J.C. Ryle Quote – Faith

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“Doubting does not prove that a man has no faith, but only that his faith is small. And even when our faith is small, the Lord is ready to help us. ”

– J.C. Ryle


J.C. Ryle Faith Quote Commentary


The opposite of faith is not disbelief. Disbelief is another form of faith. No. The opposite of faith is doubt. While faith affirms and strengthens, doubt erodes, gnaws, and burns with time. Where faith pushes us to run on empty and see a bright tomorrow in the middle of pitch darkness, doubt reminds us that our bright today will be followed by a dark night. Doubt focuses our gaze on defeat, loss, pain, and emptiness. This is actually a good thing. In fact, for the Christian with a clear understanding of faith and walking with Christ, doubt isn’t something to be avoided like the plague but actually a moment that can be recognized as a blessing.

Unlocking the blessing behind doubt

When we doubt, we have two choices. We can choose to follow what comes easy and just go down a downward spiral of doubt and questioning that leads ultimately to disbelief. Or we can look at doubt for what it truly is-a blessing. A blessing? Doubt can actually be a blessing because when we question our faith and the foundations of our faith, we get an opportunity to accept our faith. We are in a position, in the middle of doubt, to accept our faith based on a full understanding of what we’re dealing. It is as if doubt cast a light on the articles of our faith and we are given the opportunity, in full view of what we’re dealing with, to trust, accept, and believe.

Doubt leads to mature faith

The reality of many Christians is that they believe only because they are subscribing to the faith of their parents. Many of us are living our lives of faith using ‘hand me down religion.’ doubt enables us to actively and willfully choose what we believe in. We believe not because our parents believe or because our peers believe but we choose to believe and we’ve seen the alternative. Doubt enables us to choose our faith with open eyes. This path to faith only leads to mature faith without the intoxicating and numbing regalia of assumed faith like social status, social payoffs, or focus on rituals. Doubt can lead to a mature faith where every single day is a choice to follow Jesus with clear and open eyes. When we walk with Him with open eyes, his words have stronger resonance. Why? You aren’t giving Jesus the benefit of the doubt, He proves his love and presence in your life day to day through your reliance and trust in him. Are you ready to use whatever doubts you have to develop a more mature faith?

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