Doubt is defined as a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or the nature of something. Thus, doubt originates in a lack of the ability to confirm a matter. Mortal man confirms matters through his sensory organs. He confirms matters by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, or touching them. And when he cannot perceive a matter through his senses, he has doubts about its reality. This is not a bad thing. It is the way man was made. His body is his means of exploring and experiencing his environment, and he encounters his environment by his sensory perceptions. Therefore, we could say that doubting is human. It is neither good nor bad; it is status quo in the reality of being human.
Thus, when we seek to conquer doubt about our sonship, we are really seeking to conquer the limitations imposed on the mortal human being. The conqueror must therefore seek something better, something more than human. The conqueror must seek the spiritual because a spiritual man does not need to rely on his physical senses to confirm his spiritual reality.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:14
Yet, doubt serves the important purpose of challenging the veracity of so-called knowledge. Healthy skepticism exposes false and spurious teachings that may deceive us. It purifies information so as to cull together true facts, and it releases us from unfounded fear and superstition. So doubt, up to a point, is an asset to the mature spiritual mind.
Nevertheless, doubt itself is not a reality. It’s only a tool, as described above, to be used by us. Properly managed, we control the doubt, doubt does not control us. But if we accept doubt as a reality – if we believe that doubting itself is substantive and has power – it will grow into unreasonable fear and will pursue us in all our endeavors.
For example, we may find that once we allow doubt a place of lodging in our minds, we experience a domino effect of negativism. We not only doubt the first idea, but as we consider each consecutive idea, the doubt is compounded. At first, we only doubt our sonship, but in short order we begin to doubt our value as a father, a mother, an employer, a congregation servant, a teacher, etc., and we end up with a feeling of complete worthlessness. But as we said, doubt is not a reality; it is only an illusion. It can be conquered by faith.
Faith is a small word with huge implications. As John said ‘the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.’ (1 John 5:4) Faith is the all-powerful conqueror of doubt, and it is easily applied.
Think of faith as the light switch in a dark room. When you switch on the light, the darkness dissipates. There is no struggle between light and dark fighting for possession of the room. Once the light is switch on, light wins! It is the same with faith. Once we exercise faith, doubt is immediately destroyed. There is no struggle – doubt cannot contend with faith. We simply say: “I am a son of God ” or “I have faith in Jesus’ words that I am a son of God” or “I accept God’s offer of sonship,” etc., and hold that faith in our hearts, then doubt disappears. Brothers, it really is that simple. And as long as we hold that faith thought, doubt cannot find a place. The only potential struggle is the struggle to flip the faith-switch.