8 Thoughts That Help Me Trust God When I Don’t Understand

I don’t always understand what God is doing in my life. I struggle sometimes when He takes His time answering my prayer—or when His answer isn’t what I wanted or expected. At other times, He just seems strangely silent. In all these times, I turn to thoughts like these:

  1. His ways are not my ways (Isa 55:8). That means I shouldn’t be surprised when I don’t fully grasp what He’s up to. Sometimes He answers differently than I wanted to remind me that He’s God—and I’m to trust and follow Him.
  2. I have never seen Him forsake His people. The psalmist reached that conclusion long before I did—”I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread” (Psa 37:25)—but I cling to that reality when I don’t understand.
  3. His calendar doesn’t always fit my calendar. His plans are not limited to my plans, and He seldom responds exactly according to my ideas of what He should do. Or when He should do it.
  4. My seeming emergency is not His emergency.  I’m the one who gets stressed by apparent crisis. He’s not . . . at all. You don’t have to operate in crisis mode when you control eternity.

Read the rest: http://chucklawless.com/2021/10/8-thoughts-that-help-me-trust-god-when-i-dont-understand/

Guarding Against Doubt

Hebrews 7:23-28 23 There had to be many priests during the time of the Old Way of Worship. They died and others had to keep on in their work. 24 But Jesus lives forever. He holds His priesthood permanently. It will never change. 25 And so Jesus is able, now and forever, to save from the punishment of sin all who come to God through Him because He lives forever to pray for them. 26 We need such a high priest Who made the way for man to go to God. Jesus is holy and has no guilt. He has never sinned and is different from sinful men. He has the place of honor above the heavens. 27 Christ is not like other high priests. They had to give gifts every day on the altar in worship for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. Christ did not have to do that. He gave one gift on the altar and that gift was Himself. It was done once and it was for all time. 28 The Law makes high priests of men. These men are not perfect. After the Law was given, God spoke with a promise. He made His Son a perfect High Priest forever.

Do you doubt your salvation? Today’s passage says quite plainly that Jesus is “able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him,” since He’s always interceding for them in heaven (Heb. 7:25). Knowing this, let’s take a moment to understand what leads us to doubt—and then let’s counter each of those falsehoods with truth from God’s Word.

Sin makes us feel estranged from God, but His Word says that if we confess our sins, He will forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (If we tell Him our sins, He is faithful and we can depend on Him to forgive us of our sins. He will make our lives clean from all sin. 1 John 1:9).

Legalism says salvation is maintained by obedience to manmade rules. Salvation, however, isn’t begun or sustained by works (You foolish Galatians! What strange powers are trying to lead you from the way of faith in Christ? We made it plain for you to see that Jesus Christ was put on a cross to die. There is one thing I want to know. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the Law? Or did you receive Him by hearing about Christ? How foolish can you be? You started the Christian life by the Holy Spirit. Do you think you are going to become better Christians by your old way of worship? You suffered so much because of the Good News you received. Was this all of no use? He gave you the Holy Spirit and did powerful works among you. Does He do it because you do what the Law says or because you hear and believe the truth? Gal. 3:1-5).

Feelings can make us question whether we are saved, but they aren’t a reliable gauge of truth. Regardless of any doubts we sense in our heart, Scripture promises that Jesus will complete the good work He began in us (I am sure that God Who began the good work in you will keep on working in you until the day Jesus Christ comes again. Phil. 1:6).

Satan is an accuser, who constantly reminds us of our sin and shame. But Paul assures us that no one can bring a charge against God’s elect (33 Who can say anything against the people God has chosen? It is God Who says they are right with Himself. 34 Who then can say we are guilty? It was Christ Jesus Who died. He was raised from the dead. He is on the right side of God praying to Him for us. Rom. 8:33-34).  

Don’t let negative influences undermine your confidence in Christ’s ability to save and keep you forever. When doubts come, cling to these truths and boldly proclaim what the Bible says.

Doubt as a Spiritual Discipline

Why is Doubt Taboo?

Throughout the history of Christianity, the idea of doubt has been presented as something antithetical to faith. Even today many preach the idea that doubting is a sin. For many, doubt is a dangerous idea that could easily make the doubter spiral into a nihilistic rabbit hole.

Through the years, I have heard many church leaders using language that positions doubt in opposition to being a Christian; that when the individual should encounter doubt, they are to get rid of it; that you can not have doubt and faith at the same time. This is a misunderstanding of the nature of faith. I believe we should not flee from doubt, but run towards it, embrace it, and confront it for what it is.

 

Read the blog: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/unenlightenment/2021/01/doubt-as-a-spiritual-discipline/

Healthy Doubts and Questioning

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 (NIV).


John Fabre, the French naturalist, conducted an interesting experiment with some processionary caterpillars which are called by this name because they blindly follow one another one by one by one.

Fabre placed caterpillar food in the center of a flower pot and placed caterpillars end to end so they formed a complete circle around the edge of the pot. Round and round the caterpillars went for seven days and nights until they dropped dead from starvation and exhaustion—with all the food they needed only a few inches away.

Unfortunately many people are like processionary caterpillars in that they blindly follow a powerful or charismatic leader, never questioning what he or she says or teaches. This is true in false cults, certain religious traditions, secular organizations, some universities, politics, etc., etc.
Can you imagine questioning the Apostle Paul, the most powerful leader in the early Church? But the Christians in Berea did this and made sure that what he was teaching was in line with God’s Word. And they were commended for it.

It’s important that we, too, learn to study and know the Scriptures for ourselves, and question or review everything we are taught to make sure it is in harmony with what God’s Word teaches. While we need to respect respectful leaders, we need to make God’s Word our “final voice of authority” and not the words of men, no matter how high his or her position is.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please give me a love for your Word, the Bible, and help me to know and understand what it teaches, and be aware of and discard all false teaching. Help me to be certain that my beliefs and life style are in harmony with your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Comment at: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=705

4 Tips For Helping A Doubting Friend

~ Mike Leake

One of my favorite scenes from The Office involves Andy Bernard pretending to be a mechanic. He and his co-worker (Dwight) are trying to help their boss (Michael) with his encounter with a suspected mob boss who is trying to sell him life insurance. In order to be “undercover” Andy dresses up as a mechanic. At one point Andy is called out to help a woman whose car will not start. This is what happens:

Andy wasn’t really a mechanic. He didn’t really have the answers needed but he pretended like he did and it didn’t turn out so well. We do this same thing when our friends express serious doubts and we find ourselves over our heads. We want to help. Just as Andy had on a mechanic’s uniform and so had expectations upon him, so also when we are known as Christians there is an expectation upon us. And in these times we are tempted to be like Andy Bernard and pretend like we know what we are doing.

Os Guinness has a helpful book called In Two Minds. The book is about the nature of doubt and also has a helpful section for those wanting to help others work through their doubts. Guinness gives four tips for what to do when we find ourselves not able to help a doubting person:

1. If we are unable to help we should say so. Guinness notes that by admitting our inability to help we have “localized the problem”. But if we pretend to know what we are talking about and end up playing the fool, then we are perhaps unwittingly communicating that this is the answer that Christianity has.

2. If we are unable to help we should clarify what this means. What Guinness means here is that we should help the doubter see that this simply means that we do not have an answer at the moment. We are not dismissing these doubts but we are “putting them in the deep-freeze” and bring these doubts out at a different time.

There is a definite place for verification in Christian faith, but if Christianity is true it is not because it is instantly, totally verified at every moment or even at any moment. No human knowledge is of this order of certainty. (230)

Read more: http://www.mikeleake.net/2019/03/4-tips-for-helping-a-doubting-friend.html

How to Deal with Doubts about Your Faith

When doubt hit me

As I grew up in the church, I thought I knew the bible well.

I stopped thinking critically about it and no longer asked many questions. Then, from friends and the internet, I started hearing questions I didn’t know how to answer like:

“If God is all good, why does he allow so much evil in the world?”

“Why does God allowed our loved ones to die?”

Initially, instead of seeking answers for the questions, I tried to “have faith” and pushed them to the back of my mind.

But that didn’t work.

Doubts left unanswered can cripple a Christian’s faith.

They must be dealt with.

Read more at: https://allendalebaptist.org/doubts-faith-how-to

If You Don’t Doubt the Bible, You’re Not Reading It, Pastor Steven Furtick Says

~ Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in North Carolina.

If you don’t have doubts about the Bible, chances are you are not reading it or don’t plan on living according to its message, Steven Furtick, pastor of the popular Elevation Church in North Carolina, said.

In a recent message discussing his faith walk, Furtick admitted to his congregation that sometimes he struggled to believe what the Bible says.

“I have my doubts. I read that whom the Son sets free is free indeed but sometimes I feel bound by stuff. I have my doubts. Is that alright? Do you need to find another church now that you know that the dude with the mic has some doubts?” Furtick revealed after sharing a story about how it is generally assumed by some people that because he is a pastor he never struggles with doubt.

More: https://www.christianpost.com/news/if-you-dont-doubt-the-bible-youre-not-reading-it-pastor-steven-furtick-says-225953/

What the church doesn’t tell you about doubt

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/merechrisianity/2018/06/5-things-the-church-doesnt-tell-you-about-doubt/

Why Turning Inward In A Season Of Doubt Is So Deadly

Is It Sinful To Have Fear And Doubt?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2018/05/07/is-it-sinful-to-have-fear-and-doubt/