We continue the discussion of the series titled overcoming life’s challenges. In my previous message I established that our life is interrupted with diverse types of challenges which to come to different people in different ways. In order to overcome these challenges, some of the principles we can use include looking unto Jesus, focusing on our life’s goals, seeking for God’s help, enduring the pain, being at peace with ourselves and depending on God’s grace. We specifically discussed how we can overcome the challenge of oppression by our enemy by leaning on the everlasting arms of God. We have also discussed how we can overcome the challenge of loneliness by staying connected with one another. This message is based on how we can overcome the obstacle of doubt.

(James 1: 1 – 12)

1. What is doubt? It is defined as the feeling of uncertainty or an undecided state of mind. It is an inclination to disbelieve or a hesitation to believe or trust.  

2. The nature of doubt: Selwyn Hughes, the writer of the devotional known as Everyday with Jesus explained doubt as being of two types. There is defensive doubt and there is honest doubt. Defensive doubt is an unconscious attempt to hide some faults or failure. It is a defensive attempt to relieve us of the responsibilities of our commitments. Defensive doubt is dangerous because its seed is sown by our enemy the devil. In Gen. 3: 1 – 5, the devil sowed the seed of doubt in the mind of Eve by saying “Yea hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ Defensive doubt is the root of many problems in the world today. Adam blamed God and Eve in order to defend himself. Eve blamed the serpent in order to defend herself. We also directly or indirectly blame God for many of our predicaments.  Honest doubt according to Selwyn Hughes arises from difficult or perplexing situation in which we find ourselves and which appear to give the lie to the promises of God. An example of this is the doubt we have when a good God permits natural disasters to happen or when innocent people are killed by others. Every one of us has exercised doubts at one one time or another in our lives. During his imprisonment, John the Baptist the forerunner of Jesus sent his disciples to confirm if Jesus was the messiah or he should look for another (Matt. 11: 2 – 6). How then can we overcome doubt?    

1. Bring your doubts to God: When Job was in crisis, he asked God questions honestly and God revealed Himself to him. Thomas also exercised doubts about the resurrection of Jesus but when he finally saw the risen Christ, he exclaimed My Lord and my God.      
2. Remember the ancient landmark: When David confronted Goliath in battle he remembered how God delivered him from the paw of the lion and the bear in the wilderness. The same God that delivered him then also gave him victory over Goliath. If we meditate on our testimonies of God’s victories in the past we can overcome the doubts that confront us presently.

3. Focus on what God is doing now: A lot of times, we allow the devil to magnify the problems we are facing while we forget other great things that God is doing in our lives. If we can think and focus on God’s miracles in our lives and even in the lives of those around us, our doubts and fears with give way to faith and courage.    

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