CONQUERING DOUBT

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 NLT

Numbers 13 tells a fascinating story. Moses had just dispatched twelve spies to survey the Promised Land of Canaan. Ten of the twelve spies returned with reports that sowed doubt and fear throughout the Israelite camp.

“The people who live there are strong, and the cities have very large walls,” the spies said to Moses. We can’t attack them! They are far too powerful for us! Those who live there are devoured by the land. Everyone we saw there was extremely tall. We felt like grasshoppers, and we must have appeared that way to them!” (Numbers 13:27-31)

The Israelites began to complain after hearing this bad news. People who had just spent forty arduous years in the wilderness wished they could return! They had just witnessed God defeat the Egyptian army, provide them with food and water in the desert, perform numerous miracles, and finally arrive at their destination, but the moment they heard a few negative reports, doubts set in, and they forgot everything the Lord had done. They were ready to turn around and abandon God’s plan!

Doubt, you see, has the potential to prevent you from fulfilling God’s plans and purposes for your life. Many times, your hesitation to take that bold step of faith stems from a lack of faith in God rather than a lack of confidence in yourself.

Our circumstances, the voices of strangers, comparisons, and past failures can all contribute to the crippling doubt that prevents us from becoming and doing all that God wants us to be and do.

If anyone is to do great things in God’s name, they must have faith in Him who has called them. Fortunately, there are solid precedents in Scripture. The Bible is replete with examples of people who trusted God completely, risking everything, from Abraham to Joseph to the three Hebrew boys—even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) also calls us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”

When you find yourself in a never-ending battle with doubt, remember who is in charge—the God of the Universe. He cannot mismanage your life. Say, as the Psalmist did, “The Lord is my strength and shield! I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalms 28:7, NLT)

Wouldn’t you rather rely on the all-knowing God who sees the end from the beginning than try to figure it out on your own with your limited knowledge and vision? Wouldn’t it be a much better deal for you to give up any shaky faith you have in yourself and your abilities and put your faith in God, whose track record proves He is trustworthy?

One of the surest ways to overcome doubt is to have Godfidence – confidence in God, followed by the audacity that comes from knowing that the One who supports you is capable. Be strong and courageous, as our anchor text suggests! Don’t be scared or discouraged. Everywhere you go, you have the Most High God with you.

If you only remember one thing from today’s lesson, let it be that God can be trusted. Consider this and watch as doubt gives way to faith.

Bible Reading Plan: Job 24-25

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