Can doubt be proof of our salvation?
We often forget that believers should have genuine confidence concerning their standing before God. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Daniel, Peter, and Paul all make assertions similar to Job's bold proclamation: "I know that my Redeemer lives" (Job 19:25). The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells permanently in those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God (Rom. 8:11). The Father has given the Spirit to the Son (John 3:31-36) so His love would be poured out in the hearts of those whom Christ won (Rom. 5:5). And, through the Spirit, gives believers assurance that they may be certain that they are children of God (Rom. 8:14-17). Praise God that He has given us this great gift of assurance! But it doesn't always feel like that, does it? Sometimes doubts creep in. Sometimes we begin to question our salvation. Does that mean we are not saved? The Scriptures call us to use these doubts to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12-13) and to "be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election" (2 Pet. 1:10). But some, constantly discouraged by plagues of doubts, worry that if they were truly a believer this wouldn't happen to them.
That's not necessarily so...Have you ever considered that doubting your salvation MAY actually be a mark of assurance?
In part two of what is arguably Jonathan Edwards' most popular treatise, 'On Religious Affections', Edwards spends a great deal of time teasing out affections we experience that do not necessarily prove or disprove that their origin is of the Lord. Section XI it titled "It is no sign that affections are right, or that they are wrong, that they make persons exceeding confident". There Edwards argues that it is not the one who experiences doubts who should worry, but the one who doesn't. He writes:
"The devil does not assault the hope of the hypocrite, as he does the hope of a true saint... A hypocrite may retain his hope without opposition, as long as he lives, the devil never disturbing it, nor attempting to disturb it...But there is perhaps no true Christian but what has his hope assaulted by him. Satan assaulted Christ himself upon this, whether he were the Son of God or no: and the servant is not above his Master, nor the disciple above his Lord." - JE, On Religious Affections, Works 1:257.