Bible Study – Doubt The Silent Killer

Key Verse

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
— Matthew 14:31

Doubt The Silent Killer

Genesis 3:1-6; Joshua 6-7; Matthew 14:25-31; 27:5; Hebrews 11:1,33; Romans 10:17


Extreme as this account is, it brings out a vital point: doubt will
not lead to anything good. Admittedly, we do not know exactly
what Judas was thinking, but the elements of doubt were
evidenced by his actions. How could someone be with Jesus as
much as Judas was, and then do what he did? It is possible he
doubted Jesus’ identity and the authority Jesus represented. Faith
in God has inestimable value. If we want to be true Christians, we
must choose to forsake doubt and to be men and women of faith.


1. Doubting God and having faith in God are curiously related. As
Christians, we have faith in God, yet doubt often tags along
nagging us to question the moves we make. When a person doubts
God, faith is shoved aside, and visible evidence becomes a
necessary prop for believing. It is vital that we resist doubt and
take to heart the command, “only believe.” Consider the account
of Peter in Matthew 14:25-31. He stepped out of the boat and
walked on the water toward Jesus until he looked at the waves.
How did Jesus’ comment to him reflect the relationship between
faith and doubt?
2. In our society, the level of trust has changed. Not locking your
house used to symbolize a trust in your neighbours. Today, the
multiple lock system on your door cries loudly, “I can’t trust. I
don’t believe in people’s integrity.” Experience has taught us that
locking our houses is the prudent thing to do. If you’ve been
robbed once, you won’t forget. In the same way, if we trust
someone, only to learn that we made a mistake, we are not as
ready to trust that person again. The reverse is also true. If we
trust someone and he proves trustworthy, we are ready to rely
upon that person in the future. Following up on this thought,
describe why we can be assured that our confidence in God is not
misplaced. Illustrate your description with specific examples from
your own knowledge or experience.

3. At some point in life, most of us have thought: Nothing will ever
change; this situation will never improve. These problems in my
life will never go away. Think about it again! What were the
circumstances surrounding you when you made your “Statement
of Doubt”? Maybe you were burdened with the cares of this life, or
were sick, financially overwhelmed, or fighting fatigue from too
much work. Perhaps you were sensing inefficiency in everything
you attempted, were disturbed about a problem on your job, or
were frustrated by your children’s never-ending needs. When you
had those discouraging thoughts, were you doubting God’s ability
to reverse the circumstances? To forestall such thoughts from
making inroads into your spirit again, list some unresolved areas
of your life. Write possible remedies God might use in each
situation, keeping in mind that God often works beyond our
imagination. How can taking situations one by one and including
God in your dealings with doubts make a difference?
4. It is possible for Christians, despite our sincere love for the Lord,
to succumb to doubt. Satan won’t necessarily tempt us to doubt
the existence of God or the truth of the Bible, but he often comes
with doubts about our own relationship with God. He might cause
us to think, Have I truly received my Christian experiences? Is God
really with me? Was that actually the healing touch of God, or am
I just feeling a little better today? If doubts like this come to mind,
what are our options?

5. Since the beginning of time, when the serpent tempted Eve,
doubt has rallied the troops of unbelief toward questionable
activity. In other words, doubt can lead to sin. Consider the story
of Achan, found in the Book of Joshua, chapters 6 and 7. Achan
doubted what he knew to be right and did what his people had
been commanded not to do. How remarkable it is that he
witnessed the walls of Jericho fall and still had doubt! What were
the results of Achan’s doubt and subsequent disobedience? How
might our doubts have repercussions on others?
6. Doubt may not be packaged in a way that makes itself obvious.
If only it came with warning tags in bright fluorescent colours
TO FAITH! How is doubt packaged? Let’s look at one example: The
Sunday evening church service has closed, and you make your way
to the altar of prayer. While you pray, the thought once more
comes to mind of something you feel the Lord wants you to do. No
slower than the speed of light, every doubt harboured in the bay of
questions fills your personal cove. You may think you’re just being
humble or that you’re honestly assessing your own weaknesses. In
actuality, you are doubting God’s call or His ability to make you
usable. How can you recognize this unwanted package of doubt
and do away with it?
7. Doubt seems insistent on absolute facts, figures, and visible
proofs, whereas “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith depends upon
God as our only resource. As we seek God for a specific experience
or request, faith determines the course. Faith stabilizes, maintains
forward momentum, and, if uninhibited, presses on to the finish
line. Are your convictions deeply grounded in faith? Write your
own personal statement of faith. Be brief and specific.
8. Many years ago, Martin Luther discovered the amazing truth
that “the just shall live by faith.” He trumpeted this message to a
world darkened by doubt, and through his message, faith was
reborn in the hearts of men. Romans 10:17 tells us where faith
comes from: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of
God.” Where does doubt originate? Doubt may present itself in a
similar fashion to faith—we hear, by some form of communication,
that God’s Word is not necessarily true. We should recognize that
Satan is the originator of doubt. Review Genesis 3:1-6, and note
that Satan said to Eve, “Ye shall not surely die.” This statement
was not true, but as Eve considered what she heard, she doubted
what God had said. Can you recall an incident when you doubted?
What was the outcome?

Challenge Yourself

Confidence in God has been challenged since the beginning by
Satan’s subtle suggestions to doubt. Should we expect anything
less, since we are so near the end of time? Do we accept doubt with
all its defeat, or are we determined to flush it from its camouflaged
security zone of “I’m only human”? Doubting God may be human,
but trusting God holds great reward. Hebrews 11:33 begins by
mentioning those “who through faith subdued kingdoms.” By
faith, will you accept your assignment and rout out the kingdoms
of doubt?

Other Scriptures Used:
Joshua 6:18-19; Romans 8:28; 10:17; 2 Corinthians 9:8;
Philippians 4:13; James 1:6; 4:7