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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Evidence of Faith

Acts 1:3

He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Some people have the false idea that faith is a blind conviction. That Christianity is a Way of life built upon illusion and unproven facts. But when one becomes a Christ-follower, if they did their homework, know their decision is based on forensic and empirical evidence.

When one studies the historical evidence of the resurrection and life of Jesus Christ and those who were his immediate disciples, one walks away from following all the facts with a colossal choice to be made. Either accept Jesus was and is who he claims to be or deny Him.

The foundation of Christianity is built upon the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. If HE did not rise, there would be no Christianity. Yet over 500 eye witnesses saw him over a forty-day period after his death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). This was recorded by the apostle Paul some 20 years after the event. If he was exaggerating, we would have written accounts from the other side stating so. But no one in this time period has come out to deny these events did occur.

If we looked at the Bible like any other historical text book, we would agree its authenticity and marvel at its content. But because of the carnal enmity against the Triune God, some have the tenancy to deny or accept such claims.

I always wonder why some accept the gospel message quicker than others. Yet as I get older, I am beginning to wonder how much one’s pride blinds themself from seeing clearly the facts and evidence before them.

If you want to do your own research on the subject, I advocate two books written by an investigative journalist, Mr. Lee Strobel. They are: The Case for Christ and The Case for the Resurrection. Both books walk you through the evidence and confronts the excuses. I recommend both for your study to equip you with the evidence of your faith.

In regards to empirical evidence, you have the combination of yours and others with answered prayers and internal changes of attitude and heart. When you start to pursue the Triune God, you find your prayers being answered in ways that will dumbfound you. As others share similar stories with you, you begin to realize these outcomes are more than just coincidences. The writing of the saints from yesterday and your experiences today all point to a God who cares and is involved in your life.

These results along with the forensic evidence strengthen your confidence and trust in the Almighty God. At times you think you are only imagining these things. But over time, these events repeat themselves so often, you develop the holy swagger of a saint. You know God loves you and cares for you and is preparing you for an eternal home.

Meanwhile as you humbly learn to walk in His presence, sharing your life with HIM as HE shares HIS life with you, your faith is strengthened and you become a living billboard for HIS Kingdom as you live out your life serving HIM and others. 

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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Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Look at the Evidence

Proverbs 18:13

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.

We live in a world of in-your-face social and institutional media that everything we read and see and hear is quickly digested and generally believed without facts. A 10-second video clip is shown and conclusions quickly drawn. People and actions are immediately judged and condemn on hearsay, gossip, and tribal affiliation. The Bible identifies people who act this way are foolish and immature.

One of my early mentors taught me the importance of gathering all the facts before being swayed by the initial story. One time an employee presented us with an accusation of another associate. The event if true would be grounds for termination. When I initially heard the story, anger arouse, and I wanted the person immediately removed from the company. But my mentor remained calm, thank the person for the information, and proceeded to complete his work for the day. I was dumb-founded. Wasn’t he going to act on this manner?

He did. He finished the task in front of him, then scheduled meetings with several of the people involved. After meeting with each person, and interviewing several other people involved, the whole story became known. The facts showed otherwise. The accuser’s perception of the events was an error. A person’s reputation and job were saved. And when all the real evidence became known, everyone involved could breathe fresh air again.

The moral of the story – don’t jump to conclusions until you gather all the facts from as many sources as possible. And like Steve Covey always said, First understand, then be understood.

When you allow your feelings to lead, you will fall far short of your goal. Instead, gather the evidence, study the facts, and reach a rational decision which you can uphold before others.

Facts don’t lie, feelings do. Liars may distort and twist facts toward their personal agenda, therefore the importance of you knowing the facts in their pure form becomes more necessary if you truly want to know the truth.  

When 10 facts overwhelm one fact, the answer is obvious. Yet many people know one fact of the situation and ignore the nine. They are people with a hidden agenda and don’t want the truth. They have a personal crusade and don’t care of the truth. The rational person though will want to take the whole picture into account. They will look at the entire evidence before reaching a conclusion.

So, before you jump into the shadow of your feelings, be rational, gather the evidence, and then reach your conclusion on the matter. It always sounds true when the first person speaks, but after you hear from the other side, you will most often find your initial impression is not the real picture of the entire event. The more you do this, the better you will become in evaluating the situations in your life – It’s called maturing in wisdom.    

PS: If you haven’t yet included the Book of Proverbs into your devotional reading time, you may want to practice reading a chapter per day for one month on an annual basis. There is a whole lot of practical wisdom waiting to be digested between those pages that is very applicable for the 21st century.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
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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