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How to Overcome Doubt – Matthew 14:31

How to Overcome Doubt Matthew 14:31

O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
                                     Matthew 14:31

Doubt is a dirty word in Christian circles. It’s something we don’t talk about just in case the pastor is listening. And we pretend that we don’t feel it because we think our friends will look down on us if we admit it. But the truth is, we all have doubt. Every single one of us. I have doubt, and I bet you do too. Having doubt doesn’t mean we are bad or that we don’t love Jesus. It just means that we’re human. Because it’s human nature to doubt what we can’t see. We think if we can’t touch it or hold it in our hand, then maybe it’s not real. Sometimes doubt is just a fleeting thought. It comes to us in an instant and leaves just as quickly. But other times doubt lingers. It plays tricks with our mind, tears us apart on the inside and robs us of our joy.

Before we go into how to overcome doubt, let’s look at where it comes from. If we can understand the source of our doubt, we can easily quiet it when it comes calling.

#1 Satan

All Christians have an enemy in Satan. He seeks to destroy us and doubt is one of the many tactics he uses against us. He will search for a way into our lives to achieve his goal of utterly demolishing us. Once he has found a way in, He is relentless in his attack. He will slink in, like the snake he is, and put doubt in our minds leaving us feeling hopeless. Then slink off again to look for some other poor soul to terrorize. But we don’t need to fear Satan or listen to his lies. Jesus has already defeated him. However, we need to be mindful of his plan to place doubt in our hearts and minds and learn to recognize his devious actions.

#2 Outside Sources

We are called to live in the world but not of it. But sometimes living in the world leaves us vulnerable to doubt. These outside sources are the things of this world that distract us. They could be the people we surround ourselves with, the things we read or watch on TV, social media, etc. Anything we put into our minds can cause doubt to form if we allow it to influence our thoughts.

#3 Ourselves

Sometimes our doubt is much closer to home than we would like it to be. At times, we can be our own worst enemy. Our view of ourselves can leave us feeling like we’re not good enough or that we’re a failure. These negative thoughts can cause doubt to creep into our minds if we allow them to take hold.

God, in His infinite wisdom, knows the innermost workings of our minds. He knows we have doubt and He knows that we wonder where He is when everything goes wrong in our lives. He understands our hearts and He has not left us alone to face doubt on our own. We can recognize what causes doubt and quickly overcome it with one simple God given tool…our Faith!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
                                                                                     Hebrews 11:1

In Matthew 14:31, Jesus said to the disciples, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  The disciples had been with Jesus and they saw Him perform miracle after miracle. They had the unique opportunity of being an eye witness to the ministry of the Savior and they still had doubt!

At some point each of us made the decision to give our lives to Christ because the Holy Spirit showed us the truth of who Jesus is. Unlike the disciples, we have not physically witnessed the miracles of Jesus. But we know for a fact that God is real and that Jesus is the Son of God because of our faith. We may not be able to reach out and touch God or witness the miracles of Jesus with our own eyes, but we can see what He has done in our lives, around us and for us. We have seen the hand of God at work. This is the evidence of our faith. When doubt enters our minds, we can remember those times when we were so close to God it did feel like we could touch Him. If we look around we will see His goodness surrounding us.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
                                                                                        Romans 10:17

When we become firmly grounded in God’s truth, doubt will no longer have a hold on us. #GodsWord #BibleStudyClick To Tweet

We have the most powerful weapon on earth at our disposal, God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and understanding the truth within it. We can grow our faith by reading the Bible and storing it in our heart. When we become firmly grounded in God’s truth, doubt will no longer have a hold on us. Instead of allowing doubt to destroy us, we can simply turn to the Scriptures and lean on the promises of God to get us through. Because God’s word is real!

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”
                                                                                        Mark 9:24

Lord I believe, help my unbelief! Mark 9:24 #BibleVerseClick To Tweet

This is a prayer of a man who had doubt in his heart but still wanted to believe. It’s an honest and heartbreaking cry to the only One who could help him in his suffering. We all know how he felt because we’ve been there, on our knees begging God to help us in our pain and unbelief. When doubt creeps in, we have a direct line to God. We can shoot up a prayer to Him in a second and ask Him for strength and guidance.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
                                                                                         James 5:16

Our prayers are not effective because we have great faith or because we are faithful to God. They are effective only because we are righteous through our belief in Jesus. This is our promise from God… He is always faithful to us and He will hear our prayers when we call out to Him.

Yes, we all have doubt, but doubt doesn’t have to keep us from experiencing the loving touch of God’s hand in our lives. It’s okay to have questions. And it’s okay to ask God to help us when we doubt. But we cannot afford to let doubt penetrate our minds and our souls. We must recognize it for what it is and stop it in its tracks. Our faith is the tool that helps us to overcome our doubt and seek God’s face in times of need. So today, I pray that each one of us will turn away from doubt, seek the Father and grow our faith in Jesus. God bless!

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By | 2018-02-20T22:49:30+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Christian Life, Hope|0 Comments

How to Abound in Hope – Romans 15:13

How to Abound in Hope Romans 15:13

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
                                                              Romans 15:13

To abound in hope sounds like such an amazing thing to aspire to. The idea of having an abundance of hope and to be hopeful in all things, it sounds pretty great to me. But in reality, I don’t usually think about hope much or wonder whether or not I have it. My mind is filled with so many other things that need to be done in a day’s time. Things that, to me, seem so much more practical in the moment, like getting the laundry done or dinner cooked. It’s true that I fall short of experiencing the hope God has for me because I get caught up in the day to day stuff. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to experience the hope of God or that I don’t want to feel hopeful about the future. So, I thought today would be the perfect time to talk about what it means to abound in hope.

First, we have to ask what exactly is hope?

Hope is an expectation that our current circumstances will get better. The world sees hope as just wishful thinking, a Pollyanna kind of attitude that doesn’t really get you anywhere. But hope in God is different. As Christians, we don’t need to walk around with rose colored glasses on. We have God on our side and we can have complete confidence that He has everything under control. The knowledge that God is in control is real and creates a lasting hope in us.

The knowledge that God is in control is real and creates a lasting hope in us. #Hope #BibleStudy Click To Tweet

Next, where does our hope come from?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
                                                                                          1 Peter 1:3

This is the source of our hope. Because of His great mercy, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be our hope and to die in our place. He is our living hope because He already paid the price for our sin. Without Jesus all hope of a future in heaven would be lost. But because of Jesus and His resurrection, we are able to have hope if we believe in Him.

Finally, how we can take hold of this hope and claim it for ourselves?

Our original verse for today, from Romans 15:13, tells us exactly how to have this hope… “by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
                                                                                         Acts 1:8

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we automatically receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38) So, we already have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. But just as following Jesus every day is a choice, so is harnessing the power of the Holy Spirit. We can tap into this power by walking with God daily, reading His Word, praying and asking for guidance and seeking Him in all things. Then we will see the hope that we receive from the Holy Spirit in our lives.

There will always be ups and downs in life. Some days we will feel hopeless and like nothing we do seems to work. Sometimes those days will be few and far between and sometimes they’ll pile up on top of each other. We may feel alone in our hopelessness, but God hasn’t left us all alone. He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit and His power to guide us. God wants us to not only have hope, but to abound in that hope. If we turn to Jesus, the source of our hope, He will see us through whatever trials we face. No matter what our current circumstances are, through patience and perseverance, God will give us joy and peace in believing, and the ability to abound in hope.

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By | 2018-04-24T20:01:21+00:00 May 3rd, 2017|Hope|2 Comments

Our Hope – Psalm 71:5

Our Hope Psalm 71:5

For You are my hope, O Lord God…
                                                 Psalm 71:5

We all have hopes and dreams in life. We expect that the goals we set for ourselves will work out exactly as we plan. Sometimes they do, and we can celebrate our accomplishments. But sometimes life gets in the way of our best laid plans. We go through the motions. We get up every day, go to work and take care of our families. Somehow those hopes and dreams that we started out with get left behind and begin to slowly fade away. When this happens, we’re left wondering, is this all there is in life.

Like most of you, I’ve had my hopes and dreams crushed under the weight of life’s demands. A few years ago I set out to accomplish a huge life goal of mine. I put everything I had into it. I truly believed that it would change my career and my family’s future. I was so invested in it, both financially and emotionally. But no matter how hard I worked, it just didn’t happen. I was devastated and became disillusioned with the work I was doing. I felt like a complete failure. I had let my family and myself down and I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong.

But the problem wasn’t in the work I was doing or the amount of time I had invested into it. The problem was who I was counting on to see that project through. I was relying on myself and my own abilities instead of relying on God. Thankfully, we don’t serve a God who is uncaring or unfeeling. He understands how we feel when the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves fall flat. He knew how much I was depending on this career change, how much I had built it up in my mind and how terrible it felt to see it fail.

When we put our hope in ourselves we are trusting in our own ability to make something happen. We are essentially saying to God, “I don’t need you, I can do it on my own.” When we start down the path of thinking that we don’t need God we are setting ourselves up for a fall. We deny ourselves the opportunity to see the goodness of God’s plan if we don’t surrender ourselves to it. And we miss out on all of the blessings He has in store for us.

The solution to my problem was simple. I needed to put my hope and trust in God and what He wanted for me.

Hope in God is different from hope in ourselves. It is grounded in His truth and faithfulness to us. #Hope #BibleStudyClick To Tweet

Hope in God is different from hope in ourselves. It is grounded in His truth and faithfulness to us. It is a concrete confidence in God’s ability to make His will for our life happen. When we surrender ourselves to God’s will and put our hope in Him, we no longer need to rely on our abilities. We can trust that God has our best future in mind and He will lead us into it.

When I began to put my hope in God, He led me in a completely new direction. A direction full of opportunities to serve Him that I never thought were possible. It may be a different life than what I had planned, but it is a better life than I could ever imagine.

As Christians, our hope is not in ourselves or in material things. It is in the firm foundation of our faith. We have a loving Father who is faithful to us. He is always willing to hear us when we cry out to Him, support us when we seek His will and give us hope for the future. Put your hope in Him and He will show you the way!

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When you purchase any Master’s Hand Collection item, 10 percent of all proceeds are donated to deaf ministries around the world. THANK YOU for helping to spread the gospel to this under served community.

May God bless you greatly!

art book Jesus Name Above All Names by Master's Hand Collection
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By | 2018-06-12T13:37:41+00:00 March 8th, 2017|Hope|0 Comments