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Dealing with doubt

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Romans 15:4

Romans 15:4 NLT
4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Uncertainty may be remedied by gaining assurance from God’s word, remembering God’s past goodness, reflecting on his power and appealing to his unfailing love. Believers should help the weak with the patience and encouragement that reflects God’s own compassion.
Doubt dealt with by holding on to God’s truth
Gaining 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.
1 John 5:13 NLT
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.
Psalm 119:116 NLT
116 Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed.
Romans 15:4 NLT
4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Receiving correction and understanding through God’s word
2 Timothy 3:14–17 NLT
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
Psalm 119:130 NLT
130 The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.
1 Corinthians 10:11 NLT
11 These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
Avoiding idle speculation
Ephesians 4:14 NLT
14 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.
1 Timothy 6:20–21 NLT
20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge. 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. May God’s grace be with you all.
2 Timothy 2:16 NLT
16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.
2 Timothy 2:23 NLT
23 Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.
Titus 3:9 NLT
9 Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time.
Doubt dealt with by meditating on God’s works
Remembering God’s past deeds
Psalm 77:10–20 NLT
10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” 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 16 When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. 17 The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. 18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. 19 Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! 20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
Psalm 143:5 NLT
5 I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.
Isaiah 46:9 NLT
9 Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
Matthew 16:9–10 NLT
9 Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10 Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up?
Commemorating God’s deeds
Religious festivals such as Passover provided a permanent reminder of God’s past goodness to his people.
Exodus 12:14 NLT
14 “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time.
1 Corinthians 11:24–25 NLT
24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”
Reflecting on divine power
Matthew 11:4–6 NLT
4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” 6 And he added, “God blesses those who do not fall away because of me.”
Doubt dealt with by trusting
Trusting in God’s unfailing love
Psalm 6:2–4 NLT
2 Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. 3 I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me? 4 Return, O Lord, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love.
Isaiah 54:10 NLT
10 For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Pastoral concern for those who doubt
Being patient with doubters
Romans 14:1–4 NLT
1 Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.
Romans 14:15–17 NLT
15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. 17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
In Conclusion:
Encouraging those with doubts
1 Thessalonians 3:2 NLT
2 and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith,
Hebrews 10:23–25 NLT
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 12:12 NLT
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
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