The overwhelming feeling of doubt is one that we know too well, believers and unbelievers alike. It is a hindering feeling that affects one’s Christian life.
However the Bible is filled with scripture references to explain what happens as a result of doubt, and verses to help you to overcome doubt and build your faith.
What Does the Bible Say About Unbelief?
The Bible describes unbelief as a hindrance to the progress of one’s Christian life. This feeling of unbelief is having a lack of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And so to overcome unbelief, the Bible says we need to build a solid relationship with Him, and that is by hearing the Word of Christ(Romans 10:17), for that is where the righteousness of God is revealed.
And because of the goodness of the Lord, the Bible says He will have compassion on those who learn to fear Him.
Bible Verse for Doubt and Confusion
1 Confusion 14:33 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints.”
Sometimes we feel lost, confused, or feel like we have no idea what to do. And at times the Devil (the master of confusion) comes in, and plagues our minds, causing us to get confused and start doubting everything.
But the bible reminds us that the peace of God transcends all understanding. And so the next time we feel perplexed, it is important to stay planted in God’s Word because He promises to give us peace of mind.
James 1:5-8 “5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
When we suffer from doubt and lean on our own understanding we tend to enter into a world of confusion. We’re tossed here and tossed there because our mind becomes so unstable.
In this verse, James is describing a person who doubts is like a wave in the sea being tossed here and there by the wind. They have no anchor to hold them in place, and as such, they become double-minded especially when it’s a struggle in whether to trust God or not.
He is also saying that we cannot ask God for something and constantly ponder about. And so he is encouraging all of us that when we are struggling with doubt to ask God for wisdom, and whenever we ask anything of Him, we should approach the Lord God with an unwavering mind.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “ 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
This verse reminds me of a vision-impaired person. Think about it, they would have to have some amount of trust to allow a person to lead them to where they want to go. If they always count on their other senses or what they think they know, they might end up going in the wrong direction.
It is similar to our walk of faith, sometimes we are spiritually blind to the things that are ahead or around us. And when we have no trust it’s confusing to know which path to take. And so in all of our ways, our trust should come from a place of faith rather than doubt, and only then will our path be made straight.
Matthew 11:4-6 “Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
This verse speaks about John the Baptist who was locked in a cell because of his righteousness to God, and how, while locked up, was having moments of doubt.
The same John who was out in the streets boasting about How Jesus was the Lamb of God, (John 1:29–31) was now locked up, suffering at the hands of Herod, and being negatively influenced by the society he was caged in.
John must have wondered if God was who He said He was, why was he still in this position, and so he sent the disciples to question Jesus. Similar to how you feel sometimes, if Jesus is the omnipotent, powerful savior why are you suffering, why are our expectation not being met?
How did Jesus reply to John? Jesus sent back the disciples to reassure John about the prophecies they had witnessed, letting him know that yes, He was definitely the “Messiah.”
The lesson learned here is not about not having doubt but rather what to do when we are confused and doubtful, asking God for wisdom so that when doubt overshadow our beliefs, while there are a hundred reasons to doubt, we can have reasons to hope, no matter what situation we are locked up in.
Bible Verse to Conquer Doubt and Fear
Luke 24:38 “And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?”
In this verse, Jesus appeared to the disciples while they were talking, but because they didn’t know what to say, they were frightened, and maybe some of them wanted to quickly take off.
They were so doubtful that it was really Jesus, that they needed Him to show evidence that it was truly Him standing before them.
Saying that to say this, today, Jesus is asking you why are you troubled? Why are you afraid? (John 14:1) encourages you to not let your hearts be troubled, but to trust in God even when you don’t see or understand what’s in front of you.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
When the enemy comes up against us to destroy us, it is doubt that can render us powerless. Then pairing that with fear, it’s double trouble! The Word of the Lord never fails, and so take courage in knowing that “He is our refuge in times of trouble (Psalms 9:9).”
And because of God’s goodness, when we fall, He will lift us up out of the pit of destruction. So fear not, and don’t be discouraged for God is always with you.
Matthew 6:27 “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
In this Sermon on the Mount Jesus was speaking about the effect of anxiety, fear, and how constantly worrying about material things solves nothing. Not trusting in the future that God has planned for you, will force you to take some actions on your own.
And the constant distrust and worrying about what will happen tomorrow or next week and so forth will only amount to nothing but headaches.
It also says in verse 31 paraphrased, “Don’t worry about clothes or food or bills, or school fee, or anything like that, for your heavenly Father knows your needs, and so seek His kingdom and all these will be given unto you.”
Psalms 112:6-7 “6Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
The lesson told here is that in times of doubt we should hold our ground. Nothing in life will inevitably be easy, and life will surely try to throw hard balls at us.
In fact, the righteous are definitely not immune to hardship, and there seem to be obstacles around every corner, but we are encouraged to not let the fear of it paralyze us.
Yes, some of our loved ones will die, some will get sick, jobs will be lost, and so many others things that can go wrong will go wrong, but we have to fix our hearts on God.
And just remember Paul’s letter to us as believers “All things work together for the good of those who love Him,” and to add to that, those who fully trust Him.
Bible Verse on Doubt and Faith
Mark 11:23 “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
Faith is a very important concept in the Bible. It is what compels us to push on during the hard times. The Bible says faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
Doubt is the complete opposite. It is what the Bible describes as a wave being tossed around.
The verse here was Jesus’ promise to His disciples, passed down to us, that if you ask of anything, your faith shouldn’t be up and down or clothed with doubt, but believe that whatever difficulties (mountains) are standing in your way will be moved.
Mark 4:40 “40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
It is normal that when faced with danger, we feel like running for the hills. And for these fishermen, the sea that they were sailing on was rocking their boat and so they had to go wake Jesus saying:
“Teacher don’t you care if this boat collapses and we perish?” Their fear took over that night, they had forgotten that God had a job for them to do and wouldn’t let them perish without them fulfilling their purpose.
Like them, we too encounter similar storms in our lives, trials of various kinds, and it’s difficult sometimes to “stay calm.”
However, the Word of God says “Jesus arose and said “Peace be still,” and there was a great calm. So for there to be a stillness in our lives, we should not doubt God’s ability to give us peace. Have a little more faith!
Matthew 21:21 “And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”- Martin Luther King Jr. The true meaning of this metaphoric verse is to say that if you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to conquer whatever challenges that seem unmovable.
He encourages us that even when praying, we should do so with the utmost faith, leaning on the truth of God. And in your time of doubt, don’t forget about the power of strong faith.
Matthew 14:31-32 “31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.”
Doubt is indeed the opposite of faith, and the two terms can be seen being used together in the Bible, the same way good and bad or light and darkness is used.
Peter was seen here walking in the water when God told him to come out of the boat and come towards Him, but while going toward Jesus, he started doubting because the waves underneath him were getting rough and so he was beginning to sink.
Then Jesus asked Peter “Why is your faith so weak, where did this doubt come from?”
The lesson here of Peter walking on water was not to convince us that we should go out in the sea and attempt to walk on the water, but rather to show us what happens when doubt affects our faith.
What happens when our focus slips off of God, and lands on the fear of what’s happening around us. Jesus acknowledge the faith he stepped out with, but He was disappointed in what affected it along the way.
We must understand that doubt punctures faith, and without faith, our sea of trouble will drown us.
Romans 4:22 “20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
This verse speaks to the strong faith of Abraham. Abraham’s faith was not clouded by doubt but rooted firmly in the promises of God concerning his wife Sarah.
His faith did waver and grew even stronger with faith. He daily served God with joy and He rested in His love knowing that what He said will happen will happen.
And so we too should follow the example of Abraham, that God will not always answer our prayers when we need him to but we have to believe that He will answer them right on time.
Whatever red sea stands in the way of your blessings, God says stretch forth your rod in faith. And may “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”