COVID, the Christian, and Doubt

Let’s be honest, we’re not enjoying the way the world is at the moment, are we? Not gathering as the church, kids not going to school and not seeing their friends, not getting together with our own adult friends, the inability to travel and see family, friends, or far-off lands. Honestly, not many people can say they are 100% happy with the world right now. This also makes us doubt, doesn’t it? Why is this happening, is this consistent with a good and loving God? How do I feel about all of this?

So is it ok to doubt? As a Christian, is it ok to doubt? Honestly, it depends.

There are different kinds of doubt, and whether it’s ok to entertain them depends on the particular type of doubt. Let’s break them down.

There are doubts of the will. Example – do I want to follow Jesus? Do I want to do this or that?

To this, the Bible has a strong response – James 1.5-8 says 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

There are doubts of the mind. Example – can this be proven? Do I understand this?

To this, the Bible has a softer response – Isaiah 1.18 says

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
    they shall become like wool.

Then, there are doubts of the emotion. Example – how do I feel about this?

In the latter stages of his short letter, Jude is writing specifically about those caught under false teaching, to those who are being taught things to make them feel differently about their faith. He writes,

have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. 

Jude 1.22-23

Jude is talking, it seems, about doubts of the emotion – how do I feel about all of this? 

Doubts of the will, doubts of the mind, and doubts of the emotions.

Doubt is human and doubt is universal, says Os Guinness. We live in a broken world and to doubt how we feel about it all is sadly just a part of life. We are going to question how we feel about things on an almost daily basis. Maybe how you feel about COVID-19 and its impact on the world changes daily. That’s ok.

Doubt, inherently, isn’t a bad thing. 

Psalm 73 also speaks of the response to doubts of the heart.

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

So, is it ok to have moments of doubt? Yes, absolutely.

Your feelings will change on all manner of things, maybe daily. When we come across people who hold a different opinion to us, when we come across people who are feeling differently about things to us, when we come across people who doubt things we don’t, Jude tells us to have mercy on those who doubt

Author Charles Hummel said that a stronger faith can emerge through doubt. It’s ok to doubt how you feel about things, change how you feel about things. It doesn’t make you a bad Christian if your feelings and emotions change on a topic back-and-forth. You learn some more, you feel differently about something. You feel differently about something, so you learn some more, and so on and so forth. The key for you as a believer will be to always and forever filter everything through the lens of Jesus, Jesus who never changes (Hebrews 13.8, John 8.58). Our desire to follow an unchanging and eternal God in an ever-changing world must never be doubted.

COVID may have you doubting how you feel about certain things, it may have you doubting how much you know about certain things, but, Christian, COVID should never have you doubting if you want to follow Jesus through all things.

Spiritual Depression – Mind, Heart, and Will – Romans 6.17-18/Romans 12.1-2

17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

So far in our mini-series on spiritual depression we have looked at the causes of this all-too-common condition. If you haven’t read any of the previous pieces you can do here.

Today we see that there is a whole life response needed to the truths of Jesus to avoid spiritual depression. We know that the whole counsel of God’s Word is needed to communicate the truths of Jesus, and it stands to reason then that our whole lives must be influenced and affected by it.

Romans 6.17-18 points to the whole person, as does Romans 12.1-2, and we read of obedience, the heart, the standard of teaching, and being slaves of righteousness.

We need balance in our Christian life in order to avoid spiritual depression, and to experience all that God has for us.

If we focus on the mind only, we become brainy and insightful with no desire to serve.

If we focus on the emotion only, we become overly emotional in our faith but lack understanding.

If we focus on the will only, we become fired up to serve, but don’t really connect with those we are serving.

The whole truth of Jesus needs a whole life response – mind, emotion, and will, or head, heart, and hands.

Lloyd-Jones speaks into the balance needed to live the fruitful Christian life, and offers this in response to those to focus on only one element of their person,

These are the people who decide to take up Christianity instead of being taken up by Christianity.

He goes on to call them spiritual monstrosities, and says that if truth is not first understood and internalised then the heart and hands will never work properly, so to speak.

The order suggested is this – head, then heart, then hands.

First we must understand what it is we are responding to. Understand why Jesus shedding His blood for you was such a big deal. Understand the huge change that has taken place within you, and the power that now lives in you.

When this is understood, the heart is softened, and the hands are readied.

Lloyd-Jones writes

Truth is received through God’s greatest gift to man, the mind, the understanding.

Simply then, one big step on the road to avoiding spiritual depression is to order the way God’s truth flows into our lives, first head, then heart, then hands.

Let us commit today to understanding and knowing more about our great God, and having hearts softened and hands readied by this wonderful truth.

Finding God’s Will; 1. The Belgian Duke

13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6.13.

In the fourteenth century two brothers fought for the right to rule over a dukedom in what is now Belgium. The elder brother’s name was Raynald, but he was commonly called “Crassus,” a Latin nickname meaning “fat”.

After a heated battle, Raynald’s younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him and assumed the title of Duke over his lands. But instead of killing Raynald, Edward devised a sneaky solution. He had a room in the castle built around “Crassus,” a room with only one door. The door was not locked, the windows were not barred, and Edward promised Raynald that he could regain his land and his title any time that he wanted to. All he would have to do is leave the room. The obstacle to freedom was not in the doors or the windows, but with Raynald himself. Being grossly overweight, he could not fit through the door, even though it was of near-normal size. All Raynald needed to do was slim down to a smaller size, then walk out a free man, with all he had had before his defeat. However, his younger brother kept sending him an assortment of tasty treats, and Raynald’s desire to be free never beat his desire to eat (adapted from EnduringWord).

Crassus was certainly not using his members (his body) as an instrument for righteousness, was he?

On a very simple level, we should be living to please God, not ourselves.


Our bodies are servants to the master that is our will.

Simply, our will is greater than our bodies.


That’s how people can do extreme endurance events, function with no sleep, rescue others from dangerous situations, how there are stories of mothers lifting cars off children. The will is far more powerful than the body, and we are to choose to present ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and our members, our bodies, to God as instruments for righteousness.

The will is far stronger than the body, and it is up to us how we use our bodies; in service to or in rebellion against the way God says we are to live. Our will is strong and will ultimately direct our path, but sometimes takes us places we ought not to go. But God’s will for our lives is always sure, always perfect, and, if it is sure and perfect for Jesus to follow (Matthew 26.39), then it is absolutely sure and perfect enough for us to follow.

This week we will focus on how to find God’s will for your life, how to see God’s guiding hand in your life. For today, think,

Am I presenting myself to God as one who has been brought from death to life, and am I presenting my will and body to God as instruments for righteousness?