Praying Our Doubts - Gospel in Life

Praying Our Doubts

Tim Keller |  February 20, 2000

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  • Trust and Assurance
Psalm 73:1-3; 12-26
RS 111-1


The Psalms are not so much about lofty, high doctrine as they are about how the human heart works, the deep recesses of the motives and emotions of the human heart. And what we’re now going to look at in Psalm 73 is doubt.

Doubt always masquerades as more intellectual than it is, but doubt is a condition of the soul and the heart. Here’s a person filled with doubts, struggling with doubts about God and about faith. Let’s see what the condition is, what the cause of the condition is, and what the cure of the condition is.

Psalm 73:1–3; 12–26

The Psalms teach us a unique way of dealing with our feelings. It’s unlike the way some religious people might ignore their emotions, and it’s also different from how some non-religious people might overindulge in their feelings. The Psalms teach us to bring our strong emotions before God, turning them into prayers instead of just expressions. We’re going to look at one particular emotion: doubt. We’ll explore what it is, why it happens, and how to heal from it. This isn’t just some high-minded talk; it’s practical help.

1. What the condition is

Doubt can feel like a spiritual dizziness that might make us lose our faith. But it also has the potential to change us in a good way. We see this in the experiences of the Psalmist Asaph and also in the stories of Thomas and Nathanael. All of them show us that it’s okay to question and seek wisdom, rather than just accepting what we’re taught without thinking about it.

2. What the cause of the condition is

We often start to doubt when what we see happening around us doesn’t line up with what we think we know. For example, when we see bad people prospering or good people suffering, it can make us question. But faith isn’t against reason. It’s about holding onto the truths we know, even when things look different. And we deal with doubts not by ignoring evidence, but by trusting in God and the truth we know.

3. What the cure of the condition is

In C.S. Lewis’s book “The Great Divorce,” he shows how doubt can come from genuine curiosity, but also from trying to avoid making a commitment. To overcome doubt, we need more than just good arguments. We need to actively participate in worship and take a leap of faith. Knowing that God is gracious, understanding the sacrifice for our sins, and realizing that believing in God gives us a solid moral foundation can all help us deal with doubts. Even when we’re unsure, we can remember that God never lets go of us.



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