The Doubt

Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" (NIV)

The seed of doubt that was planted in the mind of Eve by the serpent in the Book of Genesis still has the ability to rear its ugly head in our minds and hearts today.

Just like sin, doubt can creep right in, in a way that we aren't even aware that it has come. At times, it is so subtle, as it attaches itself to our emotions. Soon, we begin to make decisions and go about our days with doubt within. Others will say, "Oh, you can do that," as doubt gently whispers, "No, you can't!"

Such was the case for me this past week as I prepared a eulogy for a memorial. A few days before, the Lord had clearly given me what He wanted me to share. As it got closer and closer, I began to doubt whether I would be able to share it. I knew that people were praying, and I had done this before, so it made sense that I could do it again this time. Doubt told me, "Not so! You would be unable to get the words out. You would be sobbing and unable to speak."

When I asked for prayer, a friend who also writes replied, "I will pray, but you need to know that in such situations, a strange peace comes over you, and you can and will speak with confidence, assurance, control, and love."

The day came, and the doubt still seemed so much larger than the life I wanted to share about. I feared that I would fail. Then God broke through in His perfect timing. He gently reminded me that for the past five years, I had been this man's voice, as he was non-verbal. He reminded me that I had just spent a week being an advocate for this man during his final days in the hospital. I could honour this man in such a way that people would be touched, and healing would begin.

One of the lessons here is about the danger of relying on self-confidence: thinking that we can only do things that we have done before. Even more concerning is giving in to the doubt that stops us from even trying new things. When God is invited and included, then He can bring the comfort and peace that passes all understanding. He even promises us in His Word:

Psalm 23:6 – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (NKJV)

If goodness and mercy are following us, then anything else — like fear and doubt — must follow behind. Yes, they may try to creep in, but "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4b NKJV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we thank You so much for Your goodness and mercy in our lives. We want to do Your works in boldness and gentleness, not in fear and doubt. Help us daily to do this work. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles