How easy it can be to go from believing something to doubting it.
| It would certainly seem reasonable to describe doubt as the nemesis of faith. And is also most reasonable to note, that, when speaking of doubt, we are touch one of the great contradictions that may befall those who stand upon the greatest evidence and resolve.
All of this can be easily understood when you understand what doubt is. Doubt is that which keeps the mind suspended between to opposite propositions with the inability to hold to either one. Doubt is emotional indecision between belief and disbelief. Research show that doubt even has an impact on how our society works – or doesn’t work. Doubt may cause people to hesitate before acting. Within these split seconds of doubt, lives may be lost. To say such is in no way overstating or aggrandizing the situation. When doubt of government is pervasive in a particular society distrust and animosity rise up. At that point existing enemies seize upon this emotional turmoil and work their plans to strike while trust is waning.
Very often - if not most often – when the subject of faith arises it is normally prefaced in a spiritual context. This would seem most logical where you find the greater part of any population that considers themselves spiritual, regardless of what faith may be represented. But it is most important to realize that not all who profess a discipline of faith belong to the primary religions of the world. Some espouse no religion or deity whatsoever, and, yet, would still consider themselves spiritual, and therefore, faithful to whatever it is that they consider their spiritual element. Even so, doubts may arise. Even Atheists have a discipline of faith. This would be found true when you consider that the basic element of faith is trust. If you ask an Atheist if he trust in what he believes and he says that he does, that is, indeed, his faith. And, where there is faith, there is doubt.
Within the Christian church there are, no doubt, a great many professors of that faith who harbor significant doubts concerning the teachings of the Bible. Generally, however, they would rather their fellow believers remain ignorant that such doubts are entertained. And, although this spiritual uncertainty may constitute a scandal in the church wherein full assurance is the assumed and expected norm, it is, however, an all too prevalent fact church life.
There could be no doubt that people in this Twenty First Century have more reason to doubt their once held beliefs than ever they did before. And truly, when you give the idea of doubt more than just a passing thought, you begin to realize that doubt has a very insidious nature, as it is able to worm its way into virtually every facet of daily life. A wife may begin to wonder whether her husband is really working late when he said he wouldn’t be home for dinner. And whose number was that she found in his coat pocket? A teenager wonders whether Grandma really went to heaven as the preacher assured the family at the funeral. Should I look for a better paying job? Of course, the list goes on and on. And, if some people are not careful, they will begin to doubt everyone and everything. And much more than those many doubts, there can also be physical aspect to losing faith in expectations or held beliefs.
Psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl, who survived the Nazi concentration camps, said that when any prisoner lost hope in his future, he was doomed. With the loss of his spiritual hold he let himself decline into decay. How many today have too lost hope or faith in the future.
Now, for clarity sake we should remember that when we speak of faith it should always be juxtaposed with the concept of trust. Anyone can make faith more complicated, but it is, essentially, trust. As you study the history of what men have placed their faith in, doubt, as it were, has always had one within faith’s fort who was and is engaged in potential and treacherous undermining. If any felt himself secure behind his thick walls of ingrained assurance – it matters not in what – he would be remiss in failing to understand that those walls would prove a scant security if the great gate be opened from within. For herein does lie one of the enemies most valuable and protected secrets, that there is the most deadly and unrealized traitor working from within to aid the enemy in its free and unobstructed access to what is firmly believed. That traitor is none other than the believer himself.
So, in what is it that you trust? Where does your precious faith lie? Be careful and be warned, for doubt waits for its insidious and destructive entrance, and once ensconced it will take more than happy thoughts to remove its embedded barbs.