posted by written permission
by Shana Schutte http://www.parsonage.org/articles/personal/A000001772.cfm
Have you ever doubted your faith, (your ministry), God's plans or His love for you? Have you ever beat yourself up because you believe nothing good can come from your questions (or your ministry)? Contrary to popular opinion, doubt can actually usher in positive changes for faith.
Though doubt can feel like a bully that presses us into a corner, it can be a friend when we allow it to drive us deeper into the arms of God for the answers to our questions.
In his book The Gift of Doubt, Gary Parker writes, "If faith never encounters doubt, if truth never struggles with error, if good never battles with evil, how can faith know its own power? In my own pilgrimage, if I have to choose between a faith that has stared doubt in the eye and made it blink, or a naive faith that has never known the firing line of doubt, I will choose the former every time."
In my early relationship with God, hardly a day passed in which I didn't struggle with some insecurity of faith. Rather than drive me away from God, these doubts sent me running to the bookstore to find wisdom from others who had experienced the same woes, to the Bible for truth and to church for a mature mentor. In retrospect, I wonder how my own faith would — or wouldn't have — developed if I hadn't experienced deep doubts.
Christ often allowed me to feel just enough emotional discomfort from my doubts that I looked to Him for relief. If you often ask God questions — not to prove God wrong, but to prove Him right — your questions can lead you to greater faith.
Granted, doubt that is not surrendered to God can be detrimental. For doubt to be beneficial, it must always give way to faith. This means we must look to Christ for answers. It also means that if He does not provide the specific answers we are looking for, we will trust Him with what we can't understand.