Never a Need to Doubt!

Welcome everyone to our second part in The Princess Bride
series. If you missed week 1, you can check it out HERE.

Here is the moment of truth. Buttercup has believed Westley
wasn’t who he said he was. But as he fell, she heard those familiar words
spoken to her.
As you wish…
And down the hill she follows her true love who she thought
was dead.
First off, let’s watch the clip! 

 I love this small clip of conversation. He’s alive and she
can do more than move! She can fly.

“He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote;
he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!” Acts
17:28 MSG
Westley had been there the whole time rescuing Buttercup,
but she refused to see him. I bet if she’d really looked, she’d have recognized
his eyes. Now, I admit, Westley was playing a bit of hide and seek but all for
the purpose of testing his beloved. “Did you miss me? Did you think about me?
Have you fallen out of love with me?”
God often tests our hearts as well.

“the refining pot is for silver and the
furnace for gold, But the Lord tests the hearts.” Proverbs 17:3 NKJV
“I told you I would always come for you…Death cannot stop
true love, all it can do it is delay it awhile.”
Ever felt like God was far off? Uncaring? Unloving? You’ve
wondered where he’s gone? Especially when you’re living in the pits, with
heartache. Or in an out of control situation? Buttercup was grieved because she
thought her love had died. She was now being forced into a marriage and there
was no way out. Buttercup had lost all hope. In fact, she was contemplating
suicide and even attempted it (until once again Westley saved her)
He was there when she needed it. It was never too late.
Might have felt like it to her, but it wasn’t!
God has not abandoned you. He is not dead! He’s near.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 NKJV
Buttercup realizes just how near and real Westley is, and
she says, “I will never doubt again.”
To which he responds, “There will never be a need.”
Friends, you have no need to doubt your First Love. He’s
mighty to save. Mighty to rescue. He’s close. So very close. Feel His presence,
His embrace to your heart.
And know. You need never doubt again.

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Why do you think it’s so easy to doubt? 

In the Word Wednesday: D.O.U.B.T Part 2

Last week we started talking about DOUBT. Do you doubt it? Click here to catch up or re-familiarize yourself. 
1. Dim view of God
2. Obstacles stand in the way
3. Unbelief that God will do what He says He will

Mark 9:14-29. Remember the man who’s son was demon possessed and the disciples couldn’t heal him? Before I move on, let me point out–sometimes we look to other people to get us out of messes, to solve our problems, or heal our hurts. People will always disappoint us. They can’t help it. They’re flawed. Even those we look to as “spiritual giants” in our life.

You can’t measure God’s unlimitedness by the greatest man’s limits. (But we do, don’t we–sometimes?) There is no measuring line that wrap around the greatness of an Almighty God. Don’t doubt it for a second!
Back to the man. What did he say when he approached Jesus?
 “I believe, help my unbelief!”
We believe, but not completely. Doubt can be torment. What I love about Jesus, He didn’t turn this man away. He was compassionate. Merciful. He healed that man’s son. 
“Lord, I believe you called me to write these stories for You…but it’s been so long…I don’t know, maybe You didn’t.” (That’s one of my belief/unbeliefs) So glad God confirms and confirms…and confirms!
Don’t beat yourself up. Be honest with God about your doubts. Are you seeing the pattern here? Each person was given a promise. Healing for Naaman, victory for Gideon, healing for this man’s son. They all experienced doubt.
But God delievered good on His promises. If He’s promised you something. He’ll do it. Guaranteed. Even if you doubt. He can teach you a lesson through it. I’m learning to lean every day!
4. Broken fellowship
When we break our fellowship–the time we spend with God–doubt creeps in. It’s just too easy. We have to abide in the Vine, not dance around it. Let’s take a look at the Prodigal son.  Luke 15:11.
This wild son decided he was going to go it alone. He left his father for things of the world. I’ve been there. The beauty is, God never breaks fellowship with you. He’s waiting on you. Blow the dust off your life-line and see what He has to say.
Encourage yourself by reading of others in the Bible, who were just like you and me, and the miracles God did for them and through them! It’ll build your faith and brighten your view of God!
When the father saw the son in the distance (he was looking for him to return!) he ran after him and embraced him. Been gone awhile? It’s not too late to come home.
Psalm 86: 15 says, “You, oh Lord, are full of compassion, gracious, long suffering, and abundant in mercy and truth.”
Don’t doubt God’s love. Open His word and let Him embrace you with it!
5. Trust factor
Peter. One of my favorite characters in the Bible, besides Jesus. (Come on, people, that’s a given!) Look at Matthew 14:22-33. Most church attenders know this story. Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking on the water towards Jesus. It doesn’t say  how many steps he made. Maybe a foot, maybe ten feet…but then he took his eyes off Jesus, and his view became dim.
He lost his trust and began to sink.  Ever been there? I have.
In an instant, Jesus was there. Peter didn’t have time to swallow seawater or need to hold his breath. Jesus came.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” My understanding tells me I’m going to sink. Walking on water is impossible. Trust tells me I can do all things!
Peter had a moment of doubt. Have you?
Jesus didn’t leave Peter to drown and He won’t leave you either. He’s still got a miracle for you. He still has a plan for you. His calling is irrevocable.  Let me ask you a question.
If Peter walked out towards Jesus in a huge storm, waves everywhere, wind blowing wildly, how did he get back? Think about it.
If Jesus was walking on water, wouldn’t he walk on up to the boat? Wouldn’t Peter be with Him? He wouldn’t leave him, but He might have mercy and compassion. He might give Peter a second chance–a chance to grow his faith.
Can’t prove Peter and Jesus walked back to the boat, if only two feet away, but they had to get back in somehow!
The faithful God I know, would grab my hands and say, “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt? Let’s try this one more time. I won’t let go. I promise.”
What’s your favorite scripture to battle doubt?

In the Word Wednesday: D.O.U.B.T

“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’” Mark 9:23

If you tell me you never have doubts, I seriously doubt I’ll believe you. Not just doubt…seriously doubt. Why do people say that? “Seriously doubt.” As if your doubting isn’t serious. I’m jokingly doubting. I’m half-serious about my doubts. I don’t know, I digress because this has nothing to do with what I’m talking about today.

I mean I am talking about doubt, no doubt, but not the “seriously” part. Speaking of parts, I’m going to have to do this in 2 parts or it will become a blong, not a blog.

Okay, I hear you…I’m getting on with it!

Here’s an acrostic for doubt.
What is it, why do we do it and how can we overcome it? 

1. Dim View of God

Let’s look at a man who’s view of God was surrounded in shadows. His name was, Naaman. You can read about him in 2 Kings 5:1-19. He was a powerful commander. He had many victories under his belt, including the one that conquered Israel, well he assumed he was responsible for it. In reality, God gave him that victory. God used enemies to discipline His children when they went astray, to humble them and bring them to repentance. At this time, He used Syria to discipline Israel’s rebellion.

Here’s the thing about Naaman. He had leprosy.

Now watch God work His wonders. Naaman, upon conquering the Israelites, took a young Israelite girl as a slave for his household. A young girl who knew the LORD–knew of His greatness and she told her master that God could heal him.

Naaman goes to see Elisha, the prophet–who tells him to dip in the Jordan. The Jordan!? That dirty water? A man as great as Namaan? Surely, there was another way and also, who did this prophet think he was that he couldn’t even come out to greet him in person! Of all the…


Naaman expected something greater. What he got was, “Go wash in the Jordan.”

God will use the seemingly foolish to heal. To bring wisdom. To save.
1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Had Namaan had a better view of God, he would have immediately been obedient. He would have been ecstatic to jump in a dirty river.

How’s your view of God?

Psalm 19:8 says, “…the commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes.”

Psalm 119:18, “open my eyes that I may see wondrous things in Your law.”
You have to read the word for your eyes to be opened. Study it, meditate on it. It brings life to your bones and a brilliant view of who God is. To get a better view of God, spend time with Him! It clears any blurriness. No doubt about it.

2. Obstacles Stand in the Way

There are tons of obstacles. Top 3 (my opinion) 1. Your past 2. Your identity 3. Circumstances (out of your control and/or due to consequences of sin)

Gideon. You can read about him in Judges 6. Gideon had every excuse in the book not to deliver Israel from the hands of the Midianites. He was from a small tribe and he wasn’t brave. For crying out loud, when the Angel of the Lord (pre-incarnate Jesus) came to him he was hiding in a wine press threshing wheat. Yet He called Gideon, “mighty man of valor.” (Jesus sees us much differently than we see ourselves!)

He had serious doubts…oops, there’s that serious again. But the Angel of the Lord had no doubt. Not in who He was or what He could do. In the end, just like Naaman, Gideon obeyed. Victory came. Go ahead, doubt yourself. Truth is you can’t do what He asks of you. But He can do it through you. Don’t doubt Him!

Obstacles will always be there. God will move you through them, over them, and sometimes even around them. Numbers 21:4. The Israelites couldn’t go through Edom to get where they were going. They had to go around it. It took a little longer, but sometimes what you’re after takes time. It can be discouraging, but remember…God is in control. Always.

Remember these 3 things when you feel overwhelmed by obstacles:

1. Your identity rests in Christ Jesus. You’re not condemned.
     John 8:10-11; Romans 8:1

2. Let your mistakes become ministering tools for others, don’t let your past hold you back. 2 Corinthians 5:17

3. No matter what circumtances you’re in, God loves you. He has a plan.
     Romans 8:35-39; Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28
Next Wednesday, we’ll finish D.O.U.B.T

How do you handle doubt? Do you have a favorite scripture or Bible story that helps you overcome it when it creeps up on you or hits you like a Mack truck?