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.

Save

Advertisements

Forgiveness Is God’s Specialty

I was going through my notes in my MySpace account last night and found this one that I had written after talking with a friend who was unable to forgive themselves for their past. I immediately had a sense that I needed to share it, but I was nice and cozy in bed and my Ipod just isn’t the best place for me to do such things so I decided that I really didn’t need to worry about it. Turning back to the book I am currently reading and what are the first words I read as I turn the page – the same as the very last words in my rambling below. So maybe someone needs this today.

March 17, 2009 – Tuesday

Forgiveness is God’s Specialty
Current mood: blessed
Category: Life

I have made a whole lot of mistakes in my life. Things that haunted me for years and years, things that kept me awake at night and drove me half crazy.

It seemed to me that no matter how many times I tried to commit myself back to God, these things would play themselves out in vivid colour every time I tried to sleep.

One sleepless night, as I lie awake beating myself up over my past, God spoke to me very clearly. I almost felt as if I turned around, He would be standing right there… He whispered to me so gently and said, “Who are you to not forgive yourself when I have forgiven you?”

It was a bit shocking and humbling. God had sent His only Son to die to cover my sins and for me it was as if that wasn’t enough. I was still holding a grudge against myself.

I won’t say that it was an instant change, but I realized after His words that I can’t hold on to that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I still would go back and change so many things if I could, but that is not an option.

My only option is to commit myself to Him daily, live an upright life that is pleasing to Him, doing all things to for His glory.  Allowing God to make you into a new person requires learning to forgive yourself. People are relational. I can relate to others more easily if they have gone through or are going through things that I am familiar with. If I cannot forgive myself, how can they see the amazing grace and mercy provided by the blood of the most Holy Lamb of God? How can they see that their sins can be forgiven and that they can have a new triumphant life in Christ if I couldn’t when we share the same (or similar) pasts?

Let God give you heart knowledge of what forgiveness is – let Him show you what freedom feels like. He has already paid the price for our freedom, don’t let it be a waste – grab hold and never let go.

Forgiveness of someone who has deeply hurt you can be difficult but certainly not impossible. But something that most people don’t realize is that forgiveness is a choice. There is only one person in this world that I have forgiven thousands of times over, sometimes it is easier than others, but I choose to continue to forgive them – endlessly. Choose to forgive yourself, even if it means doing it continually. You will find that if you lean on God, He will help you to grow and prosper in that freedom and those times when you have to remind yourself of forgiveness will become less and less.

Do you trust Him? Trust Him to carry you through. When things happen to torment your mind over past sins, remind yourself that you are covered by the precious blood of Jesus.

I love this song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xUK2Dx5RkY) because I have learned at the first hint of the tormentor showing up at my door, to sing the second verse. I am suddenly saturated with that reminder that God does not see those things anymore and if he doesn’t, why should I?

Look at the story of Saul, when God made Himself known, Saul never looked back – only looking forward toward walking in God’s will for his life…

Forgiveness IS a choice. Will you choose to forgive yourself?

Older Posts