Is It Normal to Doubt God?

Carolyn Dale Newell

Carolyn Dale Newell

Contributing Writer
Published: Jan 16, 2023
Is It Normal to Doubt God?

You might grow weary in this battle, but remember you already have the victory. 

Thousands of doubts left questions in my mind:

Do you really think you, a blind woman, can navigate an airport with your white cane?

 Are you going to survive away from home, your husband, and Angel, your cat? 

How will you find the person meeting you at LaGuardia airport? 

What if they tell you they are from the guide dog school, but they are really sex traffickers? 

What are you thinking? 

You're a blind woman who rarely goes out and lives in a town with less than seven thousand people, and you are going to fly alone, survive a layover, and then fly to New York City?

All my hopes and dreams depended on stepping out of my comfort zone.

Is it normal to have doubts? We can’t avoid them. As soon as we decide to do anything that even slightly threatens the enemy, he starts shooting arrows of doubts our way. It seems like he has a pre-set device that automatically shoots doubts that land in our thoughts.

Are All Doubts Equivalent to Doubting God?

Let’s examine my thoughts, and then you can examine your own. I feared for my physical safety leaving this little town, flying to the Big Apple, and not forgetting the layover. That one shook me to my core. Don’t we all fear for our safety at times?

The Bible offers many verses about trusting God in fearful situations, especially Psalm 91. A commander in the Vietnam War made all his troops recite Psalm 91 every day, and they had no casualties, not even one, according to KCM.

"I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." (Psalm 91:2 NIV)

I also doubted my ability to get around in a strange place, but my biggest doubt centered around learning how to work with a guide dog. Several years earlier, I had similar doubts when I had to learn to use a white cane, read braille, and learn to use this talking computer. You don’t have to be blind. As a matter of fact, you can be the most confident person in the world, but at some point, God will become the only One you can depend on. 

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

Here, Paul reminds us what Jesus told His disciples:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

God has already enabled you to do the work He has called you to do. He has purposed a plan for you, and He has a plan to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:11).

So if God protects us and has a purpose for us, why do we doubt Him? Why are we consumed with fear and worry?

The devil knows he can’t steal our salvation, but he sure can make us miserable as we try to live out the plans God has for us. He might even cause some of us to never reach our potential because we fell for his tricks.

Doubt Began in the Garden of Eden

Life was perfect for Eve until one day, a talking serpent caused her to doubt God. He twisted God’s words and caused Eve to think God was holding out on them. God forbade them to eat from one particular tree. She allowed doubt to take root and wanted to try the forbidden fruit since the serpent said she would be like God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:1-5).

Like Eve, we have these same conversations, but it’s the thoughts in our heads we argue with, not a serpent, but the source of these thoughts and words is still the devil.

Next time you begin to doubt and fear stirs in your heart, consider the source of those thoughts and emotions. When worry keeps you awake at night, it’s because you have allowed doubt to trickle in. Tell Satan to wake someone else up because you’re going to sleep trusting God.

Who Doubted God in Biblical Times?

Abraham and Sarah doubted God many times. You wouldn’t suspect such a godly couple would have so much doubt. First, they went to Egypt to avoid a famine. The Bible doesn’t tell us if Abram asked God about this trip. Sarai, his wife possessed great beauty, and Abram feared the Egyptians would kill him to wed Sarai. So, Abram lied and told them Sarai was his sister. They failed to trust God. Doubt grew into a sin.

Later, when Sarai didn’t become pregnant, she told Abram to take her handmaid Hagar and have the child with her. This complicated the lives of the Israelites when Hagar bore Ishmael, whose descendants are Islamic.

Like Father, Like Son

When Sarah and Abraham finally had the child of promise, Isaac, He followed in his father’s footsteps (Gen. 26:7-9). Isaac and his beautiful wife, Rebekah, also lied about being brother and sister to avoid harm. Deception never works out.

Rebekah also doubted the Lord. When she carried twins, the Lord told her the older would serve the younger (Gen. 25:24). As Isaac grew old with dim vision, he planned to bless Esau, the older son, instead of Jacob. Rebekah overheard their conversation, and she quickly conspired with Jacob so he could get the blessing God had promised (Gen. 27:3-20). Do you ever wonder what would have happened if they had only trusted God? Have you ever allowed doubt to cause you to take matters into your own hands instead of waiting on God?

New Testament Doubt

Doubt shows up all over the New Testament. Whenever the twelve disciples gathered, doubt gathered with them. They doubted Jesus could feed thousands. They doubted Jesus during horrific storms. Peter even went as far as to deny knowing Jesus Christ. All through the New Testament, we can hear Jesus repeating the phrase: “Oh, you of little faith!” referring to His disciples.

What do we do about doubt?

Doubt overcomes us, but faith overcomes doubt. The author of Hebrews wrote:

"And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)

I found I had to control my thoughts by refusing any doubt to linger in my mind. As soon as I recognize doubt, fear, or worry, I immediately change my thought patterns and choose to trust God. During the summer of 2016, I exchanged doubt for faith hundreds of times each day. As the date to fly to New York and attend Guiding Eyes for the Blind for three weeks grew near, I discovered I no longer feared the flight. I anticipated it with joy.

Three days before graduating from Guiding Eyes for the Blind, I still lacked confidence about my ability to work with a guide dog, but with God’s help, I did it. Now, I have a beautiful black Labrador by my side.

While doubt is normal, it is also possible to conquer. We engage in spiritual warfare whenever we refuse to allow doubt to control us. We need to suit up in the armor of God and be consistent.

Don’t give in! You might grow weary in this battle, but remember you already have the victory. Christ conquered all doubt on the cross. God fights our battles, but we control our minds. Are you ready to win the battle over doubt today?  

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/tommaso79

Carolyn Dale Newell headshot with dogCarolyn Dale Newell is an author and certified speaker. She knows what it is to live with blindness, but she calls her disability a gift from God. Her passion is to equip women to break free from emotional strongholds through her book, Faith That Walks on Water: Conquering Emotional Bondage with the Armor of God. You can connect with Carolyn on her website and her women’s ministry group on Facebook