Monday, January 26, 2009
Dealing with Doubt
Please read Hebrews 6:13-20. Been having struggles with doubt lately? Starting to ask questions on issues about which you once made only declarations? Are you getting a little nervous about things like your assurance and God's reliability and life's inequities? How about that bastion of long standing belief, our hope. If you need some reassurance, some scriptural support to stabilize you these days, this passage is the perfect prescription. It is a firm reminder that our whole life and future rest on God's faithfulness, character, and very oath of assurance. Such confidence gives us an anchor of the soul which holds us tightly through the storm of doubt. Note some truth concerning doubt. First, there are times when doubts increase. There are times in all our lives when doubts increase, reproducing at a rapid rate. What causes those times? In my experience its been when things I believe should never happen, happen. When things I believe should happen, never happen. And when things I believe should happen now, happen later. As we proceed, let's keep two words in mind, faith and patience. Second, a Biblical example, Abraham. His life and example says to us "Persevere! Don't quit." This truth needs to be applied when we are forced to wait even when we want things to happen right away. Concerning Abraham, the clincher is that God took twenty five years to make that promise a reality (Romans 4:18). Even more remarkable than Abraham's lack of doubt is the fact that during his season of waiting he actively gave glory to God. Perhaps that part of Abraham's example needs to impact our behavior as much as anything else in his life. Third, Spiritual descendants, heirs of the promise. Through out the Bible there are examples of saints who trusted God. They, by example, teach us to trust God when things don't work out the way we think they should. Here is a theological fact. Just as man swears to guarantee a promise, so does God. This underscores two facts. God has a purpose in all of life and God guarantees the purpose with an oath. God is in control of the times and the seasons. Trusting God brings personal benefits. In trusting Him we are given strong encouragement, which is the opposite of discouragement. In Him we have a Refuge of Hope, this is the opposite of despair. Thus God is the Anchor of our soul, the very opposite of doubt. On the human side doubt says, "You see, you are alone." This is particularly true when we substitute human reasoning for Biblical Truth. Forth, when dealing with doubts, remember, it's one thing for us to admire and hold onto the example of Abraham. It's also easy for us to admire the wonderful text of God's Word that explains right responses to doubtful times. However the key to conquering doubt is responding properly when pressure is intense. During these time of intense pressure we are to remember that God cannot lie, We will not lose and Christ does not leave. Hebrews 6:15 says of Abraham, "And thus, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise." It's easy to read right over two key words, "Patiently waited." If we're honest with ourselves, we all must admit that we struggle with doubts from time to time. I trust this teaching will produce a greater understanding of God's perspective on doubt and through it your faith and trust will be strengthened. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.