faith: Overcoming our doubts

Faith is not a feeling, but a choice to believe who God is and what God has said is true in spite of our circumstances. When we choose to believe this it gives hope to those of us who have had doubts or are in a cycle of doubt now. I have not surveyed every follower so Christ, but from my 47 years of ministry experience and from my readings it sure seems we all fall into doubts about God’s love, goodness, or even God's existence. It is at the point of our doubts that we can make a choice to say no to the doubts and yes to God and His faithfulness. However, if we think that somehow we just fell into this trap, or that our feelings trump what we believe then we are truly stuck in doubt and a cynical spirit.

We can choose the truth about God instead of the lies that we make up in our mind, but we do not do this in our own strength. This is where prayer and faith are always linked together. Even though God already knows we should tell God the truth about how we are feeling and what we are thinking. By doing this we are able to release it to the Lord. If there is no presentation of our case to God there is no release. People tell me, “I can’t tell God I am angry at Him.” My answer is always the same, God already knows. I have witnessed the transformation in my own heart and in the hearts of others as they talk to God in a transparent way. Trust me, God is big enough to handle our truths.

I’ve learned from my readings and listening to people one of the reasons we all want to hide our doubts and fears from God is because of our guilt and shame. Remember what Adam and Eve did when they sinned they went and hid from God. God does not stand there with a bony finger pointing at you saying, “Shame, shame, shame on you.” How do I know that is true? The answer is found in the life and work of Christ.

Peter denied Jesus three times and Jesus took him back. The ones who were crucifying Jesus received a prayer from Jesus when he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” God is love and that means God is patient, kind, and keeps no record of wrongs. If you are struggling please realize that Jesus wants you back in his arms. Jesus is our shepherd. Let God know that you are really hurting and need help from the Holy Spirit to pick you back up. I have often asked people who feel God has let them down this question, “Would you be willing at least dip your toe in the water of God?” Many times people think they have to come back all in, and even though that can happen, it is not always the way back. Many times it is taking baby steps to get back to God.

Maybe this is you or you have a friend that is caught in the web of doubt--know that for you or your friend there is a way out. Perhaps that is the first thing you have to believe is that there is a way out. You do not have to see the whole picture of getting out of this trap, just see the crack in the door and the light that is shining through. God can set any that are really struggling with doubt and confusion free! Thank you Lord that you love all of us no matter what state of mind we find ourselves in.

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