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Life of Faith, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

74- Doubt



Doubt weakens the faith and a weak faith produces doubt... This is exactly what we said about fear. Each of them causes the other or results from the other.

a- Doubt was one of the wars the devil fought against our first parents to lose their faith. He told them “Has God indeed said … you will surely not die? ” (Gen. 3:1-4).

If you are faced with doubts concerning the existence of God or other principle beliefs then do not fear. These are from the enemy's wars and not your denial of faith, and especially, if your heart was refusing it. In such circumstances, you have to pray so that God lifts up these wars from you, and that you change your way of thinking, and occupy yourself with another subject. But if the doubts are from you and you are convinced with them so you have to treat them with a pure spiritual understanding by asking the specialists in theology, and by reading useful books in your subject.

There are other wars against doubt lighter than this, we mention the following:

b- Doubt in God's aid or in that God has abandoned you.           Image: Doubt, Arabic word صورة: كلمة الشك، شك باللغة العربية Image: Doubt, Arabic word

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: كلمة الشك، شك باللغة العربية

The Lord rebukes this kind of doubt by saying “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31). Here He relates between doubt and little faith, because the person with a strong faith would never doubt in God's love and care.

They many perpetual distresses may sometimes press on the heart and one would say, “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble? (Ps 10:1).

This is blame and not weakness in the faith. It seems to the psalmist that the Lord is standing afar, but the Lord keeps guard with all love and care the security of His children, like the eagle that teaches its youngsters to fly, and like the father who teaches his son to swim. He leaves him for a while to train and gain experience. He watches him with all care. If He sees danger surrounding him, He will hurry to rescue him.

There is also the example of the mother who teaches her son to walk. She leaves him to fall down and stand up again to strengthen his bones and muscles and to learn. However, if she hurried to carry him in her arms after each cry, that will harm him, because he will not learn and his bones will not be strong enough.

The distresses are a school to train us to pray and to hold onto God. We are also trained in faith and we see how God works, and with which strength, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. For sure, God works, in spite that we do not see Him and do not feel His work.

The person may doubt if he only looked to troubles and not to God. That is how we see Peter doubt when he looked to the water beneath his feet and did not see Jesus who held his hand. As the faith of Peter decreased so did he start to sink and then the Lord rescued him.

The children of God may be like “lambs among wolves” but they do not doubt or fear. As long as the good shepherd is among the lambs so the wolves and not even the lions will endanger them.

Our father Abram did not doubt in God's love and care, in spite of the difficulty of the matter of giving his son Isaac as a sacrifice, as if he were saying:

My heart is not tenderer than the heart of God on my son Isaac, and I can't manage the future of Isaac as God does.

As long as God agrees on something then, no doubt, I have also to agree upon it, because I do not have God's wisdom or love. So let it be His will.

He who does not doubt lives always in tranquillity and peace.

He always lives in security and the outer circumstances will not tire him. He does not impose on God certain solutions, and if God does not carry them out, he will be angry. Nevertheless, he agrees on any solution coming from God according to His Godly wisdom.

How many troubles does doubt cause in the heart and the mind... like doubt, fear, disturbance and little love. Doubt in itself is tiredness, a burning fire.

Doubt is heated by confidence and love. He who loves a person doesn't doubt in him. That is why we are with God and we do not doubt in Him because we love Him and have confidence in Him. Our faith in Him doesn't allow us to doubt in His Godly and Fatherly deeds with us.

Holy is He in all what He does.

Faith kids fear and doubt. Fear and doubt on the other side kill the faith.

Hold on to your faith because it is a strong and victorious element. You will then live in joy, peace, tranquillity, without fear, and without any doubt all the days of your life.

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