Finding Freedom from the Fear of Losing One’s Faith
In my early walk with God, I remember struggling with doubts. I really believed in my heart, but I had nagging doubts that would attack my mind. I knew from the Word it was essential that I guard my heart with all diligence. I prayed about the doubts I had for quite some time. I thought surely I couldn’t just continue to call myself a Christian if I had doubts. Didn’t that make me a hypocrite, saying that I was a Christian, proclaiming Christ, and yet behind the scenes doubting the faith that I professed? This led me to consider leaving the faith. One evening, I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit within me to pick up a book, The Case for Faith, written by Lee Strobel, which was sitting on my night table. I said, “Bah, I don’t feel like reading that book tonight. I didn’t really plan to read that book tonight.” However, I felt this insistent prompting. So I said something like, “Okay, okay! I will open it, but I don’t even know where to look! This is a fairly big book! How am I supposed to know what to read?”
I decided to go to the table of contents and read through the list of chapters to see if something stood out. As I read through each chapter title, I landed on one named “I Still Have Doubts, so I Can’t Be a Christian.” I knew enough to know that the author was seeking to help people who wished they could believe in Jesus but wrestled to do so due to intellectual stumbling blocks, and Christians who simply struggled with their faith in God. So I naturally deduced that this particular chapter was intended to help bring peace to believers who still experienced some doubts. Consequently, I knew right away what God was saying. He was telling me that I could still be a Christian even if I had some doubts! So I went right ahead and read what the author had to say in that chapter, and the content I read indeed supported my staying in the faith in spite of my doubts. Can you imagine the tragedy had I left the faith because of some doubts?
One day, I was standing in my home office inquiring of the Lord about Hebrews 12:2, which essentially says that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. This Scripture had brought some peace to my heart prior to that day because it gave me hope that I could depend on Jesus to keep and to help my faith. I also knew that different versions of the Bible translated this passage differently. I wanted it to mean that Jesus was the Author, the Enabler, the Provider, the Sustainer, the Helper, the Perfecter and the Finisher of my faith. I was tired of fearing to lose my faith. I was tired of trying to keep my faith in my own strength. I needed to know that I could rely on someone, something more stable and more powerful than I was in the area of my faith, and really, in every area that concerned me. Suddenly, as I was seeking God on that Scripture, I sensed how supernatural Christianity really is. It didn’t last long. But for a brief moment, I believe the Lord allowed me to recognize how supernatural our faith is, how it is of the Spirit of God, and how it does not, nor can it, originate from ourselves apart from Him.
In trying to believe with our own strength, we are in the works of the flesh and we are showing independence from God. Christianity is supernatural from the very beginning to the very end, and is lived by reliance on the Spirit of God. It is true that Christianity excludes all boasting. I have come to realize that if I want to stand and remain standing, I need to trust and depend on Christ in everything and for everything. I have come to understand that this principle even applies to my ability to believe.
We cannot believe by our own strength. And the Bible confirms that by saying that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If you struggle with doubt and unbelief, make sure to spend regular quality time in the Word of God. And ask God to open your understanding to the Word you are reading. We need the Holy Spirit to give us revelation concerning the Scriptures.
According to Matthew 16:13–17, knowing who Jesus is comes from revelation knowledge given by the Father:
“Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, who do people say that the Son of Man is? And they answered, some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He said to them, but who do you [yourselves] say that I am? Simon Peter replied, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Jesus answered him, blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven.”
This Scripture and others show us that it is God the Father Himself who draws us to Jesus, which in turn enables us to believe. Without revelation from God, we cannot believe in Christ. Therefore, if you are trying to fight your doubts and convince yourself through human reasoning, you will fail. Again, only God can enable you by His Spirit. What you need to do, instead, is ask Him to help your unbelief and trust Him to do it.
Faith is an inborn part of who you are as a born-again child of God. It is an integral part of your new you. It is natural (or should I say, supernatural) for you, who are in Christ, to believe. After all, you are a believer. Here is how Simon Peter puts it in 2 Peter 1:1:
“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Now all you need to do is nurture and feed your faith—studying the Word of God, spending time with the Lord through prayer, spending time in praise and worship, reflecting on the things the Lord has done for us in the past, witnessing to others, attending church, and fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ, are all powerful means to help foster our faith.
I remember seeking God regarding the doubts that I was periodically struggling with throughout my Christian walk. On one particular occasion, after praying quite earnestly for about two to three months, the Lord spoke to me one night in a dream and said these life-changing words: “It takes time to go from faith to conviction, and God is patient.” The amazing thing about these words was that my main prayer had been: “Lord convince me!” The fact that God used the word conviction (which means the state of being convinced) instead of the word faith really ministered to me. Romans 1:17 KJV should help shine more light on God’s statement to me that night: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Emphasis mine.) I see conviction as the mature level of faith where no doubts remain.
Now if I experience doubts in an area, or if I do not feel as convinced as I wish I’d be, I remember these words and no longer feel condemned about it. It doesn’t mean that I am not in the faith, nor does it necessarily mean that I have no faith; but instead, I am already in the faith, and I need my faith to grow from faith to conviction (the level of mature faith). So I pray to God to increase my faith, to strengthen my faith, to help my faith, and to convince me in the area of need; and He does.
Now be encouraged, God’s got your faith! Just rest in Him, the Author and Finisher of your faith. And remember, there is hope! There is a way out.
 See Proverbs 4:23.
 See Romans 3:27.
 See Romans 10:17 NKJV.
 Matthew 16:13–17 AMPC.
 See John 6:44; John 6:65.
 See Mark 9:24.
 2 Peter 1:1 NASB.
 https://www.wordreference.com/definition/conviction WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2018 5.
 Romans 1:17 KJV.