How To Overcome And Navigate Your Crisis Of Faith

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Published by Kenneth Garcia

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Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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In many of our sobering moments, we question our faith. If there is a good God, why does he allow millions of people to die because of hunger? Why does he allow mass shootings to occur every so often in our malls, parks, and schools? Why is there searing heat or high floodwaters in our cities? Why are our ranks and my family in so much pain and suffering? During these trying moments, we question the existence of God [1] and his supposed goodness toward us. As a result, our faith wavers.

Faith is essential to the Christian journey, offering comfort, guidance, and purpose. Yet doubts and uncertainties may arise, causing a crisis of faith. While disorienting and challenging, such troubles are not uncommon and can be part of the growth and deepening of one’s spiritual journey.

What Does It Mean To Have A Crisis Of Faith?

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

— James 1:6

After Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples shared stories of encountering the resurrected Christ, but Thomas struggled to believe. He expressed doubt, longing to see Jesus’ wounds. One day, Jesus appeared to them, including Thomas. Jesus invited Thomas to touch his wounds, and at that moment, Thomas’s doubt transformed into unwavering faith, declaring Jesus as “My Lord and my God.

A crisis of faith is a profound period of doubt and questioning that can be distressing and emotionally intense for a follower of Jesus Christ. This challenging experience arises when fundamental aspects of one’s Christian beliefs, like the existence of God, the meaning of Scripture, or life’s purpose, come under scrutiny. Such crises often occur due to tragic events, challenging situations, or painful losses, leaving individuals confused, sad, or angry toward God.

It’s crucial to understand that experiencing such a crisis of faith doesn’t indicate someone is a bad or fake Christian. Scripture acknowledges that all Christians may encounter doubt, worry, or confusion. Despite the pain and uncertainty, this period can also serve as an opportunity for growth and deeper exploration of one’s beliefs.

What Does A Faith Crisis Feel Like?

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them. He will deliver them from all their misfortunes. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

— Psalm 34:17-18

Experiencing a crisis of faith can trigger emotions such as fear, guilt, confusion, and isolation as beliefs seem to shift. This limbo can be emotionally and spiritually challenging. Yet, it’s essential to understand that such crises are typical and can lead to deeper and more authentic faith as part of spiritual growth.

Doubts about one’s beliefs are common among Christians and human beings, but their intensity varies. For most, doubts fall within the mildly to moderately troubling range, similar to battling a bad cold or flu—requiring care but not threatening faith. However, a significant minority of Christians may endure one or more seasons of doubt so intense that they experience what are commonly referred to as “faith crises.”

illustration of person atop a building overlooking the city

What Causes A Crisis Of Faith?

Doctrinal Doubts

A devout Christian studying biology in college might face conflicts between the theory of evolution and the biblical creation account, creating uncertainty about reconciling these perspectives. A crisis of faith can emerge when theological or doctrinal questions clash with beliefs, be they scientific discoveries or interpretations of religious texts.

Personal Suffering

Experiencing personal suffering, like losing a loved one or a painful divorce, can lead faithful Christians to question God’s love and the fairness of divine plans. Intense suffering may cause them to question their faith and the existence of a benevolent higher power amidst such adversity.

Moral Dilemmas

A devoted Christian torn between pacifist teachings and the necessity of defending his country in military service faces a moral dilemma challenging his understanding of God’s will. Ethical and moral conflicts may trigger a crisis of faith as people grapple with how religious teachings align with their sense of right and wrong, causing a problem of conscience.

Religious Hypocrisy

Discovering financial scandals or abusive behavior involving a respected pastor or religious leader can leave a lifelong believer feeling disillusioned and questioning their faith community’s sincerity. Witnessing hypocrisy or misconduct within religious institutions may lead to doubts and a loss of confidence in the authenticity of their faith.

Intellectual Challenges

An individual raised in a conservative Christian environment may face a crisis of faith in college when encountering philosophical arguments that question the existence of God or the problem of evil. Exposure to secular worldviews, scientific advancements, and intellectual challenges can lead to doubts as people grapple with new perspectives and knowledge.

Lack of Personal Experience

Feeling disconnected from others’ profound spiritual experiences can lead individuals to doubt the authenticity of their faith. Comparing themselves to those who share stories of divine connections may cause Christians to struggle with spiritual emptiness, questioning why they haven’t encountered similar moments or witnessed miraculous events.

Social and Cultural Influences

A young Bible-carrying and prayerful Christian living in a predominantly secular society may face ridicule or rejection for their beliefs, causing them to question whether their faith is relevant or reasonable in the modern world. Cultural shifts, peer pressure, or a secularizing society may contribute to a crisis of faith.

How Do You Deal With A Faith Crisis?

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. The peace of God transcends all understanding. It will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

— Philippians 4:6-7

5 Things You Should Do To Cope And Overcome Your Crisis Of Faith

1. Seek Understanding And Knowledge. Instead of avoiding doubts, embrace them with an open mind. Seek answers through reading books, listening to podcasts, and discussing with knowledgeable individuals who can address your questions and concerns. Engaging in these ways can lead to a deeper faith, an understanding of God’s plan, and the resolution of your doubts.

2. Find A Supportive Community. Seek out a supportive community of believers open to discussing their doubts and struggles. Sharing experiences with fellow Christians can be comforting and offer new perspectives.

3. Practice Self-Compassion. It’s essential to be kind to yourself during this challenging time. Acknowledge that it’s okay to have doubts and that wrestling with your faith can be an opportunity for growth.

4. Read The Word Of God. Wisdom and guidance abound in God’s Word. Scripture imparts the powerful truth of God, as the Apostle Paul wrote that it is beneficial for teaching, training, and correction (1 Timothy 3:16). During a crisis of faith, Scripture can help believers unravel misunderstandings and confusion, leading them to a stronger and more grounded understanding of their beliefs.

5. Engage In Prayer And Meditation. Use prayer and meditation as tools to connect with God and find peace amid uncertainty. Be honest and open in your conversations with the divine.

5 Things You Should Not Do When You Have A Crisis Of Faith

1. Suppress Your Doubts. Ignoring or suppressing doubts about one’s faith can create a dissonance between what a person believes and what they genuinely question or struggle with. This internal conflict may lead to emotional turmoil and confusion. Instead, embracing doubts can catalyze seeking truth and a deeper understanding of one’s beliefs.

2. Isolate Yourself. During a crisis of faith, avoiding faith and the Christian community can worsen the situation. Sharing struggles with trusted individuals and offering support and wisdom is vital. Staying connected prevents loneliness, providing a loving spiritual growth and resolution community.

3. Engage In Negative Self-Talk. Avoid negative self-talk when facing doubts. Harshness towards yourself for questioning can hinder spiritual growth and healing. Instead, show compassion, acknowledging doubt as a natural part of the faith journey. Be kind during uncertainty for deeper introspection and a profound connection with your faith.

4. Stop Praying And Reading The Bible. During a crisis of faith, stopping prayer and avoiding the Bible may seem reasonable, but it hinders finding peace. God can handle doubts; staying connected in prayer maintains loving guidance. Though motivation to read God’s Word may wane, persevering and seeking God’s truth are essential to overcoming the crisis.

5. Reject Your Past Beliefs. Embracing doubts as a natural part of spiritual growth is essential; it doesn’t mean rejecting past beliefs outright. Instead, integrate new insights into your evolving faith and avoid solely trusting your own understanding. Remember that doubts don’t diminish God’s love for you; he loves every person unconditionally.

Prayer When Having A Crisis Of Faith

Heavenly Father,

I come before you with a heavy heart and a crisis of faith in this moment of uncertainty and doubt. I confess my struggles and fears, seeking your divine guidance and strength. Lord, help me see beyond my doubts and find the light of truth within your Word. Grant me the courage to confront my uncertainties with unwavering trust in Your promises.

Remind me of your unfailing love and the countless times you have carried me through trials. Though my faith may waver, your faithfulness remains steadfast. Open my eyes to the wonders of your creation, the miracles You perform daily, and the blessings You bestow upon Your children.

Please grant me the wisdom to seek answers and the humility to accept that some questions may remain unanswered. Strengthen my relationship with you so I may experience a deeper faith and connection and find solace in your presence during this crisis and throughout my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray.

Amen.
woman in bathtub

Conclusion

The journey from doubt to the belief of the apostle Thomas teaches that even in moments of uncertainty, the resurrected Christ meets us with grace and understanding, strengthening our faith. Thomas’s story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of encountering the risen Savior amid a crisis of faith.

A crisis of Christian faith can be a challenging and transformative experience. Embrace it as an opportunity for growth and a deeper understanding of your beliefs. In times of doubt, seek knowledge and support while being gentle with yourself. Faith is a journey with room for doubt. With courage, patience, and an open heart, navigate through uncertainty to find a stronger and more resilient faith on the other side.

3 thoughts on “How To Overcome And Navigate Your Crisis Of Faith”

  1. i pray to God the creator of heaven and earth to help me strength my faith him
    every spirit of doubting in my life i distract in the name of jesus christ i pray amen

    Reply
  2. may you teach me lord how to believe in you and trust in you my GOD
    i want my faith to stay strong no matter the crisis my
    lord i just want to have pace. Psalm 34:17-18 it says
    The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    Reply
  3. i want to grow my faith in the lord and improve on my relationship with him and to have peace in the lord Jesus christ

    Reply

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