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Overcoming Doubt

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Luke 8:14 NLT
The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
James 1:5–8 NIV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
This soil receives many seeds. It receives from God, but it also receives from other voices just in case God doesn’t work.
This soil receives many seeds. It receives from God, but it also receives from other voices just in case God doesn’t work.
The main gist of this passage is to not be divided in your loyalty to God.
This soil receives many seeds. It receives from God, but it also receives from other voices just in case God doesn’t work.

1:6–8. However, God’s provision has some prerequisites. To receive God’s wisdom in trials, the believer must be wise in asking. First, he must ask in faith. He must believe and not doubt (diakrinomenos, the word for “doubt,” suggests vacillating). He dare not come to God like a wave of the sea, blown [horizontally] and tossed [vertically] by the wind. God is not pleased with a double-minded (lit., “two-souled,” dipsychos; cf. 4:8) man who is unstable in all he does, like an unsteady, staggering drunk. The answer from God depends on assurance in God.

What is faith?

Faith: being fully persuaded that God can do everything His Word says.
Romans 4:20–21 NLT
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

4:20–21. In spite of the humanly impossible situation, Abraham did not waver through (lit., “by”) unbelief. “Waver” (diekrithē) means “to be divided” (sometimes trans. “doubt,” as in James 1:6). The patriarch was strengthened in his faith (lit., “was empowered [enedynamōthē, from endynamoō] by means of faith”). God, responding to Abraham’s faith, empowered him and Sarah physically to generate the child of promise. Also he gave glory to God, that is, he praised God by exalting or exclaiming His attributes. Abraham was fully persuaded that God had power (dynatos, “spiritual ability”) to do what He had promised. What confidence in God this spiritual forefather possessed! He “in hope believed” (Rom. 4:18); he was not weak in faith despite insuperable odds (v. 19); he was not divided in his thinking by unbelief (v. 20a); he was empowered by faith (v. 20b); and he was fully persuaded God has the ability to do what He had said (v. 21).

What is doubt?

What is doubt?

Doubt: to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe
Doubt: to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe

3 Things about doubt found in

you will be like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind
you will be like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind
you will not receive anything from the Lord
you will be unstable in all your ways
you will not receive anything from the Lord

Other dangers of doubt:

Doubt will cause you to question God’s Word
Genesis 3:1 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1 NLT
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
Doubt will cause you to question God’s ability to deliver
Psalm 78:18–22 NLT
18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. 19 They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. 20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” 21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them.

The poem is a sad recounting of how their ancestors forgot God’s works, but it also recounts how the Lord graciously delivered them

Doubt will cause you to question God’s power
Numbers 13:31 NLT
31 But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”

14:1–4. Unfortunately the people accepted the majority assessment and began to protest to Moses that they would have been better off to have died in Egypt or the desert than at the hands of the Canaanites. It would be better even now, they said, to choose a new leader and make their way back to Egypt.

How do I overcome doubt?

Gain assurance from God’s Word
Psalm 119:147 NLT
147 I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.

119:145–152. The psalmist called on the LORD to deliver him because he obeyed, hoped in, and meditated on His Word (vv. 145–149). His enemies, though near him, were far removed from God’s Law (v. 150). God, however, was also near him and His words were reliable (vv. 151–152)

Meditate on what God has already done
Psalm 77:11–15 NLT
11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. 13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. 15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude

The Psalmist Asaph cried earnestly in the night from his troubled spirit, searching his soul for an answer to his distress. He found comfort in meditating on God’s mighty deliverance at the Exodus. This meditation bolstered the psalmist’s courage and led him to try to get God to show His mighty power again

The Bible Knowledge Commentary B. The Solution (77:10–20)

The psalmist’s comfort and hope came from his musing on God’s great deliverance of Israel at the Exodus.

Examine your relationships
2 Corinthians 6:14–18 NLT
14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. 18 And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
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2 Corinthians 6:14–17 NLT
14 Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? 15 What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? 16 And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.

The solution to the dilemma was for the Corinthians to separate from the false apostles. Whatever may have been their own and others’ estimation of their spiritual status, Paul considered the false apostles to be unbelievers (cf. 11:13–15) from whom the Corinthians needed to separate. But Paul did not say that Christians should have no contacts whatever with unbelievers. Earlier he argued the absurdity of such a position (1 Cor. 5:9–10). But religious unbelievers might lead believers astray from “sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3), and the fact concerned Paul greatly. A believer can be rightly yoked only with Christ

Paul was not saying to separate from unbelievers
1 Corinthians 5:9–10 NLT
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that.
Examine what you watch, listen to and read
Matthew 15:17–20 NLT
“Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
Ephesians 4:11–15 NLT
Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
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