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Summary: The struggle with doubt can either be a virus that drives us away from God or the motivation to study the evidence more carefully drawing us closer to God.

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“The Virus of Doubt”

The Case for Faith Series

Wakelee Church ~ February 13, 2005

Matthew 14:22-33

(quotes taken from the NKJV unless noted)

Theme: The struggle with doubt can either be a virus that drives us away from God or the motivation to study the evidence more carefully drawing us closer to God.

Introduction – Is it okay to doubt?…yes and no!

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good…” – Psalm 34:8a

STEPS TO LEAD OUT OF DOUBT

- Decide whether or not you want to believe.

- Go where your faith is.

- Clarify the object of your faith.

Why?

Doubts produce faith...faith produces knowledge.

Illus.

Hold a quarter in your hand and ask if people believe there’s a quarter there...if so, they do so by faith.

But those who don’t believe...have doubt.

Those who have doubt...ask questions...is there a coin in there?...is it worth more than a dime but less than fifty cents?....etc...

The questioning producing a faith that a coin is there.

But once the coin is shown to be in the hand, it’s no longer doubt, it’s no longer faith, but it’s knowledge!

Therefore, in our Christian walk, even though we have faith, we still have doubts which we accept by faith as we move toward a greater knowledge.

Doubts produce faith...faith produces knowledge.

(Source: Strobel, Lee. The Case For Faith. Zondervan, 2000, pgs. 238-240.)

How? Let’s look at some Biblical examples.

I – The doubting example of Peter…clarified by experimentation.

“But when (Peter) saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” – Matthew 14: 30

Peter could have drown in his doubt, instead he clarified his faith but experimenting even the midst of his doubt...he gained the knowledge of the power of Christ.

II – The doubting example of Thomas…clarified by examination.

“The other disciples therefore said to (Thomas), ‘We have seen the Lord.’ So he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” – John 20: 25

Thomas was looking for some "proof" that his doubts didn’t negate his faith. He needed to examine his doubts! When he did faith was manifested. Jesus’ words, "Blessed are you because you have seen..." prove his doubt was moved to faith, if not to knowledge.

III – The doubting example of Abraham…clarified by expectation.

“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety nine years old, bear a child?’” – Genesis 17:17

Both Abraham and Sarah doubted, but there faith was strong and they used that faith to overcome their doubt. When the child was born, that faith became knolwedge.

IV – The doubting example of Christ…clarified by exaltation.

“And (Jesus) was withdrawn from them about a stone’s

throw, and He knelt down and prayed saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” – Luke 22:41-42

Jesus, too had doubt. This shows that doubt is not sinful but a human characteristic. Jesus doubted...take this cup away from me...but the faith was immediate...nevertheless not My will, but Your be done. Jesus exalted the Father in his doubt to faith to knowledge transformation.


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