Experiencing Doubt… but Choosing Joy!

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Last week we talked about experiencing Doubt and I felt that it warranted a little more discussion. Doubt is such a natural response to a situation that we are uncertain of the outcome. When we are in a situation or circumstance where doubt is prevelant, it’s usually one that we did not foreseen, nor can we determine or change the outcome. Therefore, doubt can only be a temporary state of mind and our task is not to allow it to last too long.

Please allow me to give you a recent example… my husband was in a car accident a few weeks ago (Thank God he’s ok!) But now he is without a vehicle so we had to rent a car. Although he knows that God ALWAYS comes through for us, my husband was stressing about whether his car would be fixed, how long would it take, etc. etc. Ultimately, he had to be reminded that the end result really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. He will either get his car fixed or he’s get another vehicle. Now, please don’t misunderstand, things are a whole lot different when our situation involves a mental or physical challenge or illness. The mere thought of the outcome can be overwhelming. Invariably doubt will turn into stress and anxiety if we let me it, but that’s for another blog post.

But with God! …He does not see different levels or degrees of doubt. God says that no matter the situation, “[His] grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness”.  James puts it this way; “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:2-8 NLT

Joy is a choice! It’s up to us to decide that the “Joy of the Lord is our Strength”. This is not about feeling happy, it’s choosing to be content, not to doubt and have faith that the Lord is faithful. Realistically speaking this can be easier said than done at times, which is why I say again, doubt is not the absence of faith. It’s about our desire and commitment to overcome it. A friend sent me some notes from a message she’d heard recently from Pastor Tony Evans and he said (paraphased) that faith requires action. It’s like when you walk into a dark room with a motion sensor, your movement causes the light to come on. In the same manner, we must be in motion in order to activate our faith. There is no way to determine the potential outcome of our circumstances solely by what we see…. and or feel.

In the meantime, remember to take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying …

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