Tag Archives: Doubt

My Heart, Your Home – A Poem

My heart is a mansion

where Christ dwells

The parlor filled with

His mercy

The kitchen overflows with

His love

 

But in a back room

locked up tight

dwell fear, doubt,

and guilt

Sometimes late at night

they make their escape

Squatters wreaking havoc

throughout the house

 

My Savior has promised

to evict these intruders

by His Spirit—

not a spirit of timidity

but of power and of grace

 

“Be strong and courageous”

“Do not fear for I will not leave you

or forsake you”

“There is no condemnation in Me”

These are the promises

that restore harmony and hope

to the mansion that is my heart

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Even Though – A Poem

Even though I’ve betrayed You
walked away towards sin
You are ever faithful
when I return You take me in

Even though I’ve been prideful
walking my own way
You are ever humble
gave all for me that day

Even though I doubt sometimes
and find it hard to trust
You know what’s deep in my heart
You are always merciful and just

1 Comment

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

My Faithful Savior – A Triolet

Many things in this life are uncertain, causing even the faithful to struggle and doubt. Even at such times, or maybe even more so then, I am thankful that God has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me.

I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV).

For Thankful Thursday today I have written another triolet, this one about the faithfulness of my Savior and my God, Jesus Christ.

My Faithful Savior

My faithful Savior will always be near
In my struggles and pain, when I doubt
that anything will ever change
My faithful Savior will always be near

I know someday He will exchange
the tears I cry for a glorious crown
My faithful Savior will always be near
In my struggles and pain, when I doubt

4 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, Poetry

Did I Forget to Pray?

It has been almost a year since I wrote the post An Attitude of Kneeling about how I had begun literally kneeling to pray each morning. It has been a wonderful habit that has gotten me through many a difficult day. Prayer is such a powerful antidote to the human tendency to give in to worry, doubt, fear, and heartache. The devil tries to keep us down with these negative feelings and thoughts. I think God knew this year was going to be a challenging one for me in many ways when He spoke to me about the importance of kneeling to pray.

Paul, in his letter to the church in Ephesus, encourages the believers on how they can resist the schemes of the devil to paralyze them with fear and doubt, closing with the instruction to pray.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. . . . And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-11, 18.

But this weekend, for some reason, I skipped my morning prayer time all three days. I never even thought about it. Saturday was a day spent with my family, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and playing video games. Sunday there wasn’t time before church because we had to be there early so my son could be ready to run the slide show. Monday was a day off from work and I was busy writing on this blog and reading other blogs, doing more laundry, and thinking about what to make for dinner while my husband was off playing frisbee golf. I was listening to my iPod and the day was going fine.

Before I knew it, a dark cloud of worry, doubt, fear, and heartache came over me on Monday afternoon. There was a sadness in my heart that is difficult to describe. But still I did not pray.

This morning, back to my routine of getting ready for work, I kneeled to pray. It was then that I realized I had skipped my prayer time all weekend. By doing so, I had failed to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” I had not put each day in God’s hands and asked for His wisdom and guidance. Had I done so, I would have been prepared for the doubt and worry that came to my mind mid-afternoon. I would have been prepared to take my stand against the devil’s schemes.

Many people dismiss the power of prayer, but in reality it is not the prayer itself that is powerful. It is God, on whom we call and in whom we trust when we pray, who is powerful. Prayer reminds us of the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit within us and puts Him in charge of our thoughts. Time spent talking with God, sharing our concerns and stopping to listen to His counsel, is essential in a world filled with difficulties and challenges. Often when I kneel to pray I hear Him say, “Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10. When I reflect on that thought, just knowing that He is God and that He loves me, because God is love (1 John 4:8), I am strengthened for the day and am reminded of the blessings He has given me.

Throughout the Gospels, we see examples of Jesus praying. If Jesus, who was Himself God incarnate, believed it was important for Him to be in communication with the Father through prayer, why should I be any different? If I am struggling through a day, just an ordinary day like any other, besieged by doubts and fear, the first thing I must ask myself is, “Did I forget to pray?” Most likely the answer will be “Yes.” Because if I remember to pray, if I remember to kneel before God and seek His wisdom and strength, I will be able to stand against the devil’s schemes.

The next time you are struggling through an ordinary day or a particularly difficult one, remember God is there to help you through. All you need to do is remember to pray.

13 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, postaday2011, Psalms

The Psalm of the Impatient

Today is one of those days when impatience seems to be getting the best of me. I’ve prayed for something but have not yet seen the answer with my own eyes. I’ve proclaimed my trust that God will answer, but nonetheless impatience is knocking at the door. Doubt is incessantly ringing the doorbell, and I’m having trouble not opening the door and letting it in.

As has become my habit in such times, I turned to the Psalms. I went to www.Biblegateway.com and searched the Psalms for the phrase “how long.” This is, after all, the question of the impatient. How long, Lord, until You answer my prayer? It’s kind of like the whining kid in the backseat on a long car trip, “How long till we get there?” comes the question as you back out of the driveway, then again a mile down the road, and it’s repeated at intervals of 3 to 5 miles. It’s going to be a long trip!

Only now I’m the kid in the backseat of my life. So to the Psalms I go, and I find this gem:

Psalm 13

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

 1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
      How long will you look the other way?
 2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
      with sorrow in my heart every day?
      How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

 3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
      Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
 4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
      Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. 

Wow, how is that for whining? “Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.” Makes me realize just how melodramatic my incessant prayers must sound to God. But He put this Psalm here for a reason. He knew we (I) would have days like this when impatience threatens to take over and cause me to just give up.

Then I come to the last stanza of the Psalm, and I am reminded of Who is in charge. I am reminded of Who I trust. I am reminded to go to the door and tell doubt and impatience to go away. Like the third little pig in his house of brick, if I don’t open the door the big bad wolf of doubt can’t get in. So I say to them “not by the hair of my chinny chin chin, I won’t let you in.” Then I read them the end of the Psalm so they’ll know they have no chance of winning.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love.
      I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
 6 I will sing to the Lord
      because he is good to me.

His love is unfailing! The road trip might be long and winding, but He will get me to the destination. He took the long trip from His throne to a manger and then to the cross so that I would know always of His unfailing love.

This is why I love the Psalms. I go there looking for words to use to complain to God, to cry out “how long, O Lord,” and I find words of comfort and faith. And so I will sing to the Lord because He has been and always will be good to me.

6 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Faith, Family, Jesus, Life

Overcoming Doubt and Unbelief

Last night I read John 15. It’s not next on my Bible-in-a-year schedule, but a woman of God named Ruth Handy told me I needed to read it, specifically John 15:16. But she said I should read the whole chapter and truly believe it. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.” John 15:16 (NLT). This passage holds true for not just the first 12 disciples, but for all who follow Him when He calls.

As I read this I felt so blessed that Jesus would choose me. I wondered if I am really producing the lasting fruit He has appointed me to produce. I want to, and I call on Him to help me produce lasting fruit through the sharing of His wisdom each day. I am very conscious of trying to produce this fruit in my life for Him. I have, in comments to this blog and in other ways, seen evidence of the fruit I have produced by the power of His Holy Spirit.

But the thing this woman of God focused on, when she was talking to me, was the last part of this verse. She was reading to me from the Amplified Version, which translates the second half of the verse as: “so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.” She told me there are people I have been praying for, asking that they come to know the Lord or have a closer walk with the Lord, and that I need to believe that when I have prayed for them in Jesus’ Name, God has heard my prayer and will answer.

Believing is so important. Next to being sure what you are praying for is within God’s will, believing is key, really, to receiving that which we pray for in Jesus’ Name. James said:

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:6-8.

And yet when I pray for others, especially for their salvation, I know that they have freewill. Even if Jesus chooses them, like He chose me, their ability to reject Him because of their freewill leaves me with just a tiny bit of doubt. Perhaps that is why the answers to those prayers have so far been “not yet.” I am reminded of the account of when Jesus healed the boy afflicted by an evil spirit recorded in Mark 9:

“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

 He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:21-24.

And so like this father I will pray, “Lord Jesus, I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

On the way home from the meeting at which I spoke with this woman of God, my friends and I were talking and one of them said a little rhyme that fit well with this post. I said I would turn it into a poem for today’s post, not realizing how well it would fit with the rest of what was on my heart today. So here is another of my lame attempts at poetry to fit the occasion:

He and me

If He and me
Could just agree
Oh what wonders
I would see

Less of me
More of He
Will overcome
The doubt you see

Prayers all answered
For friends in need
When we agree
He and me

I do realize this poem is not grammatically correct, but it’s poetry and so poetic license has been taken. Anyway, I’m trusting and believing in answered prayers. How about you? Have you been praying but doubting He can accomplish what you have asked? Join me in asking our dear Jesus to help us overcome our unbelief and doubt. If the Father could raise Jesus from the dead, surely He can do whatever we ask in Jesus’ Name.

7 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Poetry, Service

Our Savior Understands Doubt

We had a guest speaker at church yesterday; his name is Jesse Rice. I found what he had to share very interesting. His topic involved comparing the faith of Jesus to our faith. Right off the bat this seems strange because I never thought of Jesus as having faith. The writer of Hebrews says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1. But Jesus has seen Heaven, He is God, and He knew what the plan was. Why would He need to have faith? His knowledge was beyond the point of hoping for something – He knew everything.

But the more I think about this I realize that to really understand and empathize with humanity, perhaps He gave up (temporarily) His full knowledge of Heaven and did operate on faith. In looking at that faith, as revealed in scripture, Jesse made four points that were a great blessing to me. I want to just share one here. (If you want to know the others, look Jesse up through my blogroll link to the Church of Facebook and ask him about it.)

The point that blessed me the most was that faith leaves room for doubt, but that it chooses obedience even in the face of doubt. I believe 100% that God is real, that He loves me, that Jesus died for my sins, that I am saved by Grace, and that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God with the power to change hearts. But sometimes I doubt whether I have made the right choices based on God’s Word. Sometimes I doubt whether God has the ability to make His plan come to fruition when we humans keep screwing up and not doing the right thing. Apparently, Jesus doubted sometimes, too. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus doubted whether the plan for Him to be crucified was the only way. Nonetheless, He was obedient.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”Matthew 26:39-42.

Again on the cross Jesus expressed doubt. “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi,lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”‘” Matthew 27:46. He doubted, if only for a brief moment, that God was still on His side. I imagine at this point, if He had called to them, the angels of Heaven would have come to His rescue, their hearts broken because of His anguish. But in spite of His doubt, He cried out to God in faith.

So I suppose if Jesus could doubt sometimes, it’s okay if I do. But nonetheless I try my best to be obedient in spite of the doubt, to remain faithful and keep hoping that everything will turn out as God has planned. It is such a blessing to know that Jesus understands my doubt, and His Holy Spirit helps me remain faithful in spite of it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Life