To keep the faith, doubt your doubt

wave 2One of the hardest things about doubt is admitting it’s there. Like inviting a flood; if I don’t believe this, then what about this and this and this? 

Does God hear my prayers? Does He care?  Is He even there?

It’s all well and good if you’re a self-proclaimed atheist.  In this situation, the only way is up.  But what if you’re the leader of a home group?  What if you teach the children Sunday school? What if you’re employed by a Christian organisation?  Or part of a family who are all believers?

Have I been brainwashed? What if they’re wrong? Is this really true for me?

You panic. But you keep your doubts to yourself.  You back off; from other Christians and from church. Every day your faith shrinks a little more; and you tell yourself you no longer care. After all, real Christians don’t have doubts – right?


Here are the facts;

  1. It’s normal to have doubts and God is not blindsided by them. God is not surprised by Emma Scrivener having wobbles; any more than He when His disciples felt the same.
  2. Doubt is a part of life, not just faith.  There are times when I doubt my marriage, my friends, my reason, my cooking, my writing and myself.
  3. Feelings go up and down with blood sugar, (and acoustic guitars). Faith is an anchor, firm and secure; IN the storm, not on a sunny day. Faith is not about the person who has it (us) but the person it’s placed in, (Jesus).
  4. Remember that doubt may be a part of mental health struggles; like depression or OCD. Some people are temperamentally  inclined to it, in the same way as some are pessimists or extroverts.
  5. Doubt can be a part of owning the things we’ve been taught.
  6. Doubt isn’t good in itself, but God can work through it and use it to bring us to a deeper love for Him
  7. Faith is not really the thing we need. It’s Jesus. No-one can work up “faith” by screwing up their stomach muscles and trying to believe. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). So don’t try to have faith, just hear about Jesus.
  8. You are not alone in having doubts – and this doesn’t mean the end of your faith. There are ways of tackling doubt, like talking to others, searching the Bible and keeping going to church, even if we don’t feel it.  Even if I don’t feel thirsty, I still have to drink. When I don’t feel like a Christian; I don’t need less Jesus, I need more.
  9. The truths of the Bible are backed up by hard facts.  Jesus doesn’t tell us to believe in Him despite the  evidence; He asks us to believe in Him because of it.
  10. Don’t make the mistake of thinking Christians are blinded by their beliefs, whilst non-Christians can see logically and clearly. All of us have our doubts and all of us have our beliefs. Atheists believe as much as Christians – just in different things. So in the midst of your struggles, don’t forget to doubt your doubts. They are certainly not more solid than Jesus.
  11. Forget everything I’ve said so far.  Open your Bible and read about Jesus. Ask Him to show Himself to you afresh.  He will.

“Faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” (Romans 10:17, NLT)


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8 thoughts on “To keep the faith, doubt your doubt

  1. This is great, Emma. I love #3 and relate to that one so much! Even the acoustic guitar reference (LOL!). And you closed it so perfectly with #11. Thank you for another great message of hope.

  2. Aw. Much love Emma!

    &/but if/when you doubt your writing, I am here to remind you that it is an encouraging light (-: I just pointed a friend (who is now having twin girls after a couple of yrs on IVF – as one half of a pair of twin girls I am stoked!) towards your story on that similar journey! – I hope it was okay to pass the link on. :-)

    Haha I felt quite pleased with myself that I had someone else’s practical experiences to share, instead of fluffy words for which I didn’t even know what I was talking about. & then I was thankful for your blog too – such precious, honest & deeply vulnerable gems but which will (hopefully) go a long way in encouraging someone else .. as it has always been for me.

    Wasn’t too willing to acknowledge the parts abt blood sugar and/or mental health, but they’re nonetheless really true. Hahaha a hangry me is a cranky me, across all contexts -feelings included! :p

    8 & 11 :-) :-) xx

  3. Thanks Emma. The mental health point is very true. I was encouraged to see someone say that. John Bunyan was a wonderful brother with great wobbles which he expressed in Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners as you probably know

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