In life, we all certainly like mountaintop experiences better than valleys — the air is clean, the sun is shining, and the view is amazing. But the truth is, we’re going to go through valleys. It’s inevitable
There is a familiar feeling that many who are going through grief (or loss) may feel...yet many do not have the ability to label it.
It is a feeling that envelops a grieving heart, but is so subtle that many do not even realize how it is planting itself deeply down into the roots of their soul.
When I went through a tough grief experience, I couldn't figure out why I was able to still have a strong hunger for God, His Will, and His ways...yet I couldn't fully enjoy God or His Word.
I felt distracted every time I prayed or read my Bible.
As I prayed to God, seeking to conquer the distracting and stagnant apathy I felt, He revealed to me that my root problem wasn't distraction...and it wasn't apathy. It wasn't a lack of focus...or the inability to sit still either.
My root problem was doubt.
I didn't doubt God's goodness. I knew in my heart that He IS good. Even though I have been through a lot of loss, He has always given me so much grace to help me to see His goodness every single day.
Nahum 1:7 (NLT2)7 The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.
I didn't doubt God's love...I know He IS love and all love comes from Him.
Anyone at anytime can look around and see amazing evidences of His astounding great love.
1 John 4:7-8 (NLT2)7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God revealed to my heart that I doubted not His ABILITY to work in my life...but His WILLINGNESS to act and work in my circumstances.
I doubted not what God COULD do...but what He WOULD do.
Mark 9:24 (NLT2)24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
We cannot afford to trust our hearts, our mere thoughts, or our feelings during times of doubt...we must test our thoughts and feelings, and train our hearts to trust God to overcome doubt.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 (NLT2)20 Do not scoff at prophecies,21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT2)9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Doubt is a very unpopular word in the Christian community. Most Christians would be afraid to admit any form of doubt they may have due to feeling guilty for having thoughts of doubt, or due to the judgment of others.
When doubt surfaces, many consider it as a lack of faith...or a lack of believing God and His Word...so many struggle silently. Through their silent struggle, they can become stagnant in their walk with God.
It is imperative to know how to handle our doubt(s) so we can experience the rich relationship with God we are fully capable of having.
Truly think about the doubts you have today.
Are you doubting that God can:
I have doubted God in some situations...and not even have known or realized it at the time.
There are many reasons we doubt.
Many doubt God cares. But did you know that God actually bends down from Heaven to hear our prayers, heartaches, concerns, and even our questions?
Psalm 17:6 (NLT2)6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.
Matthew 7:7-8 (NLT2)7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
He's so good! He doesn't have to bend down to hear us, but out of His great love, He willingly chooses to. Did you know that God has collected every tear you've ever cried and written every heartache you've ever experienced in a ledger?
Psalm 56:8 (NLT2)8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
God truly cares about each and every heartache and heartfelt question or request we have. He cares about each of us and every situation we face...past, present, and future.
If you feel stale in your relationship with God, doubt may be the culprit.
Do you wonder how God handles doubters? In scripture, God shows a loving example of mercy to the most famous doubter, Thomas.
John 20:24-29 (NLT2)24 One of the disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came.25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Today, truly think about and label your doubt. Ask God to reveal any doubt(s) you hold in your heart. Be completely honest and transparent. The answer(s) revealed just might surprise you.
Choose today, like Thomas, to take your doubts to God and place your doubts in His hands. He already knows what is in your heart so be honest. The reward truly is a closer relationship with Him!
Editor’s Note: Content from YouVersion Reading Plan Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed by K.B.H. Niles. Visit Grief Bites website here
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.