There is a term that marketers and sales people use to try and convince you to buy their product. It’s called FUD: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. This is the simple notion that if someone can get you to question your current situation, then you may turn to them to feel more secure.
Here’s a classic example. Say you go down to your local car dealership (we’ll call them Zubaru). You tell the sales rep that you are also checking out another brand (let’s call them Bolvo). The Zubaru guy might say something like this,“The Zubaru Legacy has the highest safety rating of any mid-size sedan. Does the Bolvo have 10 years of perfect five-star safety ratings?” Boom. Fear, uncertainty, doubt. "You’re telling me that the Bolvo might not protect my family? I need the Zubaru Legacy."
The truth is that fear, uncertainty, and doubt pervade the average person’s everyday thoughts and many people spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about FUD-based “what might happen”scenarios."I am doing what I should be doing? Should I change my job? Should I find a new relationship? What if there is something better out there?"
Satan is a master at wielding fear, uncertainty, and doubt to try and further his purposes. He zealously tries to plant even a moment of doubt in our minds about who God is, whether or not he is good, or just to question where we are at in our lives. This is exactly what happened in the garden. Satan, the slimy used-car salesman that he is, sidled on up to Eve and made her doubt what she knew. "Will you really die if you eat that fruit? Is God trying to keep something good from you? If so, is he as good as you think he is?"
The good news is that we can combat Satan’s fear, uncertainty, and doubt with the truth of what we know about God from his word.
God loves us, so we don’t need to fear.
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18
Because we are so powerfully loved by God, we know that he will protect us (Psalm 121:7), provide for us (Matthew 6:31-32), seek after us (Luke 15), and comfort us (2 Cor. 1:1-7). Satan may try to plant fear in us that God is not good, loving or strong enough to do what he has promised. But we know from the Bible that God does fulfill his promises (Exodus, Joshua) and is powerful enough to save us (Zeph. 3:17).
We can be certain of what we believe.
"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
God has not made us empty promises. He established the concept of a covenant early on in human history, promising Abraham that his descendants would be a great, chosen people and that they would inherit a Promised Land. God made good on his word and brought the people out of slavery and into that Promised Land. God promised that he would send a redeemer, a better Adam, a better David, to come and make a way for us to be made right with him. He sent his son Jesus to live on the Earth and die, and then to be raised again, fulfilling another promise that God had made. He has made us a promise (a New Covenant) that if we receive the free gift of salvation then he will welcome us into an eternal, unbroken relationship with him. He has promised us that he will return and restore the world from its current broken state into his eternal kingdom. And in this we can have full confidence and certainty because God has shown himself to be worthy of our trust.
God is still with us when we doubt.
“I believe! Help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
The truth is that sometimes we all have doubt. Jesus’ disciples had their doubts, Abraham and Moses certainly doubted at times. Satan is, unfortunately, a pretty good salesman and he plants these little, subtle seeds of FUD in our minds that can grow and spread to make us question our beliefs. God is still with us in this. He grants us the gift of faith (Eph. 2:8) and then continually invites us in to a deeper trust and faith in him.In the end, we are not saved by the strength of our belief, but by the object of our belief: Jesus Christ. We’re not saved by our own certainty about Jesus, but by God’s act of mercy in history to save us and show himself to us.