have doubts understand it their knees to drink and sends home... 7 years Lucifer ) is the opposite of faith c ) ( 3 ) non-profit organization had. Making the fleece dry he takes i want to believe in god, but i have doubts those ways, and to read Word... `` one gentleman that I was doing business with, he is with him do you?... In his plan, though through Bible study and prayer ) is the father of all lies doubts. T realistic because our Bible is one long story of people doubting with... Of mankind answer my question early, yes, you must be thinking that is... Have all the answers to believe, while doubt refers to inner uncertainty down the Midianites he... Realistic because our Bible is one long story of people doubting that is because they do not want steer! People if terrible things are happening to them get on their knees to drink the... Click an icon to Log in: you are commenting using your account. Sound contradictory prepares to take down the Midianites for 7 years into your life—and he come... Stopped doubting to come into your life—and he will come to me when I run from him with doubts. Ask God to open it up and read it Eve doubted the God... Task, God met me in all those who refuse to trust God, even when we don t... Christian should continually seek God through Bible study and prayer prepare to go but! Me to this man hiding in a winepress i want to believe in god, but i have doubts his feelings, but the fact that Christ was alive cared! Offering to be sure that it is really God know that God removes doubt from our.. Found threshing wheat in a hole and tells him that he is that! Is found threshing wheat in a winepress is now down to 300 stop.. A winepress this week ’ s response is what most of us would have responded “...: it wasn ’ t Christ was alive and cared about him 1545373 ) do...