God has called all of us to a joy-filled life.
That’s what he designed us for. But you know as well as I do that there are things that come in our life that can knock the joy right out of us.
STORY ABOUT JONATHAN GETTING BLINDSIDED AT HASKELL DURING THE LAST GAME OF THE REGULAR SEASON
For the next several weeks we are going to look at some of the things that rob our joy and see how we can overcome it and rise up against them.
Today we are going to look at what we do when we doubt. Doubting God’s promises, which are clearly found in His word and his activity can rob the joy from our lives.
So this morning lets talk briefly about Doubting.
Doubt in a spiritual sense means to be unsure or skeptical about the promises and presence of God in our lives.
Doubt comes from two sources.
First of all, it comes from ourselves.
Doubt Comes from Ourselves
We are not infinite in our understanding of things that go on around us nor are we eternally aware of God’s overall plan for your lives. So with those things being mixed in our lives we start to believe we are alone in this world trying to figure it out as we go. And so we make it all about ourself, and self is limited in it ability to do anything beyond our own power, trusting in self will always lead to doubt because we doubt ourself.
Secondly, doubt comes from thinking wrongly about God
Doubt Comes from thinking Wrongly about God
We many times think wrong about God because of lack of knowledge or because of wrong thinking. We allow it to distort our thinking about God.
Doubt also comes from the Accuser—Satan. That is Satans number one go to tactic, to bring doubt into your life about God, His Word and His activity in your life.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
So now lets take a look at our main passage this morning its found in Matt. 12:22-33.
Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
In the story we just read Jesus had just miraculously fed 5,000 people. He tells his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side.
He stayed behind to spend time with the Father. While on the disciples journey the wind began to get pretty wild. It began to batter the boat.
About 4 a.m. Jesus walks out to meet them. The disciples are so frantic and so scared because of the storm that they think they see a ghost.
Jesus speaks to them and says, “guys, don’t be afraid, it’s me!” Peter then asks to come out on the water. Jesus, says come! He makes his journey out there. But he gets his focus off of Jesus and onto his circumstances. He begins to sink. Jesus immediately saves Peter.
What are some important things to see in this passage regarding doubt.
· Doubt keeps us from trusting and focusing on Jesus.
Jesus had already sent them to the other side. Jesus knew the windstorm was coming. As a matter of fact a windstorm on the Sea of Galilee was almost a daily occurrence.
The disciples freaked out. Jesus came walking up. They thought they were seeing a ghost. Jesus says, “Take courage guys! It’s me!” “Remember, the one who just fed over 5,000 people? The one who performed all those miracles? The one who gave you authority to drive out evil diseases and heal every sickness?”
The disciples at that moment struggled with the presence of Jesus. They got their eyes off of him which resulted in a lack of faith which then obviously robbed them of their joy.
Remember that doubt in a spiritual sense is to be unsure or skeptical about the presence and promises of God in our lives.
Here is old Peter starting off so bold and brave…because His boldness and courage was fixed upon Jesus who was walking on water. However the moment he took is eyes off the Lord and realized the circumstance he was in, that was the very moment he began to sink.
Helen Lemmel wrote a song in 1922, in titles “Turn your Eyes upon Jesus”
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
If you are sinking in disspair and your drowning in your own circumstances. Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
We have all been there? The struggle with doubt and uncertianty, it is real. But always remember the promises of God.
Many of us as Christians will doubt what God has done in our lives. We doubt whether or not we are actually Christians. So, what should we do? Go to God’s word and read scripture believing with your whole heart the promises that God has made to those who love Him.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Doubt, when it is present in our life, rest assured you are believing the enemies lies over God’s eternal promises.
Doubt is simply the absents of faith.
I have more times than I can remember when I have had doubt. Doubt can come into your life like a whirlwind swiftly and unexpectedly. I remember on one particular season in my life when doubt and uncertainty filled my mind and looking back on that moment I can see what caused, I began doubting as soon as I took my eyes off of Jesus, and the joy of His salvation seem to sucked right out of my heart. And I was drowning in the sea of circumstance.
I needed God to send me someone to though me a life jacket and God did just that. He sent someone who just happened to be my daughter to remind me of God’s promises, it was a life jacket.
Read the Sticky Note from Tori
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
This promise hit me like a brick. It has really helped me to trust God in my life. This promise of God has helped me through the calling God has placed on my life.
What we should be praying is not, “Lord if you will or Lord give me a sign across the sky but.” “Lord I trust you. I trust your promises. I trust what your word says. Whatever you want from me I want you to know I am willing to obey. Even if it is different from what I want.
You know what God will do with a prayer like this? 100 out of 100 times he will honor the socks off of it! He will give you what is best.
Doubt is a lack of trust in the promises and presence of Christ. The more we read his word the more it will help strengthen our lack of faith. It will speak to the certain issues of our lives. As we see in story of Peter stepping out of the boat to meet Jesus on the water we learn this truth, Jesus doesn’t want you to sink! He tells us in this passage that you can have full confidence in him.
What happens when you continually trust in the promises and presence of God?
· It revolutionizes your worship!
Verse 32-33 says, “And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.” We can’t effectively worship a God we can’t trust!”
You can trust what he says about security of your commitment to him.
You can trust what he says about your future.
You can trust that he knows what is best for you.
So, let me ask you this morning. What are you doubting in your life?
I hope you have been encouraged to trust Jesus with all the details of your life. Search out the scriptures. Lay hold of what he says in the Word.