Monday, June 1, 2009

Pushing Past Doubt

Thanks for dropping by today!

If you are anything like me, you will probably admit to yourself that you like to SEE God at work. Who doesnt!

I feel so reassured, so loved, so reaffirmed in my faith... when I can see God working. It is those times when we cant see God working, that I was referring to in todays devotion.

I received a comment this morning from a sweet reader of our Proverbs 31 daily devotions, who gently reminded me of an important fact, that I wanted to share today.

Although doubt is something that can separate us from Christ at times, and make us wonder if He really is watching over us, doubt is also a "vehicle to stronger faith", as she put it.

She also stated that doubt is not something we have to run from or feel guilty about, but something to look squarely in the face and pray to God about it. Amen sister!

Lets face it, doubt is simply a part of being a Christian, regardless of how strong our faith is. Why? Because we cant always see God at work, the way we want to see Him at work. He may not be answering our prayers the way we want, so we wonder if he really heard them. He may not be protecting us from harm or illness, so we wonder if He really cares. He may not be pulling us out of the pit we got ourselves into, so we wonder if He really sees us.

My hearts intention for todays P31 devotion, was to express that doubt is a human emotion that we all feel, and there is no way to avoid it. But most importantly, that our faith gets stronger once we push through that doubt, and trust in God at all costs, even when we cant "see" divine intervention at the moment.

Its okay to admit we are doubting Gods sovereignty when things are not going our way, but understanding that we can overcome that doubt through a total dependence on God is what will lead us closer to Him.

In the meantime, dont give up on yourself or your faith because you feel like you are standing at the edge of the doubting cliff and ready to fall off! And dont beat yourself up emotionally because it seems like other people never seem to doubt what God is doing, and you are always wondering if He really has things under control or not. Those feelings are a simply a reminder of why we have to believe to see, and not the other one around.

There are always two powerful voices going on in our hearts and minds - One is God, and the other is enemy. The enemy would love to convince us that we are a poor excuse for a Christian, and that our doubts make us unworthy to be loved by God.

But praise God! We have the power to overcome that doubt - through believing in our Savior. We can simply admit our doubts, recognize that possiblty it is the enemy engaging us in a game of self condemnation, and ask God to draw us closer to Him during this time of confusion and disappointment, and be ready for God to pour His mercy and grace and love into our hearts. Even if we have to do this everyday for a while until our worries subside, God is always walking right with us through that journey. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

The other possibility is that maybe God is allowing certain things to happen in our lives to test your faith, to cause us to doubt, in order to push us into a place of full dependence on Him. Hmmmm. Just something to think about.

Do you have a personal experience or suggestion about dealing with doubt in your relationship with Christ, that might encourage the rest of us? Please consider sharing it with us!

Have a blessed week!

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7 comments:

Cheri Bunch said...

Hi Tracie~
I posted a poem on my blog in May about unbelief/faith. It kinda goes along with your thoughts. You can find it at cheribunch.blogspot.com. I wrote it in May and it is under the title Poetry. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings~
Cheri Bunch

Van said...

Yup - I,m like you-been begging God to SHOW me 'cuz my doubts are clouding out my hopes and faith. I praise God - His faithfulness keeps belief locked in, even when I question Him. Belief if huge. Keep preachin' I continue to pray for your sis and hope Morgan is doing better.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie,
Thank you so much for this word of encouragement today! I know that addressing our doubts, and waiting on God's mercy, does produce more faith, and eventually, seeing. Thanks also for praying for me in my personal trials and for my special-needs' daughter. Every day I do see God's grace, and more of His Presence, because I see Him with her, being faithful in His love to her.

Tammy Nischan said...

Tracie,

Would you believe that YOUR DEVO was a way for God to work TODAY in my life to remind me that God is God and that His ways are perfect.

I had such a hard, hard day yesterday. From our minister's sermon to just about every conversation I had with people throughout the day, the devil was slipping doubt into my mind about Nick's death. Did I do enough? Did I trust enough? Did I pray believing God could heal him enough? It just went on and on.

Anyway, thank you for writing today of all days about "Pushing through Doubt!" Wow!

Thank you, Lord, for using Tracie to remind me that it is okay to doubt and that when I come through these seasons, I am stronger in my faith!

Love you!Have a great week!

DenverGal said...

Tracie-
Thank you for your inspirational thoughts on doubt. My family is going through an extremely difficult time right now and we have doubted God's presence in our lives. Your comments about wondering if God has really heard our prayers is what my girls and I are going through. My husband has moved out and is having an affair. He is in the grips of the enemy and it is extremely difficult for us to watch. Reading what you wrote, I now believe that our doubts are a way of bringing us closer to God. I can't wait to share this with my girls and we will continue to trust that God will take care of us even when we doubt that he's there.
God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie,
I totally agree with you and ask myself the same question over and over: "How can people believe what comes from the TV or that's written in any book, except the Bible?" That one might have millions of questions is one thing, but to disbelieve everything it says is a puzzle for me.
One thing I would like to say here, though, is that we CAN see God, not personally, but we can see His handy work everywhere. The Bible is pretty clear that NOBODY is without excuse not knowing/seeing God. He shows Himself everywhere. He even has eye witnesses that saw Him in the form of Jesus Christ. There IS living proof of Him. We do not have to proof anything to nobody, the proof is all around and in us by His Holy Spirit. It is just a question, will man see it? It always comes down to choice and the devil is right in there too, sewing doubt!
You're right, for some people there will never be enough proof.
Thank you for your much needed encouragement every day. I know I need it!
God bless you richly!!!!
Hennie Bee

Joyful said...

Hi Tracie,

Just taking time to "catch up". This is a marvelous post. It brought to mind some quotes on doubt.

"Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith." --Paul Tillich

"Faith which does not doubt is dead faith." —Miguel de Unamuno

"There lives more faith in honest doubt." Alfred Tennyson

"Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is...it is her shadow." Bailey

"Doubt is the vestibule through which all must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom." Colton

"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

"Doubt is natural within faith. It comes because of our human weakness and frailty…Unbelief is the decision to live your life as if there is no God. It is a deliberate decision to reject Jesus Christ and all that he stands for. But doubt is something quite different. Doubt arises within the context the faith. It is a wistful longing to be sure of the things in which we trust. But it is not and need not be a problem." Alister McGrath

As you can see, I have struggled with doubt and been encouraged by others who have walked the road before me.

Trust all is well,
Joy