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The GoodLion Podcast

Battling Intrusive Thoughts (Aaron & Brian) - Strategies for the Christian to resist and overcome thoughts of doubt, discouragement, & fear and re-center on Christ.

Mon May 22 2023

The CGN International Pastors and Leaders Conference

  • The Good Lion Podcast is promoting the CGN International Pastors and Leaders Conference in June.
  • The theme of the conference is "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" and will focus on Isaiah 61.
  • There will be various speakers, prayer, worship, fellowship, and meals at the conference.

Dealing with Intrusive Thoughts as a Christian

  • A listener asked how to deal with intrusive thoughts related to doubt and discouragement as a Christian.
  • Intrusive thoughts are uninvited and unwanted ideas that can range from mildly annoying to disturbing.
  • Trying to push away or ignore these thoughts can make them persist even more.
  • The speaker shares a personal experience with intrusive thoughts involving profanity during prayer which caused doubt regarding salvation.
  • Intrusive thoughts are a common experience for many Christians and can take many forms, such as doubts about one's faith, feelings of guilt, or fears of judgment.
  • These thoughts can be persistent and distracting, causing mental and emotional turmoil.
  • Intrusive thoughts are not unique to just Christians and can be caused by anxiety, stress, or trauma.
  • Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing and can lead to deeper understanding in our faith.
  • The Bible offers many verses that provide comfort and reassurance for those struggling with intrusive thoughts.
  • God understands that doubting and fear is often a part of the human experience and does not condemn us for it.
  • It's important to remember that we are not alone in our struggles with intrusive thoughts.

Overcoming Intrusive Thoughts

  • Believers are part of a larger community facing similar struggles.
  • The enemy attacks the mind to get to the heart.
  • Prayer is a valuable tool for comfort and peace.
  • Resisting the devil through prayer is helpful in spiritual combat.
  • Focusing on gratitude can shift attention away from intrusive thoughts.
  • Our thoughts do not define us, and we can bring them into obedience to Christ.
  • Christians can redirect their thoughts and focus on things that strengthen their faith.
  • Redirecting our thoughts and focusing on things that strengthen our faith requires intentional effort to change patterns of thinking.
  • Focusing on the reality of Jesus as truth is one of the most effective things to do, as he says "I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life."
  • Seeking out support from other believers can be helpful in preserving and strengthening faith.
  • Cultivating a deep abiding trust in God is key to overcoming intrusive thoughts.

Addressing Doubts about Faith

  • The podcast discusses intrusive thoughts related to doubts about one's faith.
  • The host suggests that these thoughts can be frustrating and make it difficult to believe in scripture.
  • The guest shares his own experience with similar thoughts and acknowledges that they are common.
  • Dealing with these thoughts depends on the nature of the thought itself.
  • The guest recommends grounding the thought in reality if it is a ridiculous or unlikely scenario.
  • Intrusive thoughts related to doubts about faith should not be ignored or silenced, but rather addressed by seeking out answers from reliable sources such as pastors, community groups, and Christian resources.
  • Repressing doubts can make them scarier.
  • It's important to engage with doubts and seek out answers from good resources.
  • Doubting your own doubts takes courage.
  • Christians should encourage others to explore their doubts, even if it leads them away from the faith.
  • Some people who leave the faith may not have genuinely sought out answers from reputable Christian sources.

Navigating Doubt and Faith

  • The speaker wants to have a conversation about breakdowns and confusion in Christian behavior.
  • Doubts are normal and should be faced, but seeking apologetics books that only confirm one's beliefs is not encouraged.
  • The speaker believes that Jesus wants to lead people to the truth and can be found through both theology and personal experience.
  • Resources such as Charlie Campbell and the Bible Project can help with learning about one's beliefs.
  • Praying for an experiential encounter with Jesus is encouraged, as he wants to prove himself to doubters.
  • The nagging question of how we can know if we can trust the Bible or if Jesus was real can draw people away from faith.
  • Doubting your doubts can be helpful for navigating the tension between doubt and faith, but it can also be used to justify anything.
  • Doubt and faith are not mutually exclusive, and doubt can lead to a deeper understanding of God's character and purpose.
  • New Christians may struggle with understanding difficult passages in the Bible, such as the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Without proper guidance and study, new Christians may develop a skewed perception of God's character based on these passages.
  • Doubting one's doubts can lead to deeper understanding and exploration of faith.
  • It is important to ask questions and seek guidance from mentors when encountering challenging concepts in Scripture.
  • Doubt can be beneficial in pursuing truth, but it should not be left unchecked as it can lead to skepticism and cynicism.

Trusting in God Amidst Doubts

  • Doubt can lead to skepticism and cynicism, undermining our trust in God and leading us away from faith.
  • Cultivating a posture of openness and humility in our faith is important, questioning assumptions and beliefs while listening to the wisdom of others.
  • Our faith should be grounded in deep trust and reliance on God, even in the midst of doubts and struggles.
  • Fear and doubt can be irrational and unfounded, but we can choose to trust in God's love and care for us.
  • Placing our trust in Jesus makes us safe and secure, even as we go through moments where our faith wavers.


  • The speaker prays for listeners who struggle with intrusive thoughts.
  • The prayer is that these thoughts would be replaced with thoughts of Jesus and his mission, vision, and heart for them.
  • The speaker thanks the listeners for tuning in.
  • The podcast ends with a wish for the peace of Jesus Christ to be with the listeners.