only normal

December 31, 2014

Resurrection-Doubting-Thomas

Doubt can be debilitating. Hesitation and uncertainty are characteristic of the doubter.  James says the “double-minded” man is “unstable in all he does”. The man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:7, NIV).

 

Yet, it is not unusual for even a Christian to experience doubt. He may question, “Is the Bible really true?” when he hears a critic attack God’s Word. In confusion over unanswered prayer, he may question, “Is God real? Does He  really answer prayer?” When confronted with the reality of his own sinful desires, he may question, “Has God really save me?”

 

In spite of the tendency to doubt, we can be encouraged because honest doubt often leads to solid faith and deeper commitment.

 

The opposite of doubt, of course is faith.  James encouraged those who were passing through trials to “ask of God” and “ask in faith” (James 1:5,6, KJV). We must remember that doubt can be an effective tool of Satan.  He caused Eve to doubt by asking, “Yea, hath God said” 9Genesis 3:1, KJV). He will afflict us with doubts where we are the most vulnerable.  Spiritual disobedience, disappointment, depression, illness, and even the fears of old age can trigger doubt.

How To Help Those Who May Be Disillusioned Through Disappointments:

Circumstances may often cause believers to doubt god because of a divorce, a death in the family, a wayward son or daughter, unanswered prayer, long term illness or betrayal by another Christian.

  1. Encourage them that it is normal to have doubt. God does love and care for us. He wants the inquirer to learn to walk with Him by faith.

  2. Help them to identify the source of their doubts, emphasizing that it is not wrong to ask, “Why?” in life.

  3. Remind them that God has never promised freedom from adversity in life. It may be that they need to get their eyes off themselves and their problems and back on God! We may need to see beyond the circumstances of  life to what God is attempting to teach us through them.

God is faithful.  The encouragement of doubt into one’s mind doesn’t mean that God has ceased to care.

  1. We need to reflect on God’s goodness that we have seen demonstrated in the past, to remember evidences of God’s faithfulness in our own life and in the lives of others. This will help to reassure our minds.

A renewal of faith is in order. Encourage ourselves to begin to trust in God’s promises again.  We should saturate our life with the Scriptures and believe God.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29,NIV).

  1. Pray with folks for renewal, asking that we confess our doubts to God and pray for a dynamic faith.

  2. Encourage others to be faithful in worship with God’s people. The cultivation of relationships with other Christians will be helpful. Getting involved in service for Christ through the local church will fortify resolves and strengthen our commitment.

We can doubt our sanity, our salvation or are our prayers heard, does God Care, these are all normal thoughts.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8, KJV

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”    John 20:29, KJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6, KJV

Trust unquestionably the Word of God. “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firms in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 119:89,90, NIV). “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in you hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

I want to thank a new friend for reminding about the greatness of Classic Christian Art.

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