Dealing with Doubt

Dealing with Doubt

By Jill Briscoe

Most of us know the story about Peter’s walking on the water. When he and some other disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and a storm arose, they were terrified. They were seasoned enough sailors to recognize that they were in severe danger. Their fear, however, was heightened when they saw what they supposed to be a ghost, walking on the water toward them.

Jesus (for it was He, and no apparition) calmed their fears. Peter was so encouraged that he decided to leave the boat and walk on the water himself. But he began to watch the winds and waves instead of watching Jesus. As the disciple began to sink into the sea, Jesus said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31).

I remember facing a storm of separation. We had been invited to emigrate to America in order to serve Elmbrook Church. I had to tell my recently widowed mother. I remember driving very slowly down to Liverpool in order to break the news to her. I cried all the way there, stammered through my information, hugged my beloved “Peggy,” and cried all the way home again.

On the way down, all I could hear were the winds, and all I could see were the waves. I knew Jesus was there, encouraging me, but I could hardly see Him through my tears. It was hard enough to try to cope with the storm of my own emotions at such a time, but I knew that my news would bring a tempest down on my own mother’s head – one she could well do without at that particular time.

As I drove home again, I thanked the Lord for helping me to tell her and for letting her see the deep pain our parting would bring to me. I had honestly feared I could not do this to her – that I couldn’t find the words – that she and I, together, would sink in the tempest of our grief. I thought of Jesus’ words to Peter: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” What had I doubted? I had doubted I could tell her, doubted we could survive the pain of parting, doubted that God could bring us both to acceptance and peace. I had even doubted he would get in the boat with us and still the storm in our hearts. On that long drive home up the English motorway, I could still hear the wind, and my eyes kept wandering to the waves; but now I sensed His arm under my elbow, guiding my feet over all I had been sinking under. Some partings have to be, but one parting never has to be. Nothing can part me from Jesus!

James addresses this subject of dealing with doubt in his letter to the believers of his day, who were facing many trials. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Then James says that if any of you don’t understand what is happening and why the test is testing you – if you lack wisdom – you should ask God the right questions, and He will give you the right answers. Such a person should ask questions like “How on earth can I consider this trial ‘pure joy,’ Lord?”, "How can I deal with these doubts?", or “Is this test doing what you want it to do in my life, Father – namely, develop my character and grow endurance so that I can be a mature believer and walk through the storm?” (James 1:2-5)

If you’re waiting for circumstances to change or others to fill you up, you won’t experience real joy. Only God restores and redeems a heart full of holes. Read more


When our broken places are laid before God, we find grace that brings greater growth than we could ever dream, grace that always measures up, even when we don’t. Read more

Faith 2 Comments

Our culture fosters a deep concern for body image. How can we encourage young women, at a heart level, to focus on an identity in Christ alone? Read more


Do you ever doubt your self-worth? Are you allowing what other people think of you, or even your own view of yourself, to eclipse God’s perspective of you? Read more


God has a plan for your life and He is constantly moving toward completing His ultimate purpose: making you into a more accurate image bearer of His Son, Jesus Christ. Read more

Finding Purpose

How can I trust God through hardship and uncertainty? Look at the Japanese art of Kintsugi. God too will make the broken beautiful! Read more


In our search to be Christian women who are both bold and gentle, we must avoid the pitfalls of either side. Read more

Faith 1 Comments

Seeking everyone's approval steals some of life's best moments. Learn to no longer be afraid of criticism. Let pleasing God become bigger than pleasing people. Read more

Finding Purpose

We can experience whiteouts in our faith and become disoriented and blinded by the circumstances of life. Doubt does that to you. Doubt is faith in distress. Read more


It’s all right to ask God questions. Trust that God listens to every word you say - never doubt his eager attention to your questions. Read more

Relationship with God

Full knowledge of ourselves will come only when we see Jesus face-to-face and know Him as perfectly as He knows us now. Read more


Learning we are not responsible for "everything" is a lifelong lesson. Certainly we need to own our transgressions - but sometimes the pain and guilt we carry isn’t our "stuff" to own. Read more

Emotional Health

In those moments of disbelief or shock, there have always been God’s coinciding words that are bigger and more powerful than the words you never wanted to hear. Read more

Tough Times

The stigma attached to depression, even within the faith community, can be more scary than the depression itself. Read more


In life, there are times we all feel stuck or lost or just lack motivation. A Life coach can get you off the sidelines and back in the game. Read more


Even with all of her successes, Ashley Thomas always struggled with being enough. After years of wrestling with God, she finally came to the life-changing conclusion: God is enough! Read more

Inspirational Stories

God uses our transparency to touch others in a way nothing else can. Read more

Featured Authors

Have you ever doubted your faith, God’s plans, or His love for you? Here are some practical ways you can deal such doubt. Read more

Trusting God

Hearing God’s voice and discerning God’s will often involves doubt. How can we be certain that it’s God’s voice that we are hearing and not just our own? Read more

God's Will

Lisa Harper shares how she was redeemed by God's mercy and grace and now lives a life free of guilt and shame. Read more

Inspirational Stories