Thursday, March 6, 2014

Putting Doubt to Bed

I was at a group during a devotional time last year and the leader read the oft-told bible passage about the disciples in a boat during a storm. Waves crashed about while Jesus slept through it all. But this time, when one part of that story was read, I distinctly felt in my heart that God was talking to me about my own doubts. "Teacher," a disciple cried, "Don't you care that we are going to drown?" I realized that with an impending financial loss, I had been holding that same accusation in my own heart. That stung.

In the passage Jesus, in an instance, calms the wind and the waves. Of course He wasn't worried. With the very same ease Jesus can and will come to my rescue as well. His sleeping on the boat actually signaled that 'all is well' even as it looked like 'anything but' to the rest of us.

Thomas was in that same  boat with all of the rest of the disciples when Jesus calmed the waters. He saw and even participated in the miracles with Him. But when Jesus rose - even seen by his closest buddies, he didn't believe it until he could see Jesus for himself.
Jesus said to Thomas, (Jn 20:27-9) Stop doubting and believe...v29  “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

You and I speak life or death over ourselves by speaking words of faith or doubt. Life and death are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit - Proverbs 18:21 We have the choice to empower hope in our lives or empower our doubts.

Doubt is to fear as hope is to faith.That means taking Him at His Word, without the 'buts'. He promises to provide for my every need, but... He said He would never leave me, but... He says He'll work all things  for good, but...Her testimony about God coming through was great, but...Prayer changes things, but...

When I doubt God, I make Him a liar. I become fearful of the outcomes in my life. That fear leads me to try to be self-sustaining and make things happen. I can surely  'make things happen' and they may even be good things, but not God things. Resting in hope is entirely different and with an entirely different result: I can hope because I have faith in the God on whom my hope depends. 

We put our doubts to bed and rest in the reassurance that we have a God who is quite ready and willing to fulfill the promises He's made to us and bring goodness out of our calamities (Romans 8:28).   It's an act of the will. 
It's speaking the truth out loud. It's testifying to the promises whether or not they have yet manifested. That disembowels doubt.

Oh Lord, help me to believe and remember that even when it seems that Jesus is asleep on the boat, at least He's in the same boat I'm in.

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