Joining Kate Motaung and a group of courageous writers, for Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is, “Doubt.” To learn more about Five Minute Friday, click here.
I am writing this post without any idea of where I will end up but maybe it is time I take more risks in my writing. What I do know is there are two words in my mind, “Doubt,” our prompt for this week, and “Discernment.” I am wondering if there is a relationship between the two. To doubt is to be “uncertain, to lack confidence in” (according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary). The same source defines discernment as “the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure” (not obvious), as well as “the act of perceiving or discerning something.”
Since to doubt is to be uncertain, will in not require discernment to recognize that what we are hearing or seeing is not or may not be as it appears or is being presented to us? Then, will that awareness not encourage, even push us to seek truth, to discern what is true, what can be trusted, what is certain in a situation or season?
I do not believe doubt is the same as unbelief although I think doubt can become unbelief if we elevate our own perspectives above truth and not seek the One Who is Truth, to help us better discern truth.
Paul Johannes Tillich, who according to Wikipedia was a “German American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century,” stated, “Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” Do you agree?
When I focus on the definition of faith as stated in Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]”
nowhere does it seem to suggest that doubt is an element of faith; however, when I focus on the definition of doubt as “uncertainty,” I believe there is room in our relationship, in our life-long walk with God for uncertainty, to the extent that, currently, all human knowledge is partial, as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 (AMPC). Consequently, there will be unanswered questions and details about our lives and that of our loved ones which will remain unknown to us in this life. But we can trust the Omniscient One. We can trust the One Who claimed us as and made us His children at an incomprehensible cost. We can totally trust Him with all the unknowns and the uncertainties of life, for we can be certain of Him. And, each of us can say with absolute certainty that one day, “I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly know and understood by God].” Doubt will no longer exist then.