Doubt Trap

 John 20:29 (ESV)

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Doubting is the natural inclination of the human psyche. We have all doubted somewhere, someplace, at something. The problem is not doubting, but how one responds to the doubt.

The New Testament writers highlight the event of the apostle Thomas who was not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them after the resurrection. When they shared the event with Thomas, his response as stated from John 20:25 was:

So, the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

Eight days later when Thomas was with the group, Jesus again appeared. “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve but believe.”

Thomas’ responded with the words “My Lord and my God.” (Wouldn’t you?)

Thomas doubted because his belief system over time verified that dead people do not come back from the dead. When people die, they are dead. End of story. However, when confronted with proof before him, reality changed for Thomas. Jesus, who was dead, now stood before him. The injuries to his body remained as a walking billboard confirming HE was HE and not an imposter. Thomas’ doubt dissipated into belief.

Doubt is not the enemy of belief, but another hypothesis to investigate. Our beliefs will always come sprinkled with doubt. There is always something new we discover or learn which will either strengthen our core or question the validity. The challenge is keeping the doubt in perspective while our belief system remains central as we unpack the doubt before us.

I recall in my early walks when challenged by circumstances questioning the very existence of God. When HE did not immediately respond to my prayers or allowed me to walk through the valley of evil, I questioned whether HE existed. Yet, each time I would review the fundamental basics of my beliefs, ponder over the evidence one more time, and still conclude, yes, HE exists. Afterward, it would then leave me with the question, what is it that I do not understand? Again, over time, lessons from life are learned, the relationship & trust with our Triune God becomes stronger, and even when another doubt is thrown our way, we now catch it, file it in the study drawer, and begin the process to gather the evidence to substantiate the facts.

Unpacking doubt will lead you to the truth; and the truth will always lead you to God. So, if you are wrong somewhere in your beliefs, God will eventually show you. Until then, we let doubt have its place as an instrument of discovering more of HIM, HIS ways, and HIS truth. Otherwise, doubt becomes the force which may eventually separate us from the ONE who sustains the central core of life.

Again, every person will face doubt. The question is how will you respond? Eve took Satan’s bait and instead of directly discussing the situation with God, turned doubt into a poor choice. On the other hand, King David through his writings of Psalms, makes multiple mentions of doubting but always confronting God with the issues. His life, though not perfect, demonstrates how doubt is best managed. God knows your dilemma, doubts, and troubles. Take it up with HIM and watch how HE directs your steps to find the answers which will only strengthen you and mature you in your walk with HIM.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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What You Believe Matters 

2 Peter 3:17-18 (AMP)

Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith], but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Why does what you believe matter?

Because you make decisions and act from your center of belief. If you believe it, you will act accordingly. If you have no belief nor opinion, you will simply be swayed by others who have a stronger belief system. So, you better know what you believe and why or otherwise you are not being true to yourself. You are then only like a slave following the beliefs of others.

Peter writes in his second letter to those who follow Christ and have accepted HIS spiritual influence in their life, a reminder to remain steadfast in their belief of God and Jesus Christ. His recommendation is for us to continue learning and growing in our walk with our Lord.

That is intentionally studying and living our lives as an apprentice of Jesus Christ. When we come to the realization who HE IS, what HE has accomplished for us, and what HIS macro purpose and plan is for all humanity, then everything you do each and everyday in your micro world begins to fall into a narrative which HE leads and fulfills. Your belief system becomes stronger as you grow your relationship with HIM. You eventually learn to dance with HIM around the dance floor of earth. You develop a holy swagger in your actions, thoughts, and deeds. Instead of being swayed by every fad culture throws your way, you become a representative of HIS Kingdom and a way of life that may lead through suffering and pain, but yet reflects genuine love and joy and peace that will make you stand-out-of-a-crowd. You are special and unique because HE has made you so.

Therefore, confirm your beliefs agree with HIS Word. And then follow through on those beliefs with action.  Why? Because your beliefs matter on who you are becoming; and you become by what you believe and how you act on those beliefs.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

What Do You Desire Most?

Psalm 73:25

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

Ever wonder what is the primary difference between the person who says there is no God and the one who says there is a Master Designer? People have debated this for centuries without a universal, agreeable answer. So, I am going to add my two cents into the equation; not because anyone asked, but it has been on my heart lately.

I always thought it was an intellectual exercise to determine whether or not God existed. Most of the time we witness two people debating the issue on stage – one for and the other against. At the end of the day the audience wouldn’t change their mind. Whatever side they agreed too at the beginning of the debate is where they remained at the end of it. That is why I now wonder if it has little to do with intellect and more to do with one’s desire.

I look at my own life as an example. In my mid-teens, life was a total mess. Looking back, I was rebellious, angry, and troubled to the point if things didn’t change, I would soon be joining some of my associates either in prison or the cemetery. Out of desperation one evening, I knelt at my bedside and for the first time cried out, if there was a God, I needed him to save me from the mess I have gotten myself into.

Up to that point, I was probably more of an agnostic. But from that moment forward, I began to slowly change the course of my life. I started to read the Bible. I would go to the library and check out books on all the main religions and world known philosophers. Then one day in my senior year of high school, I found myself standing in the middle of the hallway between classroom changes just being mentally bombarded with the thought “what is the purpose of life?”

My intensity to discover the answer grew. I realized the first hurdle was to determine whether or not God was real. Because if there was a God, then the Master Designer would have had a purpose in mind. But if there wasn’t a God, then there would be no objective purpose for life.

The switch has been thrown. For the next several years, I lived life with one leg acting as if God existed and the other leg as if there was no God – no easy task. However, the more I read both sides of the argument and witnessed the lives of people who professed in a God, the more I began to realize if there was no God, life would be better with One.

So, I made the choice one day to begin living life as if God did exist. I searched out and became a member of a faith community. I began to learn to pray and study the Bible. (after reading other religious manuscripts, I most likely initially chose the Bible because of cultural acceptance). In many ways, those early years in my twenties, I still had one leg for God and the other leg being pulled for no God. But there was one scripture that became my marching order – Romans 12:2. I began to test God’s will.

Long story short. The more I looked for Him to act upon my prayers, the more I witnessed outcomes which made me stand back in awe. Initially I thought they were coincidental. But when favorable solutions repeatedly happened in a variety of unpredictable circumstances, you begin to take notice. You witness hearts and attitudes change in people who hated you.  You witness financial and physical intervention in your life and others which leave you scratching your head in amazement. You begin to witness invisible, life-giving forces weave through people’s lives which only makes you want to better understand its Source.

Over time, you begin to grow a relationship with an invisible God. You align what you read in Scripture with what you face every day. You realize you have taken what you have acquired in knowledge, learn to apply each day in your world, and grown from the experience. In hindsight, either you are crazy or you are truly experiencing the with-God life. I choose to believe the with-God life.    

Yes, the long journey included acquiring knowledge and experiencing God’s grace in action. But it all started with a strong desire to know whether or not God existed. Without that desire, it would have been easy to invest only one hour toward the study, reach a negative conclusion, and move on from there. However, with the scientific mind of starting off with a hypothesis, and then spending years putting God to the test, I can now say like David wrote in the Psalms, there is nothing on earth I desire more than knowing Father-Son-Spirit.

So, you can argue mentally all day long. But I now believe only when you have the intense desire to truly search for HIM, you will find him (Hebrews 11:6).  

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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