What God Says About Doubt

Written By: Emme Showler


July 3, 2024

I remember the moment I deeply began to doubt my faith in Christ. It was a couple of months after my cousin passed away unexpectedly. I had just started an internship with the Woodside Leadership Institute and was sitting in one of our weekly teaching intensives. I remember listening to the speaker talk about Jesus and His attributes, I sat and thought, “How could God be good if He took away my cousin so soon.”

As soon as this doubt entered my mind, I felt ashamed. I tried to shut down the endless thoughts that entered my mind: ‘You know better than this; how could you doubt a faith you’ve known for your whole life? You know God is good despite the hardship you’re facing.’ I kept all these inside me for fear that if anybody found out I was having doubts about believing in Christ and His goodness, I would be judged or even told I wasn’t a Christian if I doubted.

This period of my life was filled with darkness. My thoughts felt like I was wandering through the shadows of death, and anger was shielding my vision. I was upset, and I was bitter. I felt like my doubts had taken over, and they made sense. I began to believe that God didn’t love me, that God wasn’t good because if He was, why would he allow my cousin to die? The truths I had adhered to most of my life began to feel false and silly to continue to believe in. Quickly, I started to walk the road of leaving my faith in the dust.

I made a promise to myself that I would get through my yearlong internship — for the work experience, show up to church, serve in the areas I was serving, and do it with a smile — faking what I was feeling, putting on a mask and hiding what was really going on inside. I quickly fell into this frame of mind, walking a path that would ultimately lead me to deeper darkness. I had felt a tug to tell someone and to reach out for help, but I ignored it.

However, one afternoon, a woman I had met while serving in student ministry asked me to have dinner with her. I was very apprehensive about saying yes, but something in me felt the nudge to just go for it. So, I replied with a yes. When we met for dinner, I was nervous to talk to her. I knew she would ask how I was doing. I wanted to continue in my facade, but God had a different plan for me.

I sat in a random Panera Bread and poured my heart out to her. I was vulnerable and honest about how I was doing inside — and it was scary, but I know it was only God who pushed the words out of my mouth. I assumed she would shame me or condemn me for what I was walking through, but she did the complete opposite. She listened, understood, and accepted me as I was at that moment. She encouraged me, spoke Scripture over me, and pushed me to ask God.

So that’s what I did. I started asking God. It was initially uncomfortable because I thought God would be upset with me for doubting Him. And for wanting to walk away from Him. He led me to Psalm 31:5, which reads, “Into your hand, I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”

When I placed my doubts in His hands, He met me with gentleness. It was shocking to me, but it reestablished His character. While God walked me through this period of doubting, He taught me two truths:

1️⃣ God isn’t upset with us when we doubt.

After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples who saw Him were overjoyed. They ran off to tell the other disciples the good news. When the disciples told the others, Thomas did not believe them; he doubted. Thomas replied, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” John 20:25.

When Jesus revealed himself to Thomas, showing him that he had truly risen, Jesus did not get upset with Thomas. Instead, Jesus showed him the truth, leading him to believe. Christ could have become angry with Thomas for doubting and only believing from sight, but that is not Jesus’ character. He does not shame us for doubting but will lead us to find answers in His word or from others placed in our path.

2️⃣ God welcomes our doubts.

He cares about us. He knows disbelief is real, that our faith may lack, but He welcomes it. God would rather us come to Him with our doubts than walk further away from Him. He welcomes our doubts so that our faith in Him might grow deeper. He wants to show us His love in fresh ways.

When I was stuck in deep darkness after my cousin left this earth, I spent several days of my soul crying out, “How long, Oh Lord? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?” Psalm 13:1–2.

I realize now that God cares for me in my lowest moments — when I’m uncertain of Him or asking dozens of questions. He cares for me then, just as much as when I’m on the mountaintop.

If you are stuck in doubts and doubting your belief in Christ, might I encourage you to lay them out in front of God? He desires to meet you where you are, to show you His character, the truth of all He is, and the truth of His story. He may not always lead us to the answers, which is not always fun, but that is where our faith comes in. It’s like a free fall into Him. Our faith grows as we learn, seek, and trust Him more. He is not upset with you for doubting. He welcomes your doubts and loves you through the process. He won’t meet you with shame or condemnation but with gentleness and love. And He won’t leave you in doubt; He will carry you — you just have to reach out your hand for Him.

“Casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7