Doubt is a powerful thing. It can disarm us in the small and large fights we face each day. It disarms us by making us question ourselves but more importantly it can plant uncertainty in our heart of God’s love for us. It is in that love that we have great power to overcome our doubt. God’s love for us is the source of our faith. It gives us the power to do the things we think we cannot, that God knows we can.
Lk15:20 “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
The father of the prodigal son is the story of God and us. It is our love story. It is an illustration of His love for us in the purest form, when we do not deserve it. Even when we are in the wrong, he loves us. It is easy to doubt his love when we know we have done wrong and truly don’t deserve it, even than it is lavished on us. Or when we are going about our lives trying to do something on our own, or come to the point in a given moment where we see that our way just isn’t going to cut it. It’s in these moments we see our need for God and instead of doubting if he is still there, we can have confidence that he is.
In difficult times I always have a choice to let doubt creep in and influence my response. I can let doubt cripple me while I face a challenge, or choose to trust in my God-given abilities, and in the God who roots for me and does not withhold any good thing. I can let a comment or situation cast doubt on my friendships and choose to either pull away or make the effort to overcome doubt and love despite it. I can let doubt feed my shame when I do the wrong thing, or turn to the power of God’s love and change. It is God’s love that fills in the gaps where we fall short.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled faces seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, and transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.
When in doubt I need courage. I am given the power to mirror God’s love to others when they doubt. I am given the power of God’s Spirit. When I meditate on that, it transforms me and those around me. Letting myself be loved by God is where I come into trust. Trust in important matters can feel like a risk, it requires courage. Courage refers to God empowering me with a bold inner attitude, a deep-rooted confidence. It’s one thing to say, “God loves me,” It’s an entirely different thing to believe it. It is when I believe it that I trust and take courage.
Psalm 27:13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Along the way I will make mistakes and doubts will come but my responses are always going to be my choice. Sometimes doubts will come when I crave control or the need to know a given outcome. I’ll need to trade my craving for answers and explanations for a simple willingness to trust. I may not have all the answers at work, in ministry, or in my relationships but that is by design. I do not ultimately have the power to control others or even, at times, myself, but God will make all things clear in his time, if I seek his wisdom while trusting in his love for me along the way. Only he knows what point in my story I am currently in, and he will turn the page for me at the right time.
Pv3:21 preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight, they will be life for you […] for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.
Accepting the mystery of what I cannot know will lead me to the heart of God, it helps me overcome any feelings of uncertainty or lack of confidence. We are, each of us, God’s favorite child and that is all we need to know, to know that we make him proud and that he loves us. This knowledge allows us to make decisions using sound judgment so we can be confident of them. This will give us great joy and peace. It’s the stuff great adventures are made of, a little mystery and a lot of love. I worship a God who is mysterious.
“If life is like a deck of cards, then God is always the wild card.” – Strong Women, Soft Heart, Paula Rinehart