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Thread: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

  1. #1
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    The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Right around the time I got saved, immediately before and after, doubt was a major problem in my life. When I first believed Jesus rose from the dead, what relief came over me. Anyway, doubt was still a major source of stress, and other problems in my life. Thank God for Charles Spurgeon! I remember praying several times and asking God to personally thank Mr. Spurgeon for me. He wrote a book called "All of Grace" that I loved and that ministered to me in a great way. He also wrote other things on faith that were helpful. During this time, he helped me understand the difference between faith, doubt and unbelief.

    Over the years, the following example has helped me greatly.

    Imagine that a flimsy board is used as a bridge across a canyon. One full of faith may walk up to that board and go across it bouncing and swaying without a thought that it may break. This is a good example of faith.

    Another person may look at it, and wonder. He/she will put their foot on it to test it and see that it bends some. Yet, they gradually work their way out on the board testing it the whole way, concerned that at any moment it will give way. But since it seems to hold their weight with each step, they take the next. Fear is a problem and concern, but gradually, they get to the other side. This is a person who believes, but has doubt.

    Finally, one who has unbelief in the board will simply not test it or cross it at all.

    In the end, the person with faith and doubt both arrive on the other side. But the one with doubt goes through much more suffering during the crossing. The one with unbelief never gets there at all. I would imagine that many of us experience all three of these things. We should be careful not to let our doubt, turn into unbelief. Sometimes, it is with fear and trembling that we trust the Lord. Sometimes, it is with complete trust and confidence. The issue is do we trust him, not how much do we trust him. All that is required is the faith about the size of a mustard seed.

    Grace and peace,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  2. #2

    Re: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Hi Mark!

    Good post, but I wonder if the person who was full of faith, had not first started off in unbelief, then doubt and then full of faith?

    I believe that doubt is not such a bad thing, as it is/can be a process going from unbelief to belief. Doubt is just a mixture of unbelief and belief. It would be problematic if we got stuck in a place of doubt, but as you say he will still get there.

  3. #3
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    Re: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Every time we cross the bridge we grow more confident the board will hold. I knew an old evangelist who said that he could swing out over hell on an old rotten corn stalk and never worry about falling in. The more we trust the Lord the easier it is to trust Him in the future.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger

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    Re: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Quote Originally Posted by notuptome View Post
    Every time we cross the bridge we grow more confident the board will hold. I knew an old evangelist who said that he could swing out over hell on an old rotten corn stalk and never worry about falling in. The more we trust the Lord the easier it is to trust Him in the future.

    For the cause of Christ
    Roger
    Very good point. I think this is why God often instructed Israel to build monuments to remind them (altars, etc.) of what God had done. They had feasts as reminders. They had the manna put in the ark as a reminder. These things serve to encourage our faith during times of testing.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

  5. #5
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    Re: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Very good analogy. But from experience, I can tell you...the one that goings skipping and bouncing across has the biggest shock and the hardest fall when the board "does" break!

    all the best...

  6. #6
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    Re: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Very good analogy. But from experience, I can tell you...the one that goings skipping and bouncing across has the biggest shock and the hardest fall when the board "does" break!
    Yet, the if the board is Christ, He never breaks. And our faith is in Him. Now, if our faith is in our expectations of what he should do, then that is misplaced faith and a flimsy board at that!

    Thanks for the input!

    Grace to you,

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: The difference between faith, doubt and unbelief

    Sometimes it is a matter of degree, and at other times a matter of practice. James talks about doubter as a 'double minded' man (1:5-6). If it is our lot to continually doubt and to not believe that God will give us what we need, our faith becomes like the tide; in one part of the day and 'out to sea' the other part.
    We will always doubt to some extent, but it should not become a habit or lifestyle, Philisophers not withstanding.
    God happens!
    'I Can Only Imagine'

    Bless the Beasts and the Children:
    http://youtu.be/AhR36gV6vW4

    On cautionary note:
    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectPeter
    When they say something... it is about anyone's guess what it is they really mean... but NEVER ask for clarification of their mysterious language... they are often very happy to give it and that's when the discussion goes FREAKY!

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