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I HAVE MY DOUBTS

"Faith is not the absence of doubt. Faith is the means to overcome it." - Steven Furtick


I firmly believe that fear and doubt live on the same tree.

They grow from the same roots that were birthed from the seeds of sinful humanity.

They are etched and arching into the sky and towering over us,

often shadowing our faith, trust and belief.

But just because a tree occasionally casts a shadow over the ground beneath it,

it doesn't mean that what is beneath it stops living.


If there is any Christian man or woman who says that they have never doubted, they need to reassess their commitment to the ninth commandment.


Book after book in the Bible, we are given examples of great saints who experienced doubt.


  • Luke 1:13-18: Zacharias was told about the upcoming birth and destiny of John. The first words out of his mouth were, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man"

  • Luke 1:26-34: Mary was told by the Angel of the Lord that she was going to be carrying and delivering Jesus. The first words out of her mouth were, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

  • Judges 6:14-15: The Lord told Gideon that he was the one who was going to save his people. Gideon's response was, "Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

  • Genesis 17:15-17: When God told Abraham that his wife would bear him a son and be a mother of nations, the Bible says that Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?"

  • Exodus 3-4: Moses was spoken to through a burning bush by the Lord God. While he was obedient in the end, his first words were, "Who am I that I should go?" The Lord told him that He would be with him. Moses then began a series of questions: "Who should I say sent me?" "What if they don't believe me?" "What if they don't listen to me?" "I am not eloquent. I can't speak to them." And, finally, he said, "Please send someone else!" Yet, through it all, God worked many wonders through Moses.


  • In the book of Jonah, we see Jonah, a Prophet of the Lord God, being given a task and Word from the Lord, but then running 2,500 miles in the opposite direction. Despite disobedience, God still used Jonah to deliver His Word of repentance to a lost people.



  • John the Baptist was the one who paved the way - declaring the coming of the Messiah. Most people don't realize that John the Baptist was put into prison almost right away and that he did not get to witness any of Jesus' miracles in person. From prison, John the Baptist sent some of his disciples to Jesus and asked, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" Jesus sent John's disciples back with encouragement that He was the One (Matthew 11). There are mixed opinions on this subject, as to whether or not John the Baptist had growing doubts as he sat, closed in, in prison. Some think that he was simply leading his disciples to look towards Jesus. But, taking the facts as they are, as they are recorded by Matthew, we can dwell on the fact that we can all have expectations of what we are hoping for, just as the Jewish people were hoping for a Messiah who would immediately free them from Roman rule. God has a plan. It isn't always our plan.

    • The unfulfillment of our expectations can lead us to doubt and it is only after we realize that God's plan is more worthy than our expectations, that we succumb to an intimate mix of peace and trust.

  • More than just Thomas. Most of us have heard of "doubting Thomas" but the Bible says that, even post-resurrection, some of the disciples doubted, even as they looked upon the risen Jesus. Matthew 28:16-17 says, "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted."


We read James 1 and pick out of it verses 6 and 7, and we think from these that it is wrong to doubt. Taken in context, James is speaking, from the beginning of that chapter, about facing trials and testing.


We are going to face doubt. The most committed and passionate of Christ-followers will still face doubts. The accounts of other servants of God who gave time to doubt despite what they had seen, experienced, heard or were promised, should comfort us.


The glory in God's Word shows us that we are never alone in what conflicts us.


We are never expected to be perfect - that was Christ's job, and He did it flawlessly.


Before the fall of man, we were created to be more than this decaying, fragmented flesh that we are. But, due to the fall of man, God saw us in need of a Savior. Doubt first entered in in the Garden of Eden. When the serpent said, "Did God really say..."


What the Word of God allows us to do is discover God's unending love for us, develop our maturity along the way as we grow in Christ, and realize that, even when we have our doubts, God is still faithful and is waiting, arms extended, for us to look back up at Him and realize that our lives are not up to us, not able to be predicted, not dictated by the finest precision and planned moves we can muster. Our lives are God's. He has the say over each breath and He knows in advance when we will be coming to a mountain or walking through a valley.



Be assured that you can have your doubts about circumstances in life, or even about God, but that, in the end, the most secure place to be is in His arms, embracing a faith that is the "substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen". (Hebrews 11:1)


One other thing that I think is really important to touch on is that DOUBT is not the same thing as UNBELIEF.


VS.


2 Corinthians 4:8-9, "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed."

Doubt is a product of thinking. We don't understand.

Unbelief is a product of our will.

Doubt is tied with discouragement and fear.

Unbelief is tied to self-reliance, arrogance and a hardening of the heart.


Hebrews 3:12-13, "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."

Doubt comes upon us and causes us to wrestle with our faith.

Unbelief is the complete loss of our faith.


Things to remember when we struggle



You are not the first one to doubt and you will not be the last.  Learn perseverance from those who have already walked your path.

If you struggle with doubt, you are not alone.



Don't let doubt whittle its way to unbelief.



Unbelief doesn't have to be permanent.

If you find yourself there, you can find your way back.



It is by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8)



Loving the world leads to doubt when our expectations are not met.

Trusting in God is what breaks us free from that doubt.



Pray. Talk to God.

Having a relationship with God means conversating with Him, not reciting words.



Quote: Christ never failed to distinguish between doubt and unbelief. Doubt is can't believe. Unbelief is won't believe. Doubt is honesty. Unbelief is obstinacy. Doubt is looking for light. Unbelief is content with darkness. - Henry Drummond


May you discover more about yourself & about God, whenever you are challenged with doubt and found floundering in a stormy sea. When you are roughly shaken by the enemy, may your grasp on God's Word remain strong. Depend on God - not people. People will fail you. God will never fail you. Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful.




God bless you on your journey - it's a bumpy road,

Sarah Jane

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