Q: I’ve been struggling with doubt about my salvation and who God is. I feel terrible for it because I love God and I wish to honor him with all I am and all I do. I believe Jesus died for me and rose again and I love Him, but I just feel so…clouded. I also recently overcame a sin I had been hanging on to for years (though it’s still a temptation sometimes). Now that I’ve given it to God, why do I still feel so guilty? Any advice?
I have some really good news for you: you’re not alone! Doubt isn’t something to be afraid or ashamed of. What you do with it is the important part. Will you stuff that doubt down deep and ignore it until it gobbles up your faith? Or will you pull it out into the open and try to find answers to your questions? Just the fact that you’re writing me with your question shows that you’re choosing the second option, and I’m so proud of you for making that choice!
I believe you when you say that you love God and want to honor Him with all you are and all you do. Believing that Jesus died for you, that He rose again, and loving and obeying Him in return are the key ingredients of saving faith. I think sometimes we overcomplicate things, when the heart of the Gospel is really that simple! Here are a few posts from my friends over at Lies Young Women Believe that I think you might find helpful:
- Can I know If I’m Saved?
- How to Know If You’ve Been Saved
- Meet Some of My Favorite Doubters
- Is Doubting God a Sin?
- What to Do with Your Doubt
Of course, when we’ve been stuck in a sin-habit or running from God, sometimes our shame becomes a big ‘ol wedge keeping us from feeling close to God again. I think that might be what you’re experiencing now. I don’t pretend to know what you’ve overcome, or what you’re still tempted with sometimes, but I do know that shame has got to go if you want to move forward with God. In Unashamed: Overcoming the Sins No Girl Wants to Talk About, I share how shame kept me spinning on a sin cycle and what it takes to finally ditch it. I also share how to rebuild a connection with God, and what to do if you “mess up” again. I think you might find it encouraging.
Whatever you do, don’t give up the fight. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” In other words, God wants to be close to you, and He’s not going to hide if you come looking! He’s big and strong enough to handle your doubt and your questions. So ask away. Ask, and then go digging. Keep digging until you’re satisfied with the answers. And if you have specific questions you’re wrestling with, I’d be happy to try to point you to resources that can help you on that journey.