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,
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."