Can Faith and Doubt Co-exist?

Can Faith and Doubt Co-exist?

Last September/October I felt like the Lord was telling me that He had something for me.  He was preparing me and I felt so very close to knowing what He had purposed for me.  Then…….  I was diagnosed with a life-altering condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).  To try to put things into context for those who haven’t heard of this condition, which most haven’t, wringerCRPS is considered more painful on McGill Pain Scale than the following:  childbirth, amputation of a digit, some cancer pain, and fractures.  This is not a little ache that I am talking about, it is a pain that never entirely leaves.  It seems to me as if it rolls around, sometimes just a low burn/ache and other times I feel as if my body is being put through a giant wringer washing machine, crushing my bones and everything else in its way.   Understand that I am in no way minimizing anyone else’s pain, I just want to lay the groundwork so that there is an understanding of the nature of the beast that I am dealing with…

I am currently awaiting an appointment that is critical to happen within the first 6 months after the first symptom appears.  I am 1 week short of the 3 month mark and I can tell you that I am concerned that I won’t be seen ‘on time’.  While people not seen in the ‘window’ do recover, it is much more difficult and from what I understand, less likely to go into remission for long periods.  Prayers appreciated that an appointment will come swiftly…

Back to the issue at hand:  Can faith and doubt co-exist?  So recently I was anxiously waiting for what God had for me.  Now I am in pain often, I have a modified schedule at work to accommodate a lengthy rest during lunch so that I can be productive through my work day, I nap most evenings to the tune of an hour or more, and most nights I don’t get more than 4 hours’ sleep.  I can’t help but wonder HOW can God use the mess that I am right now?

I want to make one thing clear:  I have not lost faith in my great God.  I know that He is able, but I also know that when I prayed for my own healing, He said ‘no’.  I don’t know if that is forever ‘no’ or a not right now ‘no’.  I just know that it was definitively a ‘no’.  In His hands I will rest my life and trust that there is a reason for this.

As I cried to my wonderful husband Tim about this, he reminded me that not every thought that is in my head is my own.  I said to him that the thought keeps going through my head that ‘I know God can do anything, so then why doesn’t He?’  NOW, I have fallen for one of the slimy ones tricks again and that make me angry.  Believing that his nasty little thoughts are my own.  Letting it wiggle in and try to uproot what I know:  God is good, He is just and right, His ways and thoughts are higher than my own.  He alone can see the big picture of my life and know what is right for me.

Tim also reminded me that when Paul prayed for his thorn in the flesh to be removed, God said to him:  “My grace is sufficient for you; My power is perfected in your weakness.”  Now, I need to do a lot of work before I can say that I delight in my weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties – but I KNOW that His grace IS indeed sufficient for me.

So, to answer my own question:  Can faith and doubt co-exist?  In my opinion, no.  Can I question God and it be okay?  Yes, I believe that I can.  God is so gracious that He isn’t angered when I don’t get on board with what He is doing/trying to do right away.  He knows my heart’s desire is to serve Him and He is ever patient in helping me to come around to His way of thinking – even when I don’t begin to understand.  But doubt – doubt is from the enemy of my soul.  It is his job to try to feed me thoughts to make me doubt God’s love and intentions for me.  To this, I will answer with this scripture:  Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

So I will keep my trust in the One who loves me more than I can fathom.  I will strive to keep in mind Philippians 3:10-14 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.  12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

In my humanity and weakness, I still can’t fathom how exactly He can use me.  But I don’t have to work that out, He has had it in mind since before I was conceived.

This song expresses my feelings pretty concisely.  Take a moment and listen if you don’t already know it – I Will Trust In You by Lauren Daigle.

Also, when I listen, God speaks.  Take a look at the devotionals below.  I follow this on Facebook but seldom take the time to read them.

Daughters of the King Daily Devotionals
Yesterday at 6:21am ·
I Am Refining You

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” 2 Timothy 2:21-22, Amplified.

“If you want to be used greatly for My kingdom purposes, I will need to refine you. I will need to search your heart for what doesn’t look like Me and change you until you are a reflection of Me. I will need to smooth out every rough place. Fill every lacking place. Bring low every high place. Straighten every crooked place. I will accomplish this so that I can have My way in and through you with no blockages or delay. I will be glorified in your life. I will be glorified in your thoughts and in the secret places of your heart where no one sees but Me. I will be glorified in how you live before Me. You are My vessel unto honor and I am refining you.”

and

Daughters of the King Daily Devotionals
6 hrs ·
He Will Do It

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it..” (1 Thessalonians 5:24, ESV).

While standing at a church altar, I had gone up for prayer. Tears running down my face like a river, I felt scared. God was having me step out on faith and trust Him in a way I had never trusted Him before. I was totally out of my comfort zone like a baby standing for the first time. “What if I fall?” “Can I really do this?” “Lord help me.” And with all of these thoughts going through my mind, God came to my aid and encouraged me. He reminded that He had called me and He will do it. Not me…Him.

A lot of us are wondering how we are going to do the things that God has called us to do, but let me encourage you with the same thing God encouraged me with. It is not you that is doing anything. It is God. Didn’t He say, it’s not by power, nor by might, but by My spirit says the Lord? If any great victory is going to be had by you, it will be by His strength and power. If any change is going to take place in your life, it will be changed by His power. If you are going to walk the straight and narrow way, it will be by His grace and power.

All God is requiring of you is for you to yield to Him and trust in Him.

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