Daily Devotional for Sunday January 20, 2013
People Struggling with Doubt
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I am confused, please help me. The Bible says if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth 'Jesus is your Lord and Savior' you will be saved. Then is there a second condition, that you must also surrender your life 100% in addition to believing to be saved?
ANSWER: NO! Salvation is by faith and God's grace..plus NOTHING! Ephesians 2:8,9. The fact is you surrender your life to Christ when you make that decision by faith. That is what you are doing, giving your heart and life to Jesus. The Bible says we have been bought with a price. Surrendering to Christ is what happens when a person makes the choice to accept Jesus.
One of the consistent prayer requests I get daily here at Liveprayer, is for people struggling with doubt. Doubt that God exists. Doubt that the Bible is really the truth. Doubt that there is an everlasting life with Jesus. These are very common and normal thoughts that ALL Christians deal with from time to time, since doubt has always been one of satan's most effective weapons.
Since there is the element of faith involved, doubt becomes a natural instrument the enemy uses to try and paralyze believers from effectively serving the Lord. The most common time doubt creeps in is when we don't see our prayers being answered, or when something happens that we just can't believe God would allow to occur.
I have done many Devotionals in the past on prayer. Many focusing on the fact that God answers some prayers yes, some prayers no, and some prayers on are hold for a while. It is those no answers, those prayers on hold that than allow doubt to creep into our thoughts. The fact is, God is not our personal servant, we are His. He is not there for our pleasure, we are here for His.
We must always remember that when we pray, like Jesus, our prayers should ultimately be "not my will, but thy will be done". We pray because God instructs us to pray. While He may already know the eventual outcome and answer, we don't. Subsequently, we must exercise our faith, exercise our dependence upon God, and pray.
Recently I did a Devotional on why bad things happen to good people. This has long been a stumbling block for many and has allowed doubt to overtake them. We often can't understand why tragedies befall good people, often totally innocent people. Again, it is times like these that our faith must become real, we must trust that God is on the throne. And while we don't always understand why, we know ultimately His will, His plan and purpose will play out.
The fact is, no matter what happens in this life, it is a very brief journey. It is a blip on the radar screen of time. In comparison to the eternity we all face, it is literally as quick as the blink of an eye. Subsequently, however long we are part of this world is not the real issue. What we do in this brief time is, since it will determine our eternal destination.
The answer to doubt of course is faith. Faith in a God that created the heavens and earth. Faith in a God that created each one of us in His own image. Faith in a God that loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins, so that we could be reconciled back into fellowship with Him. Faith in a God that has given us His Word to guide and direct our journey here on earth. While we all have doubts at different times in our life, the answer to those doubts is our faith in God.
I love you and care about you so much. I will pray for you today as you deal with the doubts that creep into your life from time to time. Never forget these words today, that doubt is simply a trick of the enemy to keep you from the things of God. For the unsaved, doubt can cause them to spend eternity separated from the God that created them. For the believer, doubt can cause you to miss out on much of the joy, peace, and abundance of this life.
I am praying today that the next time doubt creeps into your heart, you recognize it for what it is. It is an attempt by the enemy to neutralize your effectiveness for the Kingdom of God, an attempt to rob you of your hope and joy.
Doubt is from the pits of hell itself. Realize that, and allow your faith to overcome any doubts as you put your trust in the Lord. We stand firm in our faith because of all God has done for our life. The same God who has saved you, the same God who has helped you overcome so much in the past, is the same God, the very REAL God who will help you overcome any doubts you might have today.
It is our faith that conquers our doubts, a faith in the God who when Thomas doubted that Christ had indeed risen from the dead said, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,