How Doubt Strengthened My Faith

Anxiety seems to be more prevalent and powerful than God does these days. You can’t go a day without hearing the word anxiety. And most people can’t go a day without experiencing it on some level. It was in the midst of my struggle with anxiety where God strengthened my faith.

I have attended church my entire life. I grew up in a Christian home and, like many, I accepted Jesus and was baptized at a young age. Life was good.

Then, a few years ago the enemy planted a tiny seed of doubt in my mind which completely interrupted my life. 

I was consumed with the thought of, “When Jesus returns the world will end!” I couldn’t shake it. Despite hearing about the end times my whole life, it never really affected me. But when I began to dwell on it, I became extremely anxious. I thought, When He does return, I might not be ready. This anxiety led me down a path of doubt and confusion, causing me to question everything I was ever taught about God. My mind was reeling.

Did God really create everything? Is the Bible true? Is God even real? How can I know for sure? After all, I’ve never seen or touched Him... 

But, in the midst of my struggle, God brought His words to mind:

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7 ESV

God promises that if we genuinely seek after Him, we will find Him. I clung to this verse as I poured out my heart to Him in prayer. I was brutally honest about my fears, my doubts, my guilt, even my shame for my unbelief. Though I was drawing near to Him, I felt like a stranger at church because I had convinced myself that others would judge me because of my doubts and fear.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

My mom was always asking me, “Are you truly seeking God first?” She could tell how broken I was and how much I was hurting. So, at church one Sunday, she reached out to a trusted Sunday school teacher, Shane Thornton, and shared her concern and my dilemma with him. She knew how much I respected him. After the service, Shane took the time to talk with me. He reassured me of my faith and reminded me how God is so much bigger than my thoughts or doubts, and He’s always close to hold us and help us through. Everything in this world revolves around Him, is about Him, and His glory. All of it, including His return. Shane reassured me about my readiness for that glorious day with this verse—a verse that changed my life:  

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13

Saying, “I’m thankful for the anxiety,” is not something I thought I would ever say. But I can see now how God used my anxious heart to transform not only my mind, but my family’s life. It was because of my doubts and questions that I began reading books on Christian Doctrine, Theology, and Apologetics.

My husband, who never read before, is now reading and studying along with me. We have developed an even stronger, more confident foundation in Christ to rest on, so when the time comes, we can help guide our daughter through her own questions and doubts as well as others.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6

Are you experiencing an anxious heart today? Take courage. God is using your present situation to strengthen you and shape you into who He wants you to be. Seek the Lord. Put Him first, and trust His promises. As James tells us: 

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness… so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

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