How to Embrace Doubt and Attain True Faith

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.  ~Matthew 17:20

Faith as small as a mustard seed…If you have the smallest or weakest of faith, you can perform even the most difficult undertaking. The greatest and most seemingly impossible difficulty can be overcome by the tiniest bit of faith.

When I ask my clients if I could wave a magic wand that could not take away OCD, but could give them something, what would they want…many many clients will say, “faith.” Faith in God. Faith in themselves.

  • I need to have faith that I turned the stove off. I don’t want to keep checking. I need to have more faith in myself.
  • I feel frightened by this thought. I need to have faith that I am not my thoughts.
  • When I pray I don’t feel anything.  How do I have a relationship with God if I can’t feel it? I shouldn’t have these doubts. My faith needs to be stronger.
  • Facebook is depressing. I read all these posts from people who have such a strong faith. They know without a doubt that their foundation is unshakable. I need that kind of faith.
  • I just have to have faith that nothing bad will happen.
  • I need to have faith that this is OCD.

It’s not really faith they’re looking for. Because faith happens mostly in a swamp of uncertainty. People with OCD are not looking for a swamp of sticky icky doubt, unless they’ve had really good therapy.

Most people resisting OCD desire a sense of peacefulness to flow through their veins. This is what they think of when they define “faith.” In their opinion, faith is free of doubt. It’s knowing something with such certainty that you can just feel it.

That’s Not Faith

Faith has nothing to do with peacefulness or a sense of certainty.

Faith is not a physical sensation. This is very hard for people with OCD to grasp. If you have OCD you believe a certain feeling can convert you from the doubt.

Faith doesn’t involve a physical sense. We can’t touch it. Can’t hear it. Can’t smell it. Can’t taste it. Can’t see it. Can’t feel it. 

You can’t be converted from doubt. And you don’t need to be in order to have true faith.

By embracing doubt you will attain true faith. And when you have truth faith, you end up surrendering.

Faith is a POWER that results in surrendering. 

  • What if I’m on the wrong path?
  • What if I do something that is unpleasing or harmful?
  • What if I didn’t protect or prevent harm when I could have?
  • What if I regress and can’t handle it?
  • What if this is permanent?
  • What if I’m never truly happy again?

Time Will Tell

Be willing to find out. This is surrendering. This is the power of true faith. 

You don’t need to be completely willing to find out. That would be experiencing a doubt-free journey. That’s not what we’re going for! We’re not looking for a sense of certainty. It can’t be found!

Your willingness to find out what happens only needs to be the size of a mustard seed. Because like any seed…it will grow. 

What is faith?

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.~ Hebrews 11:1

Hope for the best but embrace the doubt.

Live with it. Take action despite the doubt.

Hope for the best. Time will tell.

Be willing to find out what happens.

This is true faith. Surrender and you can move mountains.

7 thoughts on “How to Embrace Doubt and Attain True Faith”

  1. Even on my worst days, faith has been there helping me to move forward, even when I didn’t want to. Faith even a small amount can be powerful, I recongize that now.

  2. Beautifully said in your blog: “Be willing to find out. This is surrendering. This is the power of true faith. ” The challenges I face to surrender are thoughts of People are Depending on ME, or, if I dont do it it wont get done. So now the question is: So what? Lets find out what happens!

  3. Amen! I agree with this. I have had many dark days where I doubted my faith due to crappy life circumstances and subsequent painful feelings. I think that my underlying thought process was something like” If I am feeling this crappy is my faith really true? ” and “Why is this happening to me if God is good? This shouldn’t be happening to me!”
    However, the TRUTH is that absence of pain and struggle doesn’t equal faith. We aren’t promised a “peaceful feeling” all the time in this life and no one is immune to bad things happening no matter who they are. Faith can spring from pain. I can learn from pain, grow through struggle (even OCD struggles ), become more proactive and self-aware, trust in God to guide me through the murk of life’s struggles… Being willing to surrender to uncertainty and knowing that pain and struggle are a NORMAL part of life is important for me to remember. Thanks for giving me some encouraging words to ponder this morning.

    1. I catch myself thinking that God has human emotions and intellect. And then I remember he is omnipotent and all-knowing. He did not achieve this power and wisdom by us!!! I’m just a tiny speck of a human who simply cannot understand God’s plan. Compared to God I only use about 3% of brain power–oh my! What am I saying!!! That’s a rather high estimate!!! Yes, there is peace in knowing that God is working through us. And, we simply can’t fathom what He’s up to. I’m good with that. I don’t need to know the plan. I just know I’m part of the plan. But mostly, I know this person and I have met because there’s something I need to learn. I am deeply touched and blessed to meet such incredibly strong people. Thank you so much for your comments. You are AMAZING!!!!!

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