Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"I doubt it."
Those might be the words you live by.
People have let you down so many times that when you catch a glimpse of hope, or someone seems to come into your life that gives you an indication that things might be different - that your life could change - the first words that come to your mind are "I doubt it."
You aren't alone in that. And it's okay to begin your journey with doubts. God knows where you are going, even if you don't. Just start walking with Him. 
Bring your doubts with you.
One thing I am constantly thankful for are the realistic pictures I get when I read about people's lives as shown to us in the Bible. Despite all the people we sometimes see in church making constant efforts to present a plastic "front" to their lives, when we look at the Bible, we see a quite different person emerging. One who is real in their fears, in their worries, and in their doubts.
I'm reading last night, and I come across Abraham and Sarah. "God bless them", my mother would have said. They were so mixed up at times and made so many mistakes along the way.

An example:
Then one of them said, "About this time next year I will return, and your wife Sarah will have a son." Now Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent nearby. And since Abraham and Sarah were both very old, and Sarah was long past the age of having children, she laughed silently to herself. "How could a worn-out woman like me have a baby?" she thought. "And when my master--my husband--is also so old?"
Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, 'Can an old woman like me have a baby?' Is anything too hard for the LORD? About a year from now, just as I told you, I will return, and Sarah will have a son." Sarah was afraid, so she denied that she had laughed. But he said, "That is not true. You did laugh." Gen 18:10-15 (NLT)

And that's where it ends. We are left with a picture of a woman who doubts that God can do what He says He will do, who laughs almost in His face  - is caught doing it, then denies it to His face.

Not a pretty picture.

We have several slogans around here at New Hope, but perhaps my favorite is a quote from an old saint named A.W. Tozer. I'm convinced it helped all of us as a church look past our doubts and focus on God's promises. Tozer wrote:
"Anything God has ever done, He can do now.
Anything He has ever done anywhere, He can do here.
Anything He has ever done for anyone, He can do for you."
Would Sarah have said that? Maybe not at first, but she did grow to believe God could. After the doubt, came a time of reflection, and a realization that God was able.

Later we read:
Sarah, too, had faith, and because of this she was able to become a mother in spite of her old age, for she realized that God, who gave her his promise, would certainly do what he said.  Heb 11:11 (Living)
Friends, I'm writing this to you today to tell you that God has not changed.

But some of us need to.

Embrace the idea that God loves you, and that He can do whatever He needs to do to help you see that.

He can lift you when you are weak.
He can still your heart when you are fearful.
He can demonstrate His power anyway He chooses.
He can do that in your life, in the life of those around you, in your community, in a church.
Is anything too hard for the Lord?
I doubt it. ;)

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