The Danger of Doubt

There may not be any greater danger to Christians today than spiritual doubt. When we doubt the promises, power, or even the presence of God, we are not only in danger of spiritual harm; we are in danger of being spiritually lost.

Spiritual doubt takes the place of our faith. Doubt and faith cannot coexist, and we see that throughout God’s word. When Peter chose to step out of the boat and walk across the water toward Jesus (Matthew 14), His faith in God and in Christ is what made that possible. When Peter saw the force of the winds, doubt entered his mind, and he began to sink. As Jesus pulled him up out of the water, He said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Peter’s doubt took the place of his faith.

Spiritual doubt is unnecessary. When Jesus asked, “Why?” it was not because He was curious to know Peter’s thoughts. Jesus asked that question rhetorically, making the point that Peter’s doubt was unnecessary. He had been told by Jesus, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid. Come!” (Matthew 14:27, 29), and yet the force of those winds and the fear of that storm led to doubt entering into Peter’s mind.

Spiritual doubt can be eliminated. We may all struggle with doubt from time to time in our lives, but the good news is that God’s word also gives us the remedy. When Peter became frightened and began to sink, instead of focusing on the wind or the waves, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). Peter chose to place his faith and trust in Christ. He chose to focus on Christ and God’s promises instead of anything else. In verse 31, the text tells us that “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him.”

Matt Langfield