What happens when zeal runs dry? What happens when the faith you have known all of your life becomes your greatest suspicion? The Scriptures are conspicuous and your heart is no longer drawn to the Lord in prayer. Your assurance is shaking like a twig in a hurricane of doubt. All the truth that was so clear, apparent, and true has become clouded with black fog that you’re questioning if you are even a Christian.
And here’s the kicker: you love Jesus. The reason why this desert is so ruthless is because you really are thirsty; nevertheless, you doubt. The feedback loop goes like this: You doubt, feel guilty for doubting, and then despair because you wonder if Christians can really doubt in the way you have. Stop-rewind-repeat. All of a sudden you seem to be caught in the sinking sand of second guessing and nobody is throwing a rope to help out.
When these dark clouds rise in our hearts, we do ourselves no good to find refuge in ourselves. Finding your confidence in your ability to believe is like drinking sand when dying from thirst. Why drink sand when water is bubbling up from the ground? The only way to fight doubt is on the firm foundation of the faultless faith of Jesus. Your greatest, most fearsome doubt can be destroyed at the cross of Christ.
So then, what am I to do when I am doubting and straying from the Savior I love? I run to him and not away from him. The secret to fighting doubt is not trying to make yourself feel better, but rather placing your trust in Jesus’ perfect faith in your place. Jesus never doubted God’s existence – for you. He always rejoiced in the truth of God’s word – for you. On your darkest day you are smothered with Christ’s blood and the greatest Power in the universe is for you and not against you. This is not because you have strong faith. This is because Jesus’ faithfulness obliterates your faithlessness.
When the doubts come – and they surely do come – the way we fight is not through pulling up our spiritual boot straps, but by crying out to Jesus with empty hands; not by pretending to have strong faith, but by taking strength in Christ’s perfect faith that has been credited to you. We must stop trying to calm the sea and let our Savior speak to the storm.
“When Satan tempts me to despair,
and tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see him there,
Who made an end to all my sin”