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Switch to Forum Live View Can having doubts be harmful?......
9 years ago  ::  Dec 24, 2008 - 12:21AM #1
Posts: 6,731
Quite often some people do  begin to doubt. BUT is that a wise thing to do? AND how can it affect our overall "faith"? What is the Bible's view on this?.....
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 6:45PM #2
Posts: 14,082
Hi Nomi!

We as imperfect humans can have doubts for various reasons.  Overall, we are not to simply believe things told us by imperfect humans - even righteous ones - when we can check what is being said/taught with Scripture:

(Acts 17:10-12) . . .Immediately by night the brothers sent both Paul and Silas out to Be·roe′a, and these, upon arriving, went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now the latter were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·ni′ca, for they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them became believers, and so did not a few of the reputable Greek women and of the men.

Of course, once proven the matter would no longer be doubted!  Overall this Scripture also applies:

(1 Thessalonians 5:21) . . .Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine.

NW footnote on "make sure:" Lit., “Be you proving.”

An example where doubts were understandable such that Jesus provided proof to overcome doubts of believers:

(Luke 24:36-53) 36 While they were speaking of these things he himself stood in their midst [[and said to them: “May YOU have peace.”]] 37 But because they were terrified, and had become frightened, they were imagining they beheld a spirit. 38 So he said to them: “Why are YOU troubled, and why is it doubts come up in YOUR hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as YOU behold that I have.” 40 [[And as he said this he showed them his hands and his feet.]] 41 But while they were still not believing for sheer joy and were wondering, he said to them: “Do YOU have something there to eat?” 42 And they handed him a piece of broiled fish; 43 and he took it and ate it before their eyes. 44 He now said to them: “These are my words which I spoke to YOU while I was yet with YOU, that all the things written in the law of Moses and in the Prophets and Psalms about me must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened up their minds fully to grasp the meaning of the Scriptures, 46 and he said to them: “In this way it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from among the dead on the third day, 47 and on the basis of his name repentance for forgiveness of sins would be preached in all the nations—starting out from Jerusalem, 48 YOU are to be witnesses of these things. 49 And, look! I am sending forth upon YOU that which is promised by my Father. YOU, though, abide in the city until YOU become clothed with power from on high.” 50 But he led them out as far as Beth´a·ny, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 As he was blessing them he was parted from them and began to be borne up to heaven. 52 And they did obeisance to him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they were continually in the temple blessing God.

However, there is a more extreme form of doubting which is not good at all - essentially because proof is available but the person has not proven the matter - i.e. done the research required to be deeply rooted in the truth; and not prayed for help or has not worked in harmony with prayer for help.

(James 1:5-8) . . .So, if any one of YOU is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all and without reproaching; and it will be given him. 6 But let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7 In fact, let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.

(Jude 20-23) 20 But YOU, beloved ones, by building up yourselves on YOUR most holy faith, and praying with holy spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love, while YOU are waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with everlasting life in view. 22 Also, continue showing mercy to some that have doubts; 23 save [them] by snatching [them] out of the fire. But continue showing mercy to others, doing so with fear, while YOU hate even the inner garment that has been stained by the flesh.

Of course, we can help those who have doubts by doing as Paul did:

(Acts 17:2-4) . . .So according to Paul’s custom he went inside to them, and for three sabbaths he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving by references that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and [saying]: “This is the Christ, this Jesus whom I am publishing to YOU.” 4 As a result some of them became believers and associated themselves with Paul and Silas, and a great multitude of the Greeks who worshiped [God] and not a few of the principal women did so.

And those whose doubts have made them spiritually sick should follow this counsel also:

(James 5:13-15) . . .Is there anyone suffering evil among YOU? Let him carry on prayer. Is there anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is there anyone sick among YOU? Let him call the older men of the congregation to [him], and let them pray over him, greasing [him] with oil in the name of Jehovah. 15 And the prayer of faith will make the indisposed one well, and Jehovah will raise him up. Also, if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.
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