4 Lessons We Can Learn From Doubters in the Bible

by Alisa Childers

I’ll never forget sitting in my rocking chair in the darkness, holding my daughter close to me, with quiet tears streaming down my face. I realized in that moment that my faith had become paralyzed. It wasn’t gone….but it was damaged.

I know but I don’t know. This is the best way I can describe the profound period of doubt I experienced after my faith was challenged by a clever agnostic. I knew God existed. I knew Jesus died and was resurrected. I knew Christianity was true. But I didn’t….know.

One vivid memory I have during this season is when my daughter, a toddler at the time, fell down a flight of stairs. The second her feet slipped out from under her, I cried out, “Jesus! Jesus!”

And I felt foolish.

For the first time in my life, I felt foolish—for praying. She tumbled down the stairs and stood up without a scratch. She didn’t have even one bruise to show for this incredibly scary fall. Did Jesus hear my prayer and protect her? Did I dare believe it? I felt silly for believing it. And yet I did.

Tim Keller wrote:

A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.*

I realize now that one of the reasons I was so vulnerable to this intellectual attack on my faith was that I didn’t doubt enough in my younger years. I simply didn’t have enough antibodies.

Whenever I heard a skeptical claim against the Bible or Christianity, I dismissed it immediately, assuming that the skeptic’s eyes were simply blinded to belief, or that they “just didn’t get it yet.” However, as an adult—faced with what seemed to be compelling intellectual arguments—I could no longer dismiss these challenges so conveniently.

Yet by God’s grace and incredible mercy toward me, my faith began to rebuild and reconstruct from ground zero. And I discovered something wonderful…many great saints in the Bible were doubters. There is so much we can learn from them, and here are 4 quick points…

4 Lessons We Can Learn From Doubters in the Bible