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March 18, 2019

When You Doubt Your Salvation

My hair was up in a messy bun and I was sitting cross-legged on my parent's futon. My Bible was opened to where I had left off reading. I loved that futon. My mind was wondering as I tried to focus on what I was reading. Homework, friends, chores . . . whatever it was that preoccupied my mind, it was interrupted by a troubling thought: am I saved? Just as Mondays sneak up on us after a long weekend, this thought snuck into my mind.


Have you ever doubted your salvation? I am referring to a time when you've been sorry for your mistakes and sins and decided that you are done trying to be "good," and "trusted" Christ to cover your sins. The more I talk to other Christ followers, the more I realize that this is a common experience that can lead to doubt. The stories we hear over and over again about a drug addict drastically changed overnight after surrendering to Jesus, makes me wonder, "what about my story?" If you've been raised in a Christian home like me, chances are your momma probably had you praying "the prayer" when you were four. You might not even remember it!


I doubted God's ability to save me while sitting on that futon. If I have any part in the process of my salvation, I am very wrong. However, it may make me more secure in my salvation if I had control over some part of it! The fear that was taking shape in my mind stemmed from the fact that I didn't fully understand the commitment, the prayer, or the process.


When we doubt our salvation—like any doubt that comes to mind––we must not lean into each thought. Ignoring the wrestling process would be ignoring a truth God is teaching you about Himself.  We must not ignore the process, but by leaning into prayer and reading the Word, we learn to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The Bible says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). 


There can be many reasons why we doubt our salvation:

  • Maybe there is a sin in your life that you have not been able to conquer. This sin keeps happening, leaving you feeling like a failure every time and not worthy of Christ's forgiveness. If this is the case, remember that salvation happens once and sanctification is a process; confession needs to happen every time we sin. Being "saved" doesn't mean that we are now perfect. We are still human and we still make mistakes, but we are bought with a price: the blood of Christ. The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Another verse that teaches us about confession is, "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
  • There is a spiritual attack that happens without us being fully aware. One of the best things the enemy can do to serve his purposes is tricking us into thinking our soul is not saved or is beyond saving. You have assurance of salvation “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10). The time or day that you believed doesn't really matter; what does matter is that today, you believe. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith" (1 Peter 5:8-9).
  • You may not be saved. Maybe we doubt our salvation because we've relied on our parent's faith to save us. Unlike my love for futons, my salvation and relationship with Christ cannot be passed down. Maybe you doubt your salvation because God wants you to take the next step. Maybe you doubt because you've never really relied on Him to save you. Maybe Christianity has been your parent's "thing" or maybe Christianity has looked like a list of rules. Trust Christ to be your salvation. TODAY.

After the sneaky thought “am I saved” crept into my mind, I ran down the stairs to my mom's kitchen. I was so thankful she was standing there washing dishes from last night's dinner. I knew she'd help relieve my anxiety! I wasted no time in talking to her about my fears. She said, “Go back to the Bible.” She gave me specific verses to look up at this moment, here are a few:


"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" (John 10:27-29).


 "I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:38-40).


"There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).


Aren't you glad our salvation is not based on our feelings? Feelings are fleeting, but salvation is eternal. Our salvation is based on God's truth. When you doubt, talk to someone you respect and who is further along in their faith journey. The next thing to do is to go right to the Word of God. 


What is God teaching you about Himself through your doubts? 


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Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.

That's Real with Hannah Lynn

That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.