I have always believed IN God, but I have to admit there were times I had troubling BELIEVING God and the promises He has given us. I found my doubt was strongest when I was facing a difficult circumstance that made absolutely no sense. Sometimes my doubt would cause anger to grow in my heart because of my lack of ability to control or fix the circumstance. By far the hardest circumstance I have had to face was watching my child suffer with cancer - the nausea, the pokes, the pills, the failure of his body…I could not understand why my innocent child had to endure the unrelenting grasp this disease had placed on his life. Had God conveniently forgot about us? Had we done something terribly wrong that God's wrath was hitting us full force? The darkest days I experienced were when I was questioning my faith. I wondered if my prayers were being heard. Doubt and anger were bombarding my mind.
It never failed, when my mind was being attacked, something or someone would appear that would wake me up and get me back on track. Usually a book would be given to me that would convict my heart. I would realize God WAS listening because He was speaking to me through the book or the person He put in my path, dissolving my doubt and anger. I found the questioning that resulted from my doubt actually made my faith grow stronger. It drew me closer to God. The closer I drew to Him the more peace I would feel.
The overriding lesson I learned was we will always face challenges in our lives. Some may be small, some may be very large. These challenges will always present us with the opportunity to be faced with doubt and feel anger. What we have to do is remember to cling to those promises of hope that God gives us NO MATTER WHAT! To always believe and be filled with hope because God has perfect timing that we will only understand when we reach Heaven. To remember this world is filled with sin because of God loved us so much He chose to give us free will. This sin makes the world a broken, unjust place to be, filled with disease and heartache, but God seems to be able take the suffering that results and turn it into good if we make the choice to let Him work in our hearts.
No one chooses to "get cancer." It just seems to appear and it seems everyday we are being told about anything we come in contact with could be a potential cause. I don't know how one person can get it and not another - I wish I did! All I know is cancer did appear in our lives. It did cause doubt and anger to enter my heart, but only to strengthen my faith. A clear example of this can be taken from the Bible in the book of Job. I was humbled as I read this book. It reminded me - who am I to question Our Creator who made everything? The Author of this world, the Maker of rain, lightning and ladybugs - the One who knew us before we were born? Who am I to question Him with my doubts or mock Him with my anger? I realized I am so limited in my knowledge compared to our Father God. I certainly can not make a beautiful rose or the dew that gently kisses the morning each day by speaking!
By walking this unforeseen path I have grown so much closer to God and have become painfully aware of how big a sacrifice He made by sending His Son to this earth so we can all be saved from the sin in this world. How can we risk passing up this ultimate gift?
For many of you, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is an integral part of making it through each day and being able to face the challenges trials bring to your life. This may not be true for everyone reading this. If you do not have the relationship I am speaking of and feel you need more proof before you would consider it, I would like to recommend a couple of books. They were written by Lee Strobel, an investigative journalist and professed atheist, who set out to prove God did not exist. What he found after using his investigative skills was he was wrong. He realized the evidence was so overwhelming it took MORE faith to stay an atheist than to believe in God and the salvation Jesus Christ can bring. The books are called The Case For Faith and The Case For Christ. These books are also good for Christians to deepen their convictions as they did for me.
Another article that was given to me that goes along with this topic is called "So Why Do Bad Things Happen?" by Stacy James. It helped me as well. I have included it with this mailing.
Following are a few scriptures related to having faith even in the worst circumstances when doubt or anger can threaten to overwhelm you.
"Watch out for attacks from the Devil…Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are." - 1 Peter 5: 8-9
"Don't be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God's." - 2 Chronicles 20:15
"And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, or how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." - Romans 8:26
"When doubts fill my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." - Psalm 91:19
"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen." - Hebrews 11:1
"I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." - John 6:47
"Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" - John 20:29
"Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.'" - John 6:35
"I have come to the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness." - John 12:46
Doubt and anger can be powerful emotions. They can overwhelm your mind and become a tool to harden your heart. I pray your heart stays soft and your faith remains strong.
Our pastor asked in one of his messages "Do you think if you had the chance to see Heaven if only for a moment, you would live your life differently?" What do you think? I feel like I have seen a part of Heaven in my Zach's eyes. He will forever have a piece of my heart there with him. Knowing this, my vision changed from a worldly focus to a view of eternity. I believe what Beth Moore stated, "God's purpose is always greater than our pain." Doubt and anger will still attack my mind, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will not let them overwhelm my heart.
Everyone at Giving Hope Through Faith wants you to have this vision too. To live each day with the hope in your heart that God is with you and having Him with you, you can face ANYTHING!
Praying for you until next month.