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Posts Tagged ‘doubting God’

If you’ve ever found yourself doubting God’s goodness or wondering if your faith can withstand the hard of your circumstances, then I hope you’ll find some encouragement today.

I understand, Friend. Just a few years ago, I grappled with my faith. Fought and wrestled with God about the overwhelming, painful reality of all that was beyond difficult. Mine was a faith at risk of being abandoned.

For close to three years, I alternated between fighting for and against my faith. The beliefs I’d held since girlhood stood withered and emaciated beneath the scorching heat of personal trial and all that came with it. Anger. Grief. Disillusionment. Doubt.

You may be in that place now. Your soul may feel as though it’s bleeding and if that’s the case, dear Friend, let me encourage you to do battle to remain in Truth. It may take times of wrestling in the dirt before you rise up–your faith strengthened and doubts replaced with hope.

I hope the following video brings encouragement as you walk through the hard of your journey.

 

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FaithnFriends-RBGraceTruth-600x800Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250Heart-Encouragement-Community-Linkup-csFriday Link Up

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Giving God me was a moment in time—a five year old with cropped hair and knobby knees raising her hand in Sunday school. It was one of the rare Sundays my family attended church, but I met Jesus there and took him home in my heart.

That sweet encounter put me on the road to my forever home. I was as good as signed, sealed, and delivered to heaven’s doorstep.   But, that day was also the beginning of a relationship—one marked by trial, misunderstanding, faithlessness, and inexplicable, beautiful love.

free woman

I’ve discovered that giving God me was more than the promise of Life. It’s a decision I choose to make—or not–each day and moment-by-moment. Some days I succeed. I loosen my grasp on my expectations…my fears…my hurts…my vulnerable places.

But there are times the struggle is painfully hard and I hold stubbornly to my life—unwilling to give up control of thoughts…circumstances…relationships. It’s a spirit fight—like Joshua and the angel—waged in weakness when needing God’s strength; borne out of mistrust while having experienced God’s goodness.

Three years ago, I engaged in the battle of my life. It rocked my family to the core and sent me to a place of such pain and confusion that life lost all promise and hope. I wasn’t sure I would survive the anger…the loss…the heartache.

And I wrestled with God—unwilling to give all of myself to Him. I didn’t always realize He was there with me in the filth, the dirt—holding onto me while I pushed Him away. I refused to look at Him…certain I didn’t deserve the love engraved on His palms. I shouted…I wept…I doubted my Savior. Still—He remained.

In the moment I finally gave all of myself? I realized complete freedom for the first time. Giving all of me to God was the exchange of chains for freedom,  self-condemnation for Christ’s acceptance, and the brokenness of the past for transformation in His mercy.

Friend, are you wrestling with God right now? Can I gently remind you that He guards you…protects you…loves you—even when the journey seems dark and lonely. Despite how you may feel, you are not alone. Why fight against God when He will do battle on your behalf? We know Christ intercedes for us in heavenly places—the victory has been won! Let’s give all of ourselves to Him today!

 

Scripture for Reflection

Gen. 22-23 But during the night he got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He got them safely across the brook along with all his possessions.

24-25 But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint.

26 The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.”

Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.”

27 The man said, “What’s your name?”

He answered, “Jacob.”

28 The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.”

29 Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?”

The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him.

30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!” (MSG)

 

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WinterThe quiet stillness of a snow-shrouded evening encased our home like a gentle cocoon  and most evenings I would have slipped into bed with a smile; content in the cluttered reality of our home–my youngest son’s super hero collection strewn about his floor, my daughter’s treasured dolls tucked into their makeshift bed with the loving hands of a little girl, and a load of folded laundry sitting on the sofa until tomorrow with hopes that the unmatched socks might find their mates.

But tonight, while my family slept soundly, my restless thoughts turned first to self-reflection–Had I done something to cause doubt?  Was there a failure on my part to engender trust?  Quickly, I resorted to self-recrimination–an old habit of a reformed people-pleaser. Surely, God hadn’t meant for me to serve Him in this capacity. I’m not meant to be a leader.  I’m better suited to coming alongside one person at a time–listening to hurts, offering a hug, quietly encouraging….not this.

Have you, too, wondered why you are serving God in a particular place or position?  Do you doubt your abilities? your purpose?  Dare I even say it…have you wondered about God’s wisdom in giving you a certain sort of influence or leadership opportunity?

I admit it.  I am a self-doubter….a purpose-seeker…and a believer who would often prefer dew on the fleece or handwriting on the wall to the uncertain business of discerning God’s will for my life.  But, most often God reveals his desires for His people in the mysterious places of the heart–where Spirit responds to spirit.  These are the opportunities in which believers can grow–in trust…in faith…in awe of God’s ability to use fallible God-lovers to do His work.

As the evening hours slowly faded into a new morning, I began to pray for a different perspective.  A perspective focused not on myself or on the perceptions of others, but on the work of Christ and His plan.  And finally, peace settled in my heart like the snow on the bare tree limbs outside the window.

Scripture for Reflection

But Moses said to God, “Who am I…?  (Exodus 3:11)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.  (Ephesians 2:10)

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