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Posts Tagged ‘doubt’

“Are you in depths and doubts, staggering and uncertain, not knowing what is your condition, nor whether you have any interest in the forgiveness that is of God? Are you tossed up and down between hopes and fears, and want peace, consolation and establishment? Why lie you upon your faces? Get up: watch, pray, fast, meditate, offer violence to your lusts and corruptions; fear not, startle not at their crying to be spared; press unto the throne of grace by prayer, supplications, importunities, restless requests— this is the way to take the kingdom of God. These are not peace, are not assurance, but they are part of the means God hath appointed for the attainment of them.”

John Owen, Exposition on Psalm 130

In other words,

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” (2 Peter 1:10, ESV)

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A Prayer of Thankfulness for God’s Faithfulness by Scotty Smith:  “Dear heavenly Father, this is one of those days in which there’s nothing really grumble-worthy going on in my life. Though I’m sure I could muster up plenty of things to complain about, those things would quickly lose their size and impact, when held up along side of the riches of the gospel. My heart is filled with thanksgiving and praise-offering today, and I want to take time to tell you why, as I pray though King David’s grace-list.  [A great prayer based on Psalm 103]. . . Keep readiing by clicking link at beginning.

Free Book: The Works of Richard Sibbes, vol. 1:  All November long, you can get volume 1 of The Works of Richard Sibbes for free! Volume 1 of The Works of Richard Sibbes gives you not only The Bruised Reed, but also a preface by the editor and a detailed biography. Of this work Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:  “I shall never cease to be grateful to Richard Sibbes, who was balm to my soul at a period in my life when I was overworked and badly overtired, and therefore subject in an unusual manner to the onslaughts of the devil. I found at that time that Richard Sibbes . . . was an unfailing remedy. His books, The Bruised Reed and The Soul’s Conflict, quieted, soothed, comforted, encouraged, and healed me.”   This book is offered by Logos but you can also read it on their Vyrso book app or Biblia.com. if you set up an acct.

John Alosi will help you to Find Resources for Kindle without Breaking the Bank:  Prior to owning a Kindle, I downloaded nearly 100 Kindle books without paying a penny. The volumes are mostly classics and worthwhile books that have been offered “free for a limited time” at some point. In the past week or so, I’ve been looking to add more titles to my Kindle “library” without spending much money. So far the most helpful third party site I’ve found for locating free Kindle titles is Freebook Sifter. Freebook Sifter provides links to the more than 40,000 Kindle titles that can currently be “purchased” for free through Amazon’s website. These titles are organized into various categories and subcategories (e.g.,History → U.S. History → 19th Century). The database is fully searchable as well. Theoretically, one could find all of these books through Amazon’s website, but Amazon’s goal is to sell you books while Freebook Sifter only lists books that are free.”

Owen Strachan highly recommends two articles on Christian parenting: First, John Piper’s piece on the absolute necessity of teaching obedience in the home went viral. . . A second piece from the GirlTalk blog came my way via readers in my family. This piece is practical and is on how to handle–and ideally avoid–tantrums.

Doubts: Fatal or Futile?: Doubting. It is something familiar to all of us. Doubting covers the gamut of our human experience, whether it be doubts about your favorite sports team doing well this season, or whether or not the sun really is going to come out. Those types of doubts, however, are more often than not easily dealt with and alleviated.  As you move further and deeper into the human heart, doubts can become a bit more serious, stubborn, and chronic. They can be doubts about moving towards someone who has broken trust with you, or doubts regarding if God really and truly cares for you and is good. These types of doubts, spiritual in nature, have the ability to unmoor a person. Doubts like these often serve as the doorway towards deeper issues like depression, paralyzing fear, and chronic anxiety.

 

 

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Chris Braun:

If you ever struggle with doubts, then you will want to read Mike Wittmer’s new book, Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith.This book comes from Dr. Wittmer’s area of expertise and it will be as as reliable theologically as it is practical pastorally.

The doubts of the disciples after the resurrection encourage me. Consider the verse:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17

Even in the presence of the resurrected Christ, the disciples still had their doubts.

Like I said, their doubts encourage me. The reason is that there are still times after being a pastor for decades that doubts take a run at me. And I am thankful I am not the first to need to work through doubts. (See also the Limping, Elevenish Recipients of the Great Commission).

As a pastor, and as a parent, I know that most of us work through doubts in one way or another. So I am thankful that Mike Wittmer has written a new book, Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith.

Here’s a quote from the introduction which should get your interest:

If faith requires knowledge, then the important question is not “What are your doubts?” but “What do you know?” The encouraging surprise of this book is that you may know more than you think – – -more than enough to believe, more than enough to put your doubts away (page 13).

This will be an especially important book for parents of teenagers who face all kinds of questions about doubts.

Below is the publishers blurb:

Many Christians struggle with the concept of walking by faith, especially in a world that says faith is all about taking risks, leaping into uncharted territory and expecting everything to be okay. In Despite Doubt, Michael E. Wittmer reexamines this popular viewpoint and encourages you to get a clear understanding of your assurance in God and salvation. You will examine the flipside of doubt that opens the door to questions, answers, and knowledge about securing your trust in God. Helping you to discover how to embrace a confident faith, Despite Doubt includes questions for reflection and discussion and is a perfect resource for small group study.

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Do you doubt the Word of God?  Do you sometimes think, “If God only spoke to me” or “If only God would do this miracle”, then I would believe in Him and I would believe His Word.   In an age where we thing “seeing is believing”, here is a word from the famous 19th-century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon who was responding to the enlightened thinkers of his generation:

If I heard a voice speaking from the sky I would obey it, but the form in which your call has come has been better than that, for Peter in his second epistle tells us that he himself heard a voice out of the excellent glory when he was with our Lord in the holy mount, but he adds, “we have also a more sure word of prophecy”; as if the testimony which is in the word of God, the light that shineth in a dark place, which beams forth from the word of God, was more sure than even the voice which he heard from heaven. . . . Do not say that you would accept that call if it were spoken with a voice rather than written; you know that is not so in daily life. If a man receives a written letter from his father or a friend, does he attach less importance to it than he would have done to his spoken communication? I reckon that many of you in business are quite content to get written orders for goods, and when you get them you do not require a purchaser to ask you in person, you would just as soon that he should not; in fact you commonly say that you would like to have it in black and white. Is it not so? Well then you have your wish, here is the call in black and white: and I do but speak according to common sense when I say that if the Lord’s call to you be written in the Bible, and it certainly is, you do not speak truth when you say, “I would listen to it if it were spoken, but I cannot listen to it because it is written.” The call as given by the book of inspiration ought to have over your minds a masterly power, and if your hearts were right before God that word spoken in the Scriptures by the Holy Ghost would be at once obeyed.

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Jon Bloom:

I’ve just recently been laying aside sinful doubt-weights again. I have certain doubts that I have laid down repeatedly over the years and seem to have a tendency to easily pick back up. Sometimes I’m not even conscious I’ve done this till I recognize a certain kind of soul-fatigue being caused by doubt that certain promises of God are true in my case.

The longer we carry these doubt-weights the stronger their power over us becomes. We are often tempted to think that carrying the weights is a more “real” and intellectually respectable way to run. But carried long enough, they get heavier to the point that we wonder if the whole race is worth it or is, in fact, real after all.

If that’s you, don’t fool around with them any more. Drop them!

But how does one lay aside doubt-weights?

Read “Lay Aside the Weight of Doubt” here.

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Doubt killing promises

Justin Taylor in the January 2013 edition of TableTalk:

“Even though Charles Spurgeon lived about two hundred years after John Bunyan, I think Spurgeon regarded Bunyan as a friend. He said the book he valued most, next to the Bible, was The Pilgrim’s Progress. “I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire.”

Perhaps one of the reasons Spurgeon resonated with this classic was its realistic portrayal of depression, doubt, and despair. Spurgeon and Bunyan, like their Savior, were men of sorrow, acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3). When Bunyan went to prison for preaching the gospel, his heart was almost broken “to pieces” for his young blind daughter, “who lay nearer my heart than all I had besides.” Spurgeon’s depression could be so debilitating that he could “weep by the hour like a child”—and not know why he was weeping. To fight this “causeless depression,” he said, was like fighting mist. It was a “shapeless, undefinable, yet all-beclouding hopelessness.” It felt, at times, like prison: “The iron bolt which so mysteriously fastens the door of hope and holds our spirits in gloomy prison, needs a heavenly hand to push it back.”

Read the rest here.

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“God loved us when we were totally unworthy, when there was nothing whatsoever within us that would call forth His love. Any time that we are tempted to doubt God’s love for us, we should go back to the Cross.

We should reason somewhat in this fashion: If God loved me enough to give His Son to die for me when I was His enemy, surely He loves me enough to care for me now that I am His child. Having loved me to the ultimate extent at the Cross, He cannot possibly fail to love me in my times of adversity. Having given such a priceless gift as His Son, surely He will also give all else that is consistent with His glory and my good.~Jerry Bridges~Trusting God: Even When Life Hearts (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2008) p. 150

And may this hymn by John Newton minister as well to those with pensive, doubting, fearful hearts.  You can listen to it here as well.

Pensive, doubting, fearful heart,
Hear what Christ the Savior says;
Every word should joy impart,
Change thy mourning into praise:
Yes, he speaks, and speaks to thee,
May he help thee to believe!
Then thou presently wilt see,
Thou hast little cause to grieve.

“Fear thou not, nor be ashamed,
All thy sorrows soon shall end
I who heav’n and earth have framed,
Am thy husband and thy friend
I the High and Holy One,
Israel’s GOD by all adored;
As thy Savior will be known,
Thy Redeemer and thy Lord.

For a moment I withdrew,
And thy heart was filled with pain;
But my mercies I’ll renew,
Thou shalt soon rejoice again:
Though I scorn to hide my face,
Very soon my wrath shall cease;
‘Tis but for a moment’s space,
Ending in eternal peace.

When my peaceful bow appears
Painted on the wat’ry cloud;
‘Tis to dissipate thy fears,
Lest the earth should be o’erflowed:
‘Tis an emblem too of grace,
Of my cov’nant love a sign;
Though the mountains leave their place,
Thou shalt be for ever mine.

Though afflicted, tempesttossed,
Comfortless awhile thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou art graven on my heart
All thy walls I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear,
What a God of love can do.

 

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