To be undecided or skeptical is not necessarily a path towards failure it may be the genesis for learning. The blind, deaf and very wise Helen Keller wrote:
"It need not discourage us if we are full of doubts. Healthy questions keep faith dynamic. Unless we start with doubts we cannot have a deep-rooted faith. One who believes lightly and unthinkingly has not much of a belief. He who has a faith which is not to be shaken has won it through blood and tears-has worked his way from doubt to truth as one who reaches a clearing through a thicket of brambles and thorns."
Most of us can relate to children whose frequent word is not “yes” but “why?” Henry Drummond wrote in Listening to the Giants, “Doubt is the prelude of knowledge.” H. W. Shaw said, “The less we know the more we suspect.” There is such a thing as healthy doubt and good intentions may flood the questioning voice.
But what if Doubt daily embraces Unlikely, Fear and Distrust the tenebrific children of Gloom? The words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen reveal danger, “. . . man hid from God in the garden; now man hides within himself.” The man who constantly feeds doubt may have a tiny God. The man who feeds his faith is unafraid of a tiny self.
Luke 1:13,18--But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah,because your prayer has been heard.Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,and you will name him John . . . “How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”
Our propensity as humans is to doubt. There are at least three reasons why this is true: 1.We focus on our limitations. Zechariah did not believe Gabriel in the passage above. Nor did Sarah believe the angel who told her husband, Abraham, that she would bear a son (Genesis 18:10-15). They forgot that God is unfettered by the laws of nature which restrict us. “Is anything impossible for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14).
2. We prefer our ways to God’s ways. Often the motive behind questioning is an unwillingness to budge. As my friend Todd explained, the passage in Psalm 95:7 that says “Today, if you hear His voice” in the Hebrew can also mean “O that you would obey.” The Israelites repeatedly experienced the supernatural leadership of God in rescuing them from Egypt and an unforgiving desert. Still, they questioned Him.
3. We don’t think that we really matter to God. In the throes of heartbreak, defeat, sickness or what seems like a boring life, we forget that because of His great love and mercy, God miraculously made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:4,5). In the middle of the bog of uncertainty is a Rock we are meant to stand upon! On that Rock called Jesus a holy temple is being built. The caption on the Cornerstone says “I love you!” “ The whole building, being put together by Him, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord. You also are being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:21,22).
In Mark 9:22-24, a father says to Jesus about his demon-oppressed son, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus assured him, “Everything is possible to the one who believes.” The man responded, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” May it be so for us.
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)