Doubt can be both exhausting and bewildering, so talk to those close to you who are strong Catholics – such as your priest or youth minister – about it. Get involved with your parish, attend Bible studies and be around other Catholics to help clarify things for yourself.
Trusting God means believing in His reliability, truthfulness and power – not your feelings and circumstances as sources for faith.
Table of Contents
1. Doubts about God’s existence
Doubts about God are one of the primary concerns among young people today, and can stem from many sources – difficult life experiences, negative relationships with parents or adults, or cultural pressures which go against Christian belief are just some of them. It’s important to keep this in mind and remember that such doubts could stem from any number of circumstances.
First step to dealing with spiritual doubts is understanding their source, which provides more freedom when moving onto step two: dialogue. Honest dialogue grounded in grace and love can facilitate deeper processing of these doubts as well as present an opportunity for growth.
Emotions often contribute to doubt. To help young people understand that God may seem unfair at times when our emotions run high. Additionally, remind them that wrestling with difficult questions about faith does not constitute weakness; even some of Jesus’ closest companions had times of questioning themselves and his mission.
Thomas Aquinas’ famed Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas proposed five “proofs” that prove God exists through undeniable facts of nature – this can be found in Summa Theologica book and can include his argument from contingency which asserts that, since everything changes constantly in this world, something eternal must exist which drives these changes.
2. Doubts about God’s love
Doubting God’s love can be an ongoing struggle for many people. It may be hard to comprehend how an all-powerful, all-knowing god could allow such terrible acts as war and natural disasters that bring pain and suffering upon innocent people. Doubt about his affection can also arise due to stories of miracles which seem contradictory with scientific facts or religious organizations committing atrocities throughout history.
When doubts surface, it’s important to keep this in mind: everyone faces them at some point or another. Lord Tennyson wrote: ‘Honest doubt lives more faith than half the creeds.”
The Bible is full of stories of God’s mercy and kindness, yet it can be easy to forget that these qualities define who He truly is: an all-loving, compassionate, merciful being. If you find yourself struggling to trust in His love, remember that it comes freely rather than as something you deserve – He blesses those who place their faith in Him first!
One John 4:8 describes love as one of God’s primary attributes, suggesting it forms part of His character and manifests itself in everything He does. While human love may be subject to manipulation or control, God’s love remains pure and perfect, never faltering or failing us in its pursuit. God so loved the world that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for its sins to demonstrate his undying affection; although not everyone receives equal amounts; instead His universal love manifests itself over time in different forms according to redemptive purposes; His love doesn’t depend upon us doing well but instead relies on how well we respond in our pursuit of Jesus Christ!
3. Doubts about God’s power
No matter the source, doubt can be debilitating. It can lead to spiritual confusion and insecurity; left unchecked it may even lead to the disengagement from religious practices altogether. If someone you know is experiencing doubt, assist them by talking with them, encouraging them, and offering scripture-based support – remember, doubts don’t belong to us until we accept and adopt them as truthful statements.
Doubt about God isn’t unusual; some may struggle with understanding an all-powerful invisible force controlling everything, while others find it hard to reconcile biblical teachings of omnipotence with scientific evidence. Others still may question why an allegedly loving God allows suffering in this world, while stories about divine interventions or miracles that seem contradictory can further fuel doubt about his power, as can atrocities committed by certain religious groups throughout history.
In all these instances, there is something amiss between you and God. Doubt is often perceived as destructive in human relationships but elevated to virtuousness when applied to Him. Instead of making doubt your identity, use it as a catalyst to reconcile with Him and discover His truthful word.
Remind yourself that love for God and obedience should always come before any doubts you might have about His goodness or power. According to scripture, He can save anyone who calls on Him, heal the sick and raise the dead (Mark 16:17) as well as overcome any obstacle we face (1 Corinthians 16:9).
4. Doubts about God’s justice
People often question God’s justice. They often wonder why He allows evil and suffering, why He doesn’t stop wars, cure cancer and end poverty, punish the good while rewarding wicked ones; these are valid questions; however it is essential to remember that His justice is perfect and fair (Romans 12:17), rewarding those who trust in Him while punishing those who do not, eventually leading to lasting change for humanity as a whole.
As important, it’s also essential to remember that God is more than just a god of justice; He desires reconciliation between humanity and Himself, thus sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins rather than acting out his punishment himself, so that we could experience His eternal love and glory again.
If you have doubts about God’s justice, don’t be intimidated into hiding them away from Him. He wants you to approach Him honestly with prayers that don’t hold back on anything; He knows your struggles well enough not to be surprised or pulled away by them. Job, Abraham and Sarah, Gideon and Thomas all experienced doubts when their lives began crumbling apart – a universal experience we will all face at some point in our lives. Rather than try to stay silent about your doubts alone, seek out others with strong faith or wise writers to discuss with – this will help strengthen and expand your understanding of who He really is as well as His plan for the world.
5. Doubts about God’s purpose in my life
Doubts about God’s will often stem from an uncertainty of direction in one’s life, leaving many individuals feeling stuck and disillusioned with their journey ahead. If this describes you, perhaps spiritual connection needs to be made more often to gain peace of mind and direction for life’s journey ahead.
No matter their origins, doubts mustn’t linger unchecked as they can quickly lead to spiritual confusion and insecurity – an easy way for Satan to attack our faith by weakening trust in His Word and His judgement. To counteract this effect, it’s crucial that individuals strengthen their relationship with the Lord through prayer, fasting, confession and community activities – such as attending youth groups or Bible studies led by strong Catholic adults in your life.
As Christians, it’s also essential to recognize that doubt is an inevitable part of Christian living. Even the most devout saints experienced doubt at times – the Bible asserts this point by declaring, “there lives more faith in honest doubt than half the creeds.” In fact, Jesus himself experienced doubt at an important point during His ministry when they should have been at their most confident state.
As Asaph did, instead of running from doubt we should use it as an opportunity for growth and to deepen our faith. Bring our doubts before the Lord for guidance if necessary; ultimately they can strengthen your faith by forcing you to seek answers and rely on Him more.