We are in September! Can I get a woot woot? I love this month because the weather gets cooler and we enter one of my favorite seasons- fall. There’s a lot to admire about this season, but of course I’m all about the fact that I get to drink pumpkin lattes and where scarves (yeah yeah, “white girl” status). Unfortunately fall does bring with it quite a bit of rainy days. But that’s okay! Those are perfect times to sit inside and watch The Office, do homework (that was a joke) or write a blog post. What do you think I chose on this rainy day?
This post is gonna sound a bit like a post from two weeks ago. You can find it here. I talked about the need for keeping scripture close to our hearts and proclaiming it over the lies we are tempted to believe. Parts of this post might sound familiar but bear with me as I apply some of those principles to a new topic.
Growing up in the church, surrounded by Christians, I learned pretty early on that everyone goes through seasons of doubt. What’s the worst part about doubt? It often leads to fear.
Let’s be real. We all deal with fear. I fear a lot of stuff: spiders, snakes, running out of mousse, and missing the last day to get Rita’s in the summer. Ha. But in all seriousness. I do deal with fear concerning some other, more legitimate, things. For example, my future. Don’t we all? Once you hit high school, the only question people want to ask you is. “Do you know what you want to do after you graduate?” My typical sassy response went something like, “Yeah, I don’t even know what I’m gonna eat for lunch today.” It was true. I had no idea what the future held then, and I’ve got no I idea what it holds now.
Let’s go back to how fear is often a result of doubt. With everything that has happened with my voice there were often times when I would doubt God’s plan. In my finite mind it didn’t seem right that God would take away my voice and withhold his healing. I was unable to see what God was doing “behind the scenes” and how he was working all things together for my good. The times when I would allow doubt to enter my heart and mind, I would easily find myself fearing my future and the possibility that God may never heal me. When I doubted God, my confidence in him would cripple and fear would replaced my hope.
The same pattern occurred in the Bible. In Mark chapter 4. Jesus and his disciples got into a boat to travel to another location. While in the boat, Jesus fell asleep and a large violent storm occurred out on the water surrounding the boat. In a panic the disciples woke Jesus and said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” After calming the storm Jesus said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Jesus recognized that their fear was due to a lack of trust in him. The disciples doubted God and, therefore, feared their future in the boat.
Being so far removed from the story, it used to be easy for me to read it and think that the disciples were ridiculous for not trusting the God of the universe who was sitting in the boat with them. But now I look at myself and think that I’m not much better. I have definitely found myself saying, “God, don’t you care that I can’t sing anymore?” Time and time again God responds saying “Why are you afraid? Don’t you trust me?”
If you are dealing with fear, I challenge you to think about where you are putting your trust and faith. If it’s in yourself, then it is no wonder you are scared- we are a helpless people. If you are putting your full trust and confidence in God, then what do you have to be fearful of? Trusting in the God of the universe sounds like a no-brainer, however it is definitely easier said than done. When we encounter challenges in life it’s hard to always trust God 100% of the time. I’m sure we could all concoct a list of how Christians enter these seasons, but at the end of the day I think it is our finite minds and sinful nature that get us there. Here’s an article by Relevant magazine that I thought was pretty helpful concerning what to do when you enter seasons of doubt. I definitely recommend giving it a read regardless of your current spiritual state.
My challenge for you comes from some old sermon notes I was going through last week.
“Feed your fear and your faith will starve. Feed your faith and your fear will starve.”
The pastor hit the mark with that one, right? I think we could change it up a bit and still take away truth.
“Feed your doubt and your faith will starve. Feed your faith and your doubt will starve”
Interesting thought huh? When we become slaves to our doubt and fear we neglect our faith and the hope we have in Jesus, but if we seek out our faith and the truth that comes with it we will see our doubt slip away. The pastor didn’t make up this concept. Look back at Mark 4. Had the disciples fed their faith and placed all of their trust in Jesus, there would have been no reason to doubt him and fear the storm.
If you are struggling with doubt and fear I would direct you not only to Mark 4 (when Jesus calms the storm) but also to the following verse. It was one of the first verses I learned as a kid and it has never ceased to be helpful in times of struggle.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
This song kind of wraps everything up. It definitely echos emotions that are common in seasons of doubt but the beauty that can result. Give it a listen
Have a good week!
P.S. – notice anything different about that URL??