JESUS SHOWS US JUST WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DOUBT HIM

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JESUS SHOWS US JUST WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DOUBT HIM

“Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror.
But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come ahead.”
Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!”” Matthew 14:24-30 [MSG]

This ever happened to you? You have been trusting in our Father for a situation, He gives it to you, then the wind and the waves of this world come up against you and batter you and you get scared. Then you call out to our Father and He works a miracle in your situation. But while you are yet still in that miracle, the cares of the world distract you and you find yourself sinking; and then you do the unthinkable. You doubt God.

Hey, if this has ever happened to you, beloved, you are not alone. Bible Gateway lists for us 13 individuals who were recorded as ever doubting God, not including the masses. So you are not alone. While I cannot imagine our Father being very happy when we doubt Him, His actions and His word assures us that He understands,

“For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

And we can take comfort from the fact that when we doubt, our Father and Jesus do not turn away from us like spoilt brats at the playground; no, our Father is our Father and He will do what all good Fathers do, hold, reassure and save.

“Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31 [AMPC]

Now, there was another man who, if based on what was going on in the natural at that time, actually had cause to doubt God.

“The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” Judges 6:1-6 [NIV]

Times were bad for Israel then. They had to hide in mountain caves and had no peace when they harvested. After months of toil, it would all come to naught. Gives a whole new meaning to the following passage, does it not?

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20

So, no wonder then that the young man Gideon was not too happy with the situation when the angel of The Lord came to him.

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”” Judges 6:12-13 [NIV]

‘Pardon me?’ The Message Bible presents his response as ‘With me?’. You can almost taste the cynicism and anguish in Gideon’s voice. It is much like yours is, when things get rough for you and you are wondering where all of our Father’s promises are. But it gets better.

“But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”
Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”
God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”
Gideon said, “If you’re serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you’re telling me. Don’t leave until I come back and bring you my gift.”
He said, “I’ll wait till you get back.”” Judges 6:14-18 [MSG]

God tells Gideon to go in his own strength, and He will back him up. If Visa and MasterCard were still running their ‘priceless’ campaign, Gideon’s response would surely feature. ‘How and with what?’ How many times have we said that to our Father and to Jesus when we are called? In fact, Gideon’s doubt was so strong, he asked for a sign, and the sign he asked for, was a sign that only God could perform; consuming sacrifices.

Have we ever been like this; asking God for a sign, challenging Him to prove Himself? Demanding that He show us something quintessentially His? And when He does, are we not glad that He does this in our lives, instead of smiting us for our unbelief?

“And the Angel of God said to him, Take the meat and unleavened cakes and lay them on this rock and pour the broth over them. And he did so.
Then the Angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes, and there flared up fire from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. Then the Angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.” Judges 6:20-21 [AMPC]

Whenever this happens to us, I am quite sure our response will be rather similar to Gideon’s,

“Gideon said, “Oh no! Master, God! I have seen the angel of God face-to-face!”” Judges 6:22 [MSG]

And just like Jesus reassured Peter when He doubted, so too our Father reassured Gideon saying,

“But God reassured him, “Easy now. Don’t panic. You won’t die.”” Judges 6:23 [MSG]

Now, we know that Gideon eventually went on to deliver Israel from her enemies. But what is key for us is to realize that in the same way that our Father was loving and compassionate toward Gideon when he doubted, Jesus was edifying to Peter when he was sinking; They will be loving, compassionate and edifying to us in the time of our doubt. No matter what our station in life, like that which was discussed in the message Jesus Is Not Done With Us Yet, Jesus still has a long way to go with us. But whilst on the way, we can stand firm on Jesus’ promises when we face doubt and know that,

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10 [AMPC]

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

So beloved, the next time you doubt, ask for a sign if it will help you; the more specific the better; as long as it is able to set your heart and your mind at ease. Then when our Father delivers, know

“…that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6 [AMPC]

Whatever your situation, know that our Father always says,

‘Easy now; don’t panic. You won’t die. I’ll be with you; believe me.’

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