Why It’s Good to Doubt God

About a year ago, I posted on my old website a lecture I gave at Asuza Pacific University on the role of doubt in the Christian life. Below is a greatly abbreviated version (half the length) of that lecture that cleans up some of the “oral” feel of the original lecture. Based on feedback I’ve received over the past year, I thought reposting it in this form would be of benefit to some.

The Benefit of Doubt

Doubting one’s faith in God is a very tough place to be. Faith in God is what keeps it all together when you are facing one of life’s many challenges things.

Sometimes things happen in our lives—it may be one big catastrophe or a line of smaller things that pile up—and you start having a lot of doubts. At first, when you have those disruptive thoughts, you try to push them to the side, hoping they’ll just go away, before God notices.

They don’t and he doesn’t.

So you feel your faith in God slipping away—and it is unsettling, disorienting, and frightening to watch that happen. You doubt that God cares, that he is listening; you doubt that he is even aware of who you are—that he even exists.

In such a state of doubt about God, you feel like there is clearly something very wrong with you.

“Maybe I’m not smart enough. Maybe I’m a faker. Maybe I haven’t memorized enough Bible verses. Maybe I need to go to church more often.”

Whatever it is, you’re doing something wrong. It’s all your fault.

And so we do the only thing we have been taught to do. We do everything in our power to get out of that state of doubt as quickly as we can. For some, if doubt persists, they live lives of quiet desperation, ashamed or afraid to speak up. Others simply walk away from their faith.

Surely, doubt is the enemy of faith, right?

To have faith means you don’t doubt, right?

Doubt is a spiritually destructive force that tears you away from God, right?


There is a benefit of doubt.

Doubt can do things spiritually that nothing else can do.

Sometimes we think of our faith as a castle—safe, comfortable, familiar. But what if God doesn’t want us to be comfortable and safe? What if comfortable and safe keep God at a distance?

Doubt tears down the castle walls to force us on a journey. It may feel like God is far away or absent when in fact doubt is a gift of God to move us to spiritual maturity.

Doubt is not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth.

Doubting God is painful and frightening because we think we are leaving God behind, but we are only leaving behind the idea of God we like to surround ourselves with—the small God, the God we control, the God who agrees with us.

Doubt forces us to look at who we think God is.

If we’re honest, we all think we’ve God figured out pretty well. We read the Bible and maybe memorize some of it. We go to church a lot. Maybe even lead Bible studies or something.

We’re doing great, and God must certainly be impressed.

It is so very easy to slip into this idea that we have arrived—that we really think we’ve got all the answers and that we almost possess God.

We know what church he goes to, what Bible translation he reads, we know how he votes, we know what movies he watches and books he reads. We know the kinds of people he approves of.

God happens to like all the things we like. We feel like we can speak for God very easily.

All Christians who take their faith seriously sooner or later get caught up in that problem. We begin to think that God really is what we happen to think he is. There is little more worth learning learn about the creator of the cosmos. No need. God is the face in the mirror.

By his mercy, God doesn’t leave us there—and doubt is God’s way of helping that happen.

“I want you to die constantly.” — God

Doubt is experienced as distance from God. But that doesn’t mean that God is dying for us. Doubt signals that we are in the process of dying to ourselves and to our ideas about God.

Jesus talks about that. He says, ”take up your cross” and ,”lose your life so you can find it” (Matt 10:38-39)

Paul talks about being crucified with Christ—“I no longer live, Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20); or “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).

All that talk of dying and being crucified and hidden does not describe a one-time moment of conversion. It describes a required daily mode of Christian living—where you surrender control—all the time.

Dying is a normal mode of Christian existence, and doubting is a common way to get the dying process moving. And when you are in that process, God feels far away—but that is when he may be closer to you than he ever was.

Don’t run away from doubt. Don’t fight it. Don’t think of it as the enemy. Pass through it—patiently… and honestly… and courageously…. When you are in doubt, you are in a period of transformation.

Welcome it as a gift—which is hard to do to if your entire universe is falling down around you. God is teaching you to trust him, not yourself. He means to have all of you, not just the surface, going to church, volunteering part. Not just the part people see, but the part no one sees.

Not even you.

The Dark Side of the Bible

God wants you to doubt? Really? What about John 20:31: “These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

John seems to be saying, “If you know your Bible, you won’t doubt but believe. So Christian, if you doubt, you just don’t know your Bible well enough. Your faith is weak. Maybe go to one more Bible study that week.”

But think of this from another angle. Jesus himself had his moments where he doubted God and God was very distant from him—God abandoned him—and he knew his Bible very well.

In the garden and on the cross, Jesus said what psalm after psalm says: “God where are you? I don’t see you anywhere. Are you even there? I am giving up all hope.”

That one passage in John doesn’t cover everything. It just means that John wrote his Gospel so people could see how great Jesus was and put their trust in him. It does not imply “henceforth thou shalt be a perfect faith machine and never doubt.”

Also, I don’t expect the New Testament to say, “Doubt is God’s way of making you grow.” The New Testament doesn’t answer every question we might have for all time. It describes the early mission of the church.

The Old Testament is another matter. The Old Testament records Israel long history of day-to-day life with God. And the Old Testament writers aren’t shy about the dark side of their faith.

For example, the Psalms talk about God’s distance. In nearly half of the 150 psalms, something has gone wrong—some barrier has arisen between Israel and faith in God. At times, the psalmist feels abandoned by God and he is holding on by a thread.

One example is Psalm 88. In summary, here is what the psalm says: “God, I have been on my knees to you night after night. I am so troubled, and in so much agony, I might as well be dead. I am absolutely without hope…and you don’t care. All night and all day I call to you—I’m on my knees—but nothing. I am in absolute pain and the only friend I have is darkness.”

Feel free to call this a faith crisis.

Maybe he doesn’t know his Bible well enough. Maybe he needs to go to another Bible study so he can learn you shouldn’t feel this way, let alone talk this way. I mean, what’s wrong with him and his weak faith?

This “abandoned by God” experience is in the Bible because it is valued as part of normal Christian experience. John Calvin said that the Psalms are a “mirror of the soul.” Sometimes the soul looks like Psalm 88. If your soul ever looks like Psalm 88, at least know that you are good company.

Another example is Psalm 73. Basically this is what the psalm is about: “Yeah I know how the system works: God blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked. I’ve read the Bible. I’ve been to Hebrew school. I get it. My problem isn’t that I have forgotten what the Bible says. My problem is that what the Bible says doesn’t work.”

This writer goes on and on about how the Bible says that God is supposed to bless the faithful and punish those who are not. But he looks around him and sees the exact opposite. The wicked and arrogant, they are healthy, strong, they prosper. But he’s doing his best, and—nothing. “I am wasting my time. Why bother? The world makes sense without you. Hey God, if you were there Donald Trump wouldn’t own half of new York City and homeless shelters wouldn’t be struggling for every dollar.”

The dark places of the Bible connect with the dark places of our souls.

I know a lot of people raised in the church who are like the writer of Psalm 73—but they are afraid to talk about it.

They have heard sermons and Bible studies their whole lives where they were taught to think of the world in a certain “Christian” way, and then maybe in high school, maybe in college, they begin to see that it’s more complicated. Then there is a major disconnect between what they had been taught and what they see. Faith is no longer a convincing way of explaining the world, and so they leave it.

When you feel like that, realize that you are right where so many of the writers of the Psalms are—not to mention Ecclesiastes and Job.

Your period of doubt has value—to move you further on in the journey, even when you feel like you’ve left the path altogether

Doubt gets you moving.

Listen to Some Deep People

Embrace the doubt. Call it your friend. God is leading you on a journey.

Spiritual masters of the Christian church caught on to this long ago. It is not a part of the contemporary Protestant scene as much (with exceptions, of course), which is a shame.

Many (especially Protestant) Christians tend to intellectualize the faith—we live in our heads. Our faith tends to rest in what we know, what we can articulate, what we can defend, how we think. We tend to place “thinking” over “being” rather than the other way around.

That is why doubt for people like us is the great enemy. We spend a lot of effort in removing doubt. Our world is flooded with books and apologetics organizations whose job it is to give the answers quickly and easily—no struggle, no doubt—all this Jesus stuff, piece of cake.

That attitude robs us of a spiritual experience that you can’t avoid anyway and that wiser Christians, since almost the beginning of Christianity, have told us is vital for the Christian life.

This experience of deep doubt is sometimes referred to as the “dark night of the soul.” That expression has come to us through the writings of two sixteenth century Spanish Catholic mystics: John of the Cross and his mentor Teresa of Avila.

Many people have spent their lives thinking about what these and other mystics wrote concerning their experiences of God. I am not one of them, but I am learning. Let me boil down what they are saying.

The “dark night” is a sense of painful alienation and distance from God that causes distress, anxiety, discouragement, despair, and depression. All Christians experience this sooner or later—some more intensely than others, some for longer times than others. But the feeling is the same: they lose their sense of closeness to God and conclude that they no longer have faith. And so they despair even more.

St. John’s great insight is that this dark night is a special sign of God’s presence. Our false god is being stripped away, and we are left empty before God—with none of the familiar ideas of God that we create to prop us up.

The dark night takes away the background noise we have created in our lives in order to prepare us to hear God’s voice later on—in time, when God deems we are ready.

When the dark night comes upon us, we are asked simply to surrender to God and trust him anyway. The reason St. John calls this a dark night is very important: it is because you have no control over what is happening. That is a very important piece in all of this, because people want to control.

Imagine, like the Chilean miners, being all alone in a deep dark cave, miles down, with absolutely not a single ray of light—utterly pitch black. You have no idea where you are or how to get out. All you know is that you are helpless. You try to find your way, you grope, but nothing. You start walking slowly at first, and then you realize that wherever you are, it is big, dark, flat, and you can’t do anything about it.

You are out of control. The point of the dark night has done its job.

Listen to Another Really Deep Person

In 1975, the Jesuit philosopher, John Kavanaugh, went to work for three months at the “house of the dying” in Calcutta with Mother Teresa.

He was searching for an answer to some spiritual stuggles. On his very first morning there, he met Mother Teresa. She asked him, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked.

He answered with the request that was the very reason he traveled thousands of miles to India: “Pray that I have clarity.” Mother Teresa said firmly, “No. I will not do that.”

When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.”

When Kavanaugh said, “You always seem to have clarity,” Mother Teresa laughed and said, “I have never had clarity. What I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

The point of the dark helpless place is to strip us of absolutely everything so that only surrender and trust remain. That is the daily and severe Christian calling

Are you one of those people who wonders why you can’t just be a happy Christian like your roommate or that lady in church? Listen to Mother Teresa. Apparently, she was in her dark night from 1948 until near the time of her death in 1997, with perhaps some interludes in-between.

You know all that great things she did? Don’t think her dark night wasn’t somehow connected to how she spent her life. You might even say that “spiritual greatness” and the dark night go hand in hand—you must pass through the one to get to the other. She learned trust—not certainty—trust in God. And all of that poured out to the people around her.

We’ve heard this many times: “Let go and let God.” It’s true—but “letting go” might be more than we bargained for. We must be taught, for we will not willingly go there ourselves.

When we are not letting go, when we try to stay in control of something, cling to something as Mother Teresa says, that’s when God turns off the light and makes it dark—not because he is against us, but because he is for us.

Being out of control is another way of saying “dying to yourself.” When we are out of control, that is when God can speak to us—without all of the layers of stuff we have piled up inside of us. God puts us out of our control so that we can learn to trust—like Mother Teresa said—not “believe” or “have faith” but something deeper and harder:


You can only trust when you have let go completely, when you don’t try to control. When we learn to trust God out of our emptiness,

  • when God is out of our control,
  • when God becomes God more deeply in us,
  • when we surrender and trust,

we become liberated from our attachments, from our fears, and we learn to live with freedom and joy.

That is the Christian journey.

We see this even in our relationships with each other. You cannot have a truly growing, intimate relationship with another if one person is trying to control the other. That destroys true intimacy.

If we are trying to control God, what do you think he is going to do? Rather than leave the relationship entirely he may initiate a period of separation, a period of absence, a period of darkness—so that we can learn that in this relationship we have to surrender, we have to let go of control.

One cannot have contentment in the Christian life without the darkness. Dying is the only path to resurrection, and that is the only way of knowing God. There is no shortcut. Jesus himself is our model for this.

I think that is the heart of Paul’s mysterious words in Phil 3:10. Knowing Christ means experiencing both the power of his resurrection and participating in his sufferings, being made like him in his death. Death and life. Both are part of the Gospel life. It’s a package deal


When your faith has no room for doubt, then you are just left with—religion, something that takes its place in your life among other things—like a job and a hobby, something soft and comfortable.

Doubt is God’s way of helping you not go there.


On God, Shooting Children, and Still Having no Answers
stories work for "skeptical believers"
the gift of darkness (or, why being bored in church might be God telling you something)
"Where was God when my brother was freezing to death on Mt. Hood?"
  • Rachel Vendsel

    Thank you very much for sharing this article, Pete. You articulated what I have been feeling out by instinct in my counseling practice. I love how you explain the benefits and even the gift of doubt. I think these thoughts could contribute significantly to the way we think about the broader concept of suffering. You said:

    “Many (especially Protestant) Christians tend to intellectualize the faith—we live in our heads. Our faith tends to rest in what we know, what we can articulate, what we can defend, how we think. We tend to place “thinking” over “being” rather than the other way around.

    That is why doubt for people like us is the great enemy. We spend a lot of effort in removing doubt. Our world is flooded with books and apologetics organizations whose job it is to give the answers quickly and easily—no struggle, no doubt—all this Jesus stuff, piece of cake.”

    I think it’s also true that we tend to sentimentalize our faith, and we spend a lot of effort in removing pain and suffering, in pursuing comfortable lives. So when we encounter true pain, we feel similarly lost. But the pain — if we have the courage to stay in it and not run from it — can be an equally powerful gift from God.

    At any rate, thanks for sharing your thoughts, they are very helpful. I will be using them in my counseling work.

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Rachel. This is all one of the mysteries of the faith, and of life, I think, not adequately addressed in some sectors of Christianity.

  • Rachel Vendsel

    p.s. In my experience, a person who is experiencing doubt/pain/loss is usually not ready or able to hear that their current experience is a gift. For helpers and counselors, it is better to just sit with the person in their questions and pain, incarnating the love of Christ without words or answers. Patiently. The “dark night of the soul” may be a dark year of the soul. Or years. And that’s ok.

    Sometimes the Psalmists wrestle with their pain in a Godward direction but not always and that’s ok, too. Ps. 88 doesn’t say, “Darkness is my closest companion, but then I realized that really God is with me.” Darkness is my closest companion, period. Maybe God put those words there to teach us that the darkness really must be utter and complete for it to do its work.

    • peteenns

      I agree.

    • JenG

      I hear you completely. I’ve been in a “dark night” for dark years – but when I found this article (old version) earlier this year, I cried because I felt hope for the first time that maybe all this doubt wasn’t a sign that God moving away, but actually moving closer. That maybe doubt was a sign that I was on the right path, not the wrong one. And that maybe one day I’d see some light at the end of this long, long tunnel.

  • JenG

    Thanks for re-posting this – I’d stumbled on the original post earlier this year and it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. I’m sure that will be the case again for others reading it today!

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Jen. I reposted because the older version was over 5000 words and had too much of a repetitive oral vibe (I super repeat myself when I speak). I think this gets to the point more quickly. I appreciate your comments!

  • C. Ehrlich

    It might be helpful to try to clarify the bigger picture here–to specify when doubt is actually bad (as when threatens to damn one’s soul), and to say how to distinguish good doubt from bad doubt. What mistake is the atheist making in regarding her own doubt as good and healthy? What of the Christian whose doubt seems to be leading her towards atheism?

    I wonder if it’s a mistake to talk of doubt so generally, without specifying its particular objects. Doubting the existence of God, or the truth of the Christian faith, is often a different experience than simply doubting some more particular idea about God. “Doubting one’s faith in God” is often very different still.

    • Dan

      I agree with this. At times, I think it may be necessary to posit that there are possible explanations, even if they can’t be articulated at this point in time; that the cross is there, and that’s what matters (and to clarify, I’m not speaking from a counseling perspective like Elena).

      As for this post by Dr. Enns, thank you for posting this. I’ve been in my own dark period recently and it was comforting.

      • peteenns

        This is such a common experience, Dan. The only question I have is why it is so hard to admit this or talk about it. That may be a problem of our contemporary expressions of Christianity–with a little western “success” narrative thrown in. Who knows.

    • peteenns

      Cannot even doubt in God’s existence be the very thing some people need, because the God they have in mind is a not God but simply a mirror of themselves?

      • C. Ehrlich

        It is true people that can doubt the existence of God while having a substandard conception of God. It is plausible that such doubt could lead to a better outcome. However, instead of doubting the existence of God in such a case, it would presumably be better to simply reconsider one’s conception of God. So, relative to this obvious alternative, doubting God’s existence is presumably bad. Doubting God’s existence is not something that anyone so situated plausibly needs.

        • peteenns

          My feeling is that it is very hard for people to have that self-awareness of their private mini-me god until they are in the throes of some deep pain.

  • http://www.atheistamongthem.com atat

    I enjoyed this article, and found it very appropriate to my current transition in life…I have one question surface as I read however.

    How do you know the difference between god guiding you to trust him through a period of doubt (as you summarize), and simply no god at all?

    • peteenns

      You don’t know.

      • http://jbyas.com Jared Byas

        And thus we have the birth of faith…

      • http://www.atheistamongthem.com atat

        …I was hoping you would have an answer that is different from the one I came up with on my own :-)

        Perhaps you are intentionally being brief so as to lead me to a more obvious follow-up question, so I’ll bite…

        If we “don’t know”, what is it that leads us to choose one choice over the other? I know most ‘believers’ would say faith…but then then why faith in one and not the other? Since we are all so accustomed to making what is a “more probable” choice, should I assume that by choosing the least likely of the two I have more faith, thereby enabling me to have more trust? How long should we “suspend our (dis)belief” in the name of trust before we consider we may in fact be wrong about the issue?

        I’m not expecting to answer this question any time soon, I know it will be different for everyone…just sharing the dilemma I currently see with the situation your article describes. I am happy you have started blogging, I am/have been a fan of your writing & work. Looking forward to see more of your influence in the current state of Christianity and it’s homeschooling community as well.

        • peteenns

          “If we “don’t know”, what is it that leads us to choose one choice over the other?”

          I don’t know.

  • Don Johnson

    I think Voltaire wrote something like “God created man in His image, and man has been trying to return the favor ever since.”

    One’s faith can be an idol and God is in the idol smashing business. It can be an idol when one adds things that are not God to God or subtracts things from God. In the USA, there is a so-called prosperity “gospel”, where God wants to make us rich! This is a very obvious idol, where God and mammon merge; but there are also other idolatrous images of “God”.

  • Curt

    If it is good to doubt god then why is it bad to not believe in him?

    • peteenns

      I am speaking of doubt as part of the Christian journey, an experience that is, I would say, universal among Christians working their way through the ups and downs of life. I am speaking to how one can negotiate those periods of doubt and darkness when they inevitably come.

    • Milo Coladonato

      To answer your question, it isn’t bad not to believe in God. We have been inculcated to believe by our institutions and families that you must believe in God or there is something wrong with you. This expectation has put upon us a very serious psychological burden. There are many people like myself who have worked very hard to believe and have faith only to realize that it isn’t there in the first place. I do not feel the least bit empty or inadequate because or it. It was in was in the throws of faith that caused some of the problems I no longer have. I noticed that no one answered your question so I thought I would add my comment, whatever it is worth. Thanks for asking the question Curt.

  • Tony M

    Fantastic post! Thank you for sharing this. It has been very helpful to me.

  • http://achorusofehoes.wordpress.com Jonathan

    I’ve been through journey’s where i’ve gone through doubt and like what you said, we all try to get out of it as fast as possible. Going that route is worse still from my point of view. At this point in my life, i’m going through some major shifts and sometimes i feel like im slipping in and out of believing and doubting. Ecclesiastes has given me a breath of fresh air and im looking forward to reading your commentary on that. But what I valued most here is what you mentioned about dying to a safe view of God to one that we can’t really tame. Thanks for this post, I’m glad I read this. Give me perspective through this tough time.

    • peteenns

      Thanks for sharing a bit of your journey, Jonathan.

  • Phil Taylor

    Thanks for the article. Very helpful and encouraging to me.

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Phil.

  • Dinah

    this is one of the most brilliant articles I have read on this subject (in current writing) …. and it so needed to be said.
    from my own experience, the “dark night” comes not just from doubt but also from suffering and depression (e.g. Job) ….. I suffer from depression, and thought I have never doubted the existence of God, yet I have cried out “why have you abandoned me?” …… and received no answer for a long, long time.
    Another example I think is Billy Graham’s crisis of faith …. when he had no answers but trusted God anyway.
    thank you for this

    • peteenns

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Dinah.

  • EricG

    The original version of this came out when I was diagnosed with cancer a year ago, and was very helpful to both me and my wife. I also like Rachel’s comments above.

  • http://mikeblyth.blogspot.com Mike Blyth

    But isn’t doubt in this sense of uncertainty or disbelief something that is generally seen negatively in the Bible? If so, how can we feel assured that it is somehow normal or what God is doing in us rather than a failure on our part?

    • peteenns

      Mike, in places yes, but the Bible speaks diversely on this–which is a good thing, as it reflects different moods and seasons in our lives. Did you read the post? I touch on doubt in the Bible a bit.

      • http://mikeblyth.blogspot.com Mike Blyth

        Oh, yes, I certainly read the post! I realize there are many instances of doubt in the Bible, though I think it may be a stretch to say that Jesus doubted God’s presence and very existence. That’s not inconsistent with the record, but I don’t think it’s required, at least if God did actually abandon Jesus in some sense during the crucifixion. He clearly struggled in the garden, but we’re not given details of the process, but it’s not apparent that he doubted God himself at that point. But we don’t need to debate that point because it is only one instance among many.

        I’m not trying to split hairs or argue that doubt is always bad. I’m really trying to see how this all works, remembering that not everything godly people experienced was necessarily normative or good. It’s clear that David and Job struggled with the goodness of God and the reason for their suffering. While their suffering was part of God’s plan, and while we know that it strengthens and purifies us, was their doubt itself the right response? If not “right,” then was is perhaps an inevitable stage?

        I would be the last one to say that a godly person never doubts or struggles with God. At the same time, there are so many exhortations to have faith, to believe and trust, and so many warnings against doubt and disbelief, that it is hard not to see it as dangerous. I’m more comfortable acknowledging my doubt as a weakness (“I believe, help my unbelief,” or even “I don’t believe, help my unbelief”) than seeing it as inevitable or appropriate. Do you think seeing it as a weakness is wrong?

  • http://citypilgrims.blogspot.com will pareja

    First, thanks for your article. I’ve been recently stretched and benefited from some of your writings.
    Second, this (providential) re-posting of your original article comes during a time in my life in which that “line of smaller things is piling up” and tickling those chords of my heart to doubt the goodness of our Father. Again, I am served by your thoughts.
    Third, here are some random beefs or questions…

    “Faith is no longer a convincing way of explaining the world, and so they leave it.”
    Is it God’s “fault” if someone leaves THE faith or if there is a lapse in THEIR faith?

    “Your period of doubt has value—to move you further on in the journey, even when you feel like you’ve left the path altogether.”
    At some point, a person must reckon with the hope of the gospel in light of their sin and doubt. I completely agree that “doubt has value to move you further on in the journey” but the key phrase is “further on”. That is what St. James elucidates: testing (w/ all its doubt and pain) produces endurance which keep you furthering on. However, I don’t see how doubt carried “value” for the wilderness generation in Numbers.

    Also, it is helpful to distinguish (pastorally, at least) between faith as ONE’S exercise of trust and THE faith (once for all delivered to the saints, Jude 3).

    “…doubt is a gift of God to move us to spiritual maturity”- I think this needs some clarifying. What is doubt? Is doubt neutral or innocent? By doubt (as being a gift of God), do you mean trials/testings? Is doubt a subset or an assumption in our trials? If so, I agree w/ your statement for that coheres with some of the epistolary material. I gather that the intent of your address/article is meant to clarify the place of doubt in Christian experience since many get hung up on their doubt. However, in that attempt, it seems (to me) that you might have exalted the place of doubt in Christian experience. Maybe that is in part b/c I’m preparing to speak on James 1: “for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is drive and tossed by the wind” leading to(???)… double-mindedness and instability.
    Thank you, sir, for considering these thoughts.

    • peteenns

      Will, I appreciate your thoughts and questions. Think of it this way. The questions you ask are all “Yeah but how do I know” questions, which are questions that can only be resolved in the process of working through one’s own struggle. That is not an evasive answer but, I feel, the key to the whole matter. Also, as I think I mentioned in my post, I do not expect the NT to cover every exigency re: the spiritual journey.

  • http://www.godlovesteenagers.com Steve Austin

    Peter, thanks so much for this Truth!

    This is truly one of the best articles I’ve ever read on the subject, and I appreciate the fact that you didn’t sugar coat this aspect of Christianity.

    I’ve copied the intro and put a link to this article on my website. It will be a great challenge for them to read this!

    Steve Austin

    • peteenns

      Thanks, Steve. As a father of a 24, 21, and 18 year old, I know that teenagers don’t tolerate inauthenticity.

  • Brad

    This is the MOST.. and I mean MOST powerful form of encouragement I have ever seen.. I am literally crying right now and I really don’t know why.. I have these experiences every now and then. I have been struggling with reading the Bible and I feel like the stereotypical Christian lifestyle is something very different from what Jesus Christ has to offer, I have felt like I have been in the dark and I want to get in touch with something greater. If you could offer me some advice in which direction I should head from here please do so, I am having trouble letting go and I need help. I truly do.. Thank you so much. God Bless You.

    • peteenns

      Thanks for your comment, Brad. What a journey you are on! I know what you mean when you say “advice” but in a sense, this whole dark time is a process where advice is not always helpful. It also is important to have a community that respects your journey and will walk with you because they have walked (are walking) that road, too.

  • Tesia

    Thank you so much for this. I haven’t had hope in a long time.

  • http://writtenstraw.wordpress.com Erica Bonnell

    Thanks for the comment on my post regarding doubt and faith. I appreciate the link to your own site, which I will check back from time to time for insight and inspiration.