Archive for the 'Doubt' Category

Doubting Belief!

FRIDAY

NAU Luke 16:27 “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house– 28 for I have five brothers– in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’

NAU Luke 16:31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'”


Parables are fictitious stories from which a moral or spiritual truth can be drawn. In the hands of our Lord, they are stories with a veiled meaning – a meaning that our Lord would always explain to those who were truly interested in hearing.

The emphasis made in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is to believe God’s Word rather than doubt it. Note verse 31. The solution to man’s indifference to the things of God is NOT sending more messengers but believing the already existing message. If men will not believe the same message sent by several different messengers, then no amount of messengers over a period of time will change their minds.

In this parable the response of Jesus in verse 31 implies that a lack of belief to existing revelation from God is really doubt as to whether it is true. In the parable, Jesus removes the idea that such doubt can be eliminated with more revelation by pointing out that existing revelation is sufficient to honestly deal with any challenge we face. In other words, believing and acting on God’s Word diminishes doubt!

Advertisements

Searching God’s Word removes doubt

THURSDAY 

NAU Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

NIV Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

KJV Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

There is a reason that the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians. The Bereans were grounded in the authority of the Scriptures rather than the authority of a knowledgeable preacher of the Scriptures. They heard the preacher and then they searched the Scriptures to verify that what he had said was really true. Oh that we would be Bereans! There would be no room for doubt in our minds because our certainty would be grounded in a knowledge of God’s Word rather than questioning the teaching of a renowned speaker. Searching the Word of God strengthens our confidence in God and diminishes doubt.

Satan – A cause of doubt

WEDNESDAY

NAU Genesis 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

NIV Genesis 3:4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

KJV Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

At first glance, the passage detailing the entrance of sin into the life of man does not identify a cause for doubt in man. It does identify Satan as the chief culprit who introduced confusion into man’s thinking which ultimately led Eve to disobey God’s Word. You could say that the confusion caused by Satan led to Eve doubting the consequence God expressed for disobedience to His standard. It is therefore justified to identify Satan as one of the causes when we experience doubt.

Remember, our adversary, Satan, roams around like a lion searching out those he can destroy (NIV 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.). The spirit world is real and dangerous! If you are doubting God at His Word, it is not a stretch to conclude that Satan is one of the causes ‘whispering’ in your ear! Be alert! Be single-minded! Be confident in God’s Word!

Relationship between Doubt and Belief

TUESDAY 

NAU Luke 1:18 Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”  19 The angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 “And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”

NIV Luke 1:18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

KJV Luke 1:18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.  20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

Doubt is questioning certainty, wondering about truth. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was conversing with an angel and questioned the certainty of the instructions being given to him. Since the Greek word for belief means confidence, and Zacharias lacked certainty or confidence in the angelic message, then Zacahrias’ problem was really a lack of belief in the authoritative message being delivered to him. One of the causes of doubt, then, is the lack of belief. And Zacharias suffered the consequence for his doubt and unbelief:

NAU Luke 1:22 But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute.

NIV Luke 1:22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them but remained unable to speak.

KJV Luke 1:22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

A cause of doubt is unbelief. As Zacharias has shown us there is a consequence for unbelief in the revealed will of God. Let us not be caught doubting the revealed will of God.

James 1:6

MONDAY

One of the challenges facing Christians throughout the ages is doubt. Another way of describing doubt is being uncertain in your mind, or judging or over-evaluating yourself (the actual meaning of the word used in James 1:6). It effects our relationship with God, the decisions we make and when determining the will of God.

What causes doubt and how can it be neutralized? This is the topic of this week’s study. We will spend three days examining the causes of doubt before spending two days examining removal techniques.

NAU James 1:6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

NIV James 1:6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

KJV James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

One of the causes of doubt according to James is the instability of being double-minded.  An double-minded person is one who tries to live in two worlds – the world of faith and the world of doubt. Though professing confidence in God and His Word, he also denies  there is confidence that comes from the wisdom found in God’s Word.

In the context of James 1:2-8, when an instable person encounters trials, he doubts his relationship with God, the ability to receive direction from God, and the confidence that God is personally interested is his/her struggles. The instable person is then tossed like a wave on the ocean. Waves do not control their formation, their direction or their height – they are at the mercy of the intensity and the direction of the wind.

The antidote to double-mindedness is to become single-minded. This is accomplished by losing one of the two extremes. If the two extremes are faith and doubt, the obvious way to become a confident, single-minded person is to reject doubt and retain faith.

Are you a Christian encountering trials and doubting the personal care and direction that comes from God and His Word? Then stop being double-minded! Become single-minded by rejecting doubt (uncertainty, self-judgment and self-evaluation)! Believe God at His Word CONFIDENTLY!