For as long as I’ve been on this journey I still doubt. I let fear reign – even though my experience tells me that God always comes through.
I suppose I don’t trust myself to make the right decisions. When “things” get a little tough I blame me, someone else, or Him if I feel like being the victim. It’s a lie straight from hell. When I conjure up the notion that life must be orchestrated by me, not God, I negate the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made to save me. How ridiculous. And the wretched stories I tell myself are reinforced by an enemy that hates me.
God promises to come through. There’s always a rescue waiting.
Paul reminds us in writing to the Romans. “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Romans 1:17 ESV (Emphasis added)
If I’m made righteous by Jesus shed blood why do I doubt? Why do I fear the unknown? It doesn’t seem much like living by faith.
Great question. I believe – for me personally – it’s about control. Most of my life I did things my way. And it wasn’t pretty. A failed 36-year marriage. A short stint in Federal prison for being arrogant enough NOT to listen when God spoke. Then trying to fix the problems all by myself. (A long story for another time). All leading to a financial collapse from feasting at the world’s table – indulging in the pleasures from within; my boats, cars, oceanfront properties, European vacations, and a host of other idols – conveniently placed in the spot uniquely designed for God to occupy. My empire fell apart in a heartbeat – thank God. If I were successful at holding it all together I may never have experienced the freedom that came with surrender. Surrender to the only True God; laying down the desire to find significance in how I looked, what I drove and the size of my net worth.
Yet still, I doubt and fear. Fear the unknown – of not being able to pay the bills or provide for my family after God called me to lay it all down for ministry. Even though He consistently comes through. He rescues me from the enemy, uncertainty, my circumstances and myself on a consistent basis.
I’ve come to the conclusion that going all in for Jesus is not a commitment for the faint at heart. It carries with it a sort of guarantee of being hassled. Not only from the world but that dang devil that prowls around looking for whomever he may devour. It’s also a struggle as God tests and refines me – to be battle hardened for the next challenge that comes my way. After all, he never promised us a rose garden, but He did promise us eternal life in a garden similar to what He created when this all began. A heavenly garden where the streets are paved with gold. Getting from here to there ain’t easy, but the rewards are immeasurable.
I must continue to remind myself that, as a believer, I’m on a short-term missions trip. This life on earth is a blip in time compared to eternity. But I have a major part to play that’ll impact forever if I’m willing to yield control. Why the heck would I want to be in control anyway? When left to my own devices I do a pretty good job at messing things up.
So here’s the deal. I’ve come full circle in realizing the simple answer to my questions – why do I doubt? – why do I fear? It comes down to trust. Trusting my God to meet all my needs just as He said He would.
The Uncomfortable Truth
Once we relinquish control and trust only Him, we experience the freedom scripture talks about. The freedom of knowing we don’t have to figure it all out. We have a God who loves us and wants to walk with us through the fire and through the rain – through the good and through the ugly – through enemy territory and ultimately through eternity.
God writes our story as part of His larger story. Like a well-orchestrated symphony, He creates breathtaking music when we trust Him with the outcome.
No doubt. No fear. God’s got this. He really does.