The Key to True Faith in God

Faith is something that is talked about a lot amongst Christians. We tend to say things like,

“Have faith.”

“Hold onto your faith.”

What does it really mean to have faith, and how can we practically hold onto our faith in all seasons?

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// Dealing with Doubt //

Doubt. It creeps in and fills us with fear and anxiety. It causes us to question if God is really good, and it leaves us wavering in what we believe.

I recently read the story of Peter walking on the water, and I noticed something about doubt that I wanted to share with you today.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.  After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It’s a ghost!” and they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying “Cheer up! It is I! Don’t be afraid.” Peter answered him and said, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters.” He said, “Come!” Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.  Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of God!” // Matthew 14:22-33

I love how when Peter starts to doubt, and Jesus takes his hand, He asks him this question:

“You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31b, emphasis mine.)

This made me ask myself, why do we doubt?

We see in the passage above, Peter’s doubt came when he looked at the storm around him instead of looking at Jesus and trusting Him. Doubt comes when we feel uncertain and unsteady, when we aren’t sure of things and become timid and afraid. Most of all, doubt comes when we neglect to remind ourselves of who God is and take our eyes off of Him.

When we focus on the storm, all we see are the bad things going on in our life, and this causes us to doubt. It causes thoughts of fear, worry, and anxiety to flood our minds. This doubt knocks us down under the waves.

However, when we focus on and set our eyes on Jesus, the Author & Perfecter of our faith, when we make Him our solid ground, we are secure. We are safe. We are held by perfect love + know there is no reason to fear or worry.  

In every season, we must be looking to Jesus. We must be reading His Word and putting Truth in our hearts, so that when doubt comes we can push it aside with the Truth. I love this passage from Hebrews:

Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don’t grow weary, fainting in your souls. // Hebrews 12:1-3, emphasis mine

I think it can be so easy to get caught up in the bad things that are happening. When we focus on the things that happen to us and the things that are happening in the world around us, our soul can easily become downcast and down.

The above passage tells us to look to Jesus, and to consider Him who endured such contradiction of sinners who were against Him, so that we don’t grow weary and so our souls don’t faint. We must always, even in times of doubt, be seeking Jesus and looking to Him. When thoughts of doubt start to fill your mind, remind yourself who God is. Remind yourself He is with you. Remember that He is your solid ground, and that He always remains when life is unsteady. Fill your mind with TRUTH so that you will always have it in your heart.

Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. // Psalm 18:2

“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock.  The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock.  Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.  The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” // Matthew 7:24-27

To make Jesus your solid ground, to be able to deal with the doubt that will come, I encourage you to be in the Word, to truly know who your God is. Know His Word and His character and choose to redirect your thoughts to that whenever you feel afraid (2 Corinthians 10:5 // throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;). Build your life around Him and the Bible, learning from and living out His Word.

I also encourage you to give every little and big fear to Him. Tell Him if you are fearful, worried, or doubting. He will be your comfort as you run to Him. Don’t let doubt have control over you, for it is merely a feeling from the enemy that seems to be true. The only Truth is JESUS and who He is. Fear is simply false evidence appearing real. By God’s strength, it does not have control over you.

// Practical Points // 

  • Look to the Lord and seek Him first. Intentionally make time to spend with Him every day.
  • Focus on Truth and not doubt. When doubt comes, choose to redirect your thoughts to God and His Word. As it says in James 4, resist the devil, and he will flee, and draw near to God and He’ll draw near to you.
  • Build your life around Truth. Focus on learning more of and living out the Word and make it your solid ground. As you live out His Truth, you’ll be a safe and secure house built on the rock.

// Final Thoughts //

Do you struggle with doubt? What verses encourage you about who God is? How do you deal with doubtful thoughts?