Saturday, October 14, 2017

When in Doubt

I grew up hearing my mom tell me, “You can do hard things.” When I said “I can’t” or “It’s too hard,” that was her way of saying “You CAN; just do it.” Well here’s a secret—I’m 24 years old, miles from home, and I find myself saying that phrase to myself daily. “I can do hard things.” It no longer refers to tying my shoes or homework papers. Instead, my “hard things” are work, being away from loved ones, and other obstacles of adulthood. One thing, however, remains the same.

I doubt myself.

I doubt my abilities, my knowledge, my strength, and (more often than I like to admit) I doubt my God-given calling. In Matthew 21, we read about Jesus and his disciples returning to Jerusalem. When they pass a fig tree that bears no fruit, Jesus curses the tree and it withers. In response to the disciples’ amazement, Jesus declares, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.”

I want that! I want to have mountain-moving faith. So, what should I do when doubt creeps in? How do I battle my lack of faith?

1.     When in doubt, stop leaning on yourself.

“Trust the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5
Too often, we rely only on ourselves and our knowledge and abilities, instead of leaning on God. No wonder there are times when we think our problems are too big or too hard! We have the ultimate source to gain strength from, but we don’t use it! Our problems may be bigger than us, but they will never be bigger than our God. Make the LORD your confidence, for it is in Him that we overcome doubt.

2.     When in doubt, go to the Word.

“For the Word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.” Psalm 33:4
Our doubts are created by lies, but the Bible declares the truth. Are you doubting your abilities or strength in a situation? Declare Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Do you doubt your calling? Psalm 32:8 says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Are you doubting God’s presence in your life? We are told in Isaiah 41:10, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Read the Word. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Declare these truths over your life and your doubts.

3.     When in doubt, do it anyway.

“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.” James 2:26
Faith requires action. Overcome your doubt by facing it head on and stepping into it with faith. Too often I have based my actions on how I “feel.” I “feel” like I can’t do it. I “feel” like it’s too hard. But feelings are misleading. The only way I have ever gotten over my feelings was by ignoring them and just doing it. Take that first step. And the second. See how things change. Watch God working in your life. Experience Him taking your doubt and replacing it with faith.

Whatever it is that is causing doubt in your life, whatever mountain you are needing to be moved, trust in God, declare His Truth in your life, and just do it.  

Let me here from you! Where are you letting doubt creep in? What will you do today or this week to overcome it with faith?

→ Let me hear from you! Where are you letting doubt creep in?← 
What will you do today or this week to overcome it with faith?

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Waiting on God's Timing

Why is trusting God’s timing so challenging? Probably because God’s timing and my timing don’t always line up. In fact, they rarely do. I want prompt answers, immediate action, instant blessings. I want to pray for God’s guidance, receive it, and walk it out right away. However, that’s not how it works. God’s timing often means waiting and those periods of waiting can be unbearable.

Have you ever had to wait for a blessing God promised you? Maybe you thought it would happen right away, but, instead, you wondered if it would ever come to fruition. You felt that you had done everything right. You did exactly what God asked of you. Sowed the seed, tended it carefully, but it seemed that you would never reap the harvest.

Back in February my husband, Joshua, and I really began to pray about our next phase in life. As part of a fellowship program, Joshua had an opportunity to pursue a position at the National Cancer Institute. So, together we sought God for guidance. I found myself at peace with the move and feeling deep down in my spirit that this is the path we were to take. Joshua and I had such faith in God that this was His plan for us. We had put our trust—our hope—completely in Him and this job. And I began to plan out my timeline. Interview. Job offer. Wedding Day. Move. Everything was perfectly planned… by me. But I was sure God would agree with it.
The deadline for job offers came and went. We heard NOTHING. No answer. It was disheartening to say the least. I kept praying “God, if that wasn’t your plan, what is? What are we to do?” Over and over again I prayed, seeking an answer.

After days of praying, He responded, “Do you still trust me?”

“Yes, God. Of course I do. I trusted you this whole time!”

“Even in this time of waiting?”

I trusted His promises. I trusted His plan. But did I trust His silence? Did I trust Him while I was waiting?

Well, I learned to. I continued to pray and seek God’s guidance. Then I waited. And I trusted through the waiting.

Days later, everything turned around. Joshua was offered the position. I had set my own deadline, but God had a different one in mind. In that period of waiting, He was still working. Mostly, He was preparing us for the next big step.

So what do you do in that period of waiting? Galatians 6:9 says,
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Keep doing good. Serve. Seek God. Do not lose hope. Do not give up. God is making you ready. When the timing is right, God will give you the blessing you have been waiting for.

→ Let me hear from you! What blessing or promise are you waiting for?← 
How can you grow during this time of waiting?

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