Joining The Ranks of the Doubters

Renee Ann Smith —  July 13, 2015 — 18 Comments

When I find myself filled with doubts about what God’s doing

Or not doing

Or whether He even notices me down here on earth struggling to make my life count,

I take comfort from the testimonies of those who have gone before. Their transparency reminds me that I’m not alone.

Consider the vulnerability of C. S. Lewis, who wrote in a letter:

“I have no rational ground for going back on the arguments that convinced me of God’s existence.

But the irrational deadweight of my old skeptical habits, and the spirit of this age, and the cares of the day, steal away all my lively feeling of the truth.

Often when I pray I wonder if I am not posting letters to a non-existent address. Mind you I don’t think so—the whole of my reasonable mind is convinced: but I often feel so.”

Be assured that doubting is not sin. Author and pastor, Erwin Lutzer gave me a good way to verbalize this. In The Vanishing Power of Death (a book I recently read & loved), he writes:

“By doubt, I do not mean unbelief.

They appear to be the same, but there are differences.

Unbelief has been defined as rebellion against evidence that we cannot or will not accept.

But doubt is simply stumbling over a stone that we do not yet understand.

Unbelief—especially the hardened variety—is kicking at a stone that we understand all too well.”

 As C. S. Lewis points out, honest doubting—taking our questions to God while remaining open to His answers—can even strengthen our faith. 

“If ours is an examined faith, we should be unafraid to doubt.

If doubt is eventually justified, we were believing what clearly was not worth believing.

But if doubt is answered, our faith has grown stronger.

It knows God more certainly and it can enjoy God more deeply.”

I so appreciate the insights of these godly men. I can tell they’ve ‘been in my shoes.’

If God weren’t so important to me, 

If I hadn’t given my whole life to following Him,

If I didn’t hang all my hopes on salvation and eternity,

Maybe then I would silence my doubts and move on to some easier way to live.

But I continue to walk His path, stumbling over hard truths as I go.

And periodically He reminds me that my wavering does not diminish Him in any way.

Because God is big enough—and gracious enough—to handle my doubts.

Doubts C S Lewis

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

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Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

18 responses to Joining The Ranks of the Doubters

  1. Loving all the references to C.S. Lewis. He could capture a thought in the most amazing and memorable way! Thanks for your good thoughts here!

  2. thank you for sharing Pastor Erwin Lutzer’s thoughts on doubt and unbelief being different and articulating in such a way what doubt is… “But doubt is simply stumbling over a stone that we do not yet understand.” Plus CS Lewis anytime is great. 🙂 Blessings to you – I am stopping by from Sharing His Beauty

  3. Loved your thoughts and the C.S. Lewis graphic quote. I like that thought that God is big enough to handle my doubts.
    Blessings for this one~

  4. Hi Renee,
    I loved this post on doubt! I remember many years ago a pastor asking our small group whether we had experienced doubt and is it wrong. I had to honestly answer that I had never ever for even a second had doubt. I was the only one! As the years have come to pass, I saw a perspective that I never dreamed I would. At that point in my life I had no doubt, but I took the Lord for granted. I knew He was there, but I wasn’t in the details. As I matured in faith and experienced huge restoration to my life, that has all changed. During challenging seasons, yes, I have doubted. But it drives me to know Him better. To know His Word. His character. His Will!
    I’m so glad I was your neighbor at #playdateswithGod!
    Blessings and smiles,

  5. Because God is big enough—and gracious enough—to handle my doubts. I love this sentence for God never loves less with those who doubt. Of course we are going to doubt at times, we are not perfect yet as Jesus was and even He ask the Father, if it be your will. Great post.

  6. Very thought provoking. I like what C.S. Lewis said….”By doubt, I do not mean unbelief”. No matter how strong our faith is, how long we have been following Christ, we all doubt a little!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing these insights.

    One of the scenes I most relate to in the movie Christiana (The sequel to Pilgrim’s Progress) is when she looks over at Doubting Castle and says, “I believe, help my unbelief” of course parroting the Bible verse.

    How many times have I said this to myself as well.

    I never thought about it the way C.S. Lewis articulated it,

    “As C. S. Lewis points out, honest doubting—taking our questions to God while remaining open to His answers—can even strengthen our faith. ”

    I may not have thought about it that way, but in reflection, I can see where God has done that many, many times. 🙂

  8. Renee, I love how Erwin Lutzer explains the difference between doubt and unbelief. I’ve never heard it put quite that way and it really makes sense. And this: “And periodically He reminds me that my wavering does not diminish Him in any way.” So true, and so comforting to know! Your neighbor at #TellHisStory…

  9. Many years ago, a Pastor asked me if I ever doubted that Heaven would be my home? Boldness rose up within me, and I declared to him, “Absolutely NO doubts whatsoever.” I questioned to my self why this pastor would even ask me such a question – – – Perhaps he was the one with doubts.
    Doubt take many forms. We doubt if God will heal me, we doubt that the finances will arrive on time, We doubt that this old world will turn and receive a flood of revival. However – let us be assured that those type of doubts originate from our enemy who would be joyous and happy if we would take those doubts and consider them ours. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  10. C.S. Lewis has such a way of putting things. Love the quote about the lunatic and the cell. I’m thankful God can handle our doubts, we’re the ones that have the hard time.

  11. I’m a worrier especially when it comes to my loved ones but I always find the comfort in the thought that God got my back. Doubting does nothing to help us really. This is a beautiful reminder of keeping our faith. 🙂

  12. Hey Renee,

    Hope you are doing well today. I came over on Works for Me, and I get to read one of your posts again! We seem to be posting at the same times each week!

    What a great word about doubt and the bigness or God. I love this quote, “Because God is big enough—and gracious enough—to handle my doubts.” I’m so glad for that!

    I added your picture to this link:

    Hope you have a blessed day~

  13. It’s always nice to know that I’m not alone as I question. Is God with me? Is this His plan? I don’t like what path He has me on, but I know that I can do all things while we walk it together. Thanks for this reminder. Be blessed.

  14. Indeed, He can handle all our doubts, all our question. #livefree

  15. Amen. Thank you for bringing this topic up -what assurance and comfort knowing that we can feel doubt and the like and still be believing and obeying! There is some distance between the head and the heart.

    Thank you for writing and sharing what’s on your heart! Glad to be your #ThoughtProvokingThursday neighbor!

  16. Renee, great post. 🙂 I love where you pointed out that: “…my wavering does not diminish Him in any way.” ~ Praise God. 🙂 So happy to be neighboring you today at the thought-provoking Thursday linkup. Glad to meet you. ~ blessings ~

  17. Your pinnable posts always make me smile. I love this quote from CS Lewis. Thanks, Renee!

  18. Hi Renee,
    I find Erwin Lutzer one of the greatest preachers of our day! My husband and I have been privileged to sit under him in person for one short week…it was like listening to Jesus, complete with a great display of a profound sense of humor! Aren’t we blessed that, in spite of this scary world, we are able to crawl up onto the lap of Jesus through gifted writers and speakers like Dr. Lutzer? jean bisnett rensselaer ny

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