As we navigate through life, we have our days of highs and lows. Days when we are strong in our faith and days when we struggle to trust. Days we feel victorious and days we feel discouraged.
Doubt in the midst of a trial is a stranger to no one. We all experience doubt at some point; will I get a job, will I be healed, will this relationship be restored, will I have enough to pay all the bills, will my loved one come to Christ?
Doubt is defined as a lack of confidence or an uncertainty.
Lack of confidence, when I read that it pricked me a bit. To have a lack of confidence in God is not how I want to see myself.
Faith is an integral part of our relationship with God. It is something that grows as we walk with God. Our faith grows and becomes stronger as we step out and use that faith in obedience and in response to what He has called us to do. And that, many a times means stepping forward in spite of our feelings of uncertainty.
When Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water in response to Jesus’s command ‘Come’, he chose to focus on Jesus and who HE is. When Peter shifted his focus to the reality of his situation, the wind and waves of the storm, doubt crept in and he began to sink.
Jesus’s call to Peter did not change from the time Peter stepped out to when he began to sink, but Peter’s focus shifted.
When our focus shifts, there is room for doubt to enter.
Doubt is a tool Satan uses, that makes us lack confidence in God and His promises.
One of the first expressions of doubt we see is in the Garden of Eden. God had given clear instructions regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan said to Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Satan plants the seed of doubt in Eve and breaks her focus by distorting the truth when he tells her ‘You will certainly not die'(Gen 3:4).
Abraham and Sarah took matters in their own hands after God promised them a child because they focused on their reality rather than on His promise.
Moses doubted that he will be able to lead the people out of Egypt.
In the new testament we see Thomas, who doubted that Jesus was resurrected until he could see and touch Him.
It is reassuring to see those of great faith in the bible also have their moments of doubt. We are not alone in our struggle here.
James 1:6 says “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
We have to be firmly rooted in Christ to weather the storms of life.
So, how do we walk in faith and let doubt not firm its hold on us?
Choose to Focus on Jesus – Be intentional in what you choose to focus on.
Focus is defined as the centre of interest or activity.
Let Jesus be the centre of our every interest and activity.
Focusing on something requires intention, effort and perseverance.
Focusing on Jesus helps us strengthen our faith.
When the wind and the waves of our circumstances overwhelm us, let us remember Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Strive to have no room for doubt in our heart. We can ask our heavenly father to help us in our moments of doubt, like the father who came to Jesus pleading for help and said “I do believe, help me with my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).
Mark 11:23 says “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
Jesus tells us that we can have faith that will move mountains – we can have faith that will move the mountain of fear, worry, anxiety, rejection, despair or hopelessness.
Faith is a gift from God. He is the source, sustainer and object of our faith. Without God we cannot believe as we ought to, HE enables us to do so.
Life can be tough, that is the truth but an even bigger truth is that God is still very much in control!
When doubt creeps in and our faith is weak let us cling to our mighty God and pray that he fans this tiny smouldering flicker of faith into a mountain moving and doubt crushing power.
Focusing on Jesus helps us strengthen our faith and blur our circumstances.
So, choose your Focus – Jesus