I use to have this idea that my faith wasn’t real until I could get rid of my doubt. Among the many problems with this idea, the biggest was that I thought doubt was counter-productive to faith. You see, when I hide my doubts, I’m putting a fake face forward pretending that everything in my faith is coming naturally. In this process, I take for granted that God is bigger than my doubts. When I was finally brought to this realization, I realized it was time for me to redefine how I looked at faith. I now define it as belief beyond doubt. Hiding from my doubt does nothing except prolong the inevitable questioning of God. But, when I attacked doubt head on and asked God for guidance, that became me relying on God. It allowed me to tell God that I know He is bigger than me and bigger than my doubt.
C.S. Lewis talks about this idea of doubt in the eighth entry of the Screwtape Letters, saying from the perspective of a demon, “Our [hells] cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”
Doubt is not harmful to our faith unless we allow it to replace our faith or to force our masks on, pretending it’s not there. We need to address our doubts, but more importantly we need to rely on God for guidance through our doubt. Isaiah 30:20-23 does a fantastic job explaining this, saying, “The Lord will give you meager bread and water during oppression, but your Teacher will not hide Himself any longer. Your eyes will see your Teacher, and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” Then you will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-plated images. You will throw them away like menstrual cloths, and call them filth.” (Isaiah 30:20-23, HCSB)
We are going to have questions about our faith come along. It’s going to happen. But when we bring them to the feet of God, He won’t hide Himself anymore. He will tell us which way to walk. When we actually follow His instruction, our response will be to put Him first, throwing away anything that threatens to take His place. So our first step in addressing doubt is accepting that God is bigger than our doubt, and He can handle our questions. After accepting that, we then need to bring our doubts and questions to Him, trusting that He is God and furthermore will remain God. Doubt should not be an enemy to our faith, rather a tool to further our faith. Faith is about trusting beyond what we know, and that accepting God means to have faith. Trusting God as God means we have belief beyond our doubts. So, when your doubts come along, remember that God is big enough to handle your doubts, and He is going to lead you through it. All you need to do is listen and trust that He is bigger than your doubt.