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How Doubt Fits Into Your Faith Journey

When you’re uncertain about something, be honest with Jesus.

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When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Matthew 28:17 (NIV)

Today’s key verse has often baffled me. How could the disciples both worship Jesus and doubt Him at the same time? I decided to research its meaning, and what I found surprised me.

In the original Greek language, the word used for “doubted” is distazo. It implies hesitation or uncertainty about how to respond. It’s not to be confused with unbelief. In this context, eleven disciples met with Jesus shortly before His ascension. They worshiped Him as the risen Savior, but they doubted—they were unsure of how to respond to Him. Should they bow on their faces? Should they throw their arms around His neck and give Him giant hugs? Should they engage in dialogue or remain silent in His presence?

Understanding the meaning of this verse has helped me. I try to be intentional about daily living, but occasionally I doubt too. Sometimes I’m unsure about how to respond when my prayers aren’t answered as quickly as I wish. Should I keep asking or reword my requests and try again? Am I missing the mark completely? Is there something I should know or change before pursuing this prayer request any longer?

I once thought that worship and doubt could not abide in the same heart. Now I understand that doubt—distazo—is part of our faith journey. Let’s be honest with Jesus when we’re uncertain about how to respond to Him. He knows our hearts anyway—we can’t hide from Him. Honesty with Him deepens intimacy with Him.

Faith Step: Is there something you don’t understand? Tell Jesus.

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