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Posts Tagged ‘uncertainty’

Questions and Doubts

August 23rd, 2018

Questions Are Inevitable. Doubts Are Avoidable.

“All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“Questions and Doubts.”

To any honest heart, there are times and occasions in life that produce questions. With our limited perspective and imperfect knowledge, many times and many things don’t appear to make sense at the moment. Times and things introduce uncertainty. At one time or another, everyone has questions. If you haven’t, you either have not lived long enough or faced anything tough enough if life has not made you ask why on occasion.

Maybe you have felt guilty and swallowed your questions rather than ask them. Know this. God is not threatened by your questions nor surprised by your bewilderment. In the agony of the Cross, Jesus cried out to His Father, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?” His words came from the depths of His humanity. He had questions, but He did not yield to doubt. Before Jesus breathed His last breath on that cross, He turned His face toward the future and His Father, and said, “Father, I entrust my spirit into Your hands. And with those words Jesus breathed His last.” Luke 23:46 NLT. His final words were faith- filled.

Whatever the circumstances of my life or death, I choose to submit my feelings and fears to truth and trust. If Jesus can find peace and faith in such a moment as He faced, He will empower you and me to do so as well. Preparing for the cross as Jesus prayed to His Father, His future was secured by His words, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done!” Jesus had questions, but He did not succumb to doubt.

Questions are inevitable. Questions can play a vital role in learning. Questions push you beyond the known and understood to what has not been previously considered. Great discoveries and advances in technology advances have happened because someone asked questions no one else bothered to ask. A person does not have faith because they have no questions. If you had no questions, why would you need faith? Faith looks at the hardest questions, and though often without answers, simply trusts God’s love, wisdom, and sufficient grace.

You may struggle to resolve your questions. But you must choose to deal with your doubts. You can be without doubts while wrestling with the toughest questions, maybe even unanswerable ones. Paul did not say that was easy to do, but he does show that it is possible to do. Read the context of today’s verse. “None of these things move me.” Acts 20:24. Paul knew he was facing, “jail and suffering.” Read Acts 20:22-23 NKJ and 21:10-14 NIV. For any thinking person, that would raise some unsettling questions. I would expect Paul had questions about that. I would; you likely would as well.

When you are uncertain, and questions trouble your mind and rob your peace, concentrate on what is certain and unchanging and rest your questions there. That place is the Word and character of God. When there seems too much that you do not know, be sure of what you do know. Paul wrote, “Now we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is complete comes, what is partial will be done away  . . now I know partially, then I will know fully just as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:9-13 NIV. Dwell on what you know. Deal with what you don’t. Rest in what God says.

What leaves more unanswered questions than death, and resurrection? After Paul’s expansive defense of the Resurrection, he summarizes this way, “Therefore, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58. Those admirable character qualities – “steadfast, immovable, and always abounding” –  evidence a mature Christian who has asked their questions and chosen to move beyond their doubts to rest peacefully in God and His character and Word.

Even when there are serious questions, you can still live and trust with no doubts about God. Paul is a prime example. From prison, he wrote to young Timothy, “I am suffering here in prison . . but I know the One in whom I trust, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” 2 Timothy 1:12 NLT.

Today, I pray you will submit your questions and surrender your doubts to God.

Christian Communications 2018

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Questions

August 23rd, 2013

“The clay doesn’t ask, ‘Why did you make me this way?’”  Isaiah 45:9 CEV

Uncertainty creates insecurity; God is the answer to both.

My thoughts and comments today are about “questions.”

Questions! You will have so many of them. Why so many? The answer is simple really; there is so much that you cannot know and do not yet understand. Your knowledge is incomplete; your understanding is imperfect; your experience is limited. Much of life is lived in the arena of “things not yet known,” not things unknowable, just unknown now but not unknown to God. You might as well get used to that. That can be bewildering, unsettling even. Uncertainty creates insecurity, and people wrongly assume that having answers makes one secure. Security is knowing the answers you lack will be provided when most needed.

In previous generations, every day vessels were formed of common clay in the hands of a potter. Isaiah, an Old Testament prophet, compares our insistent questions with the ludicrous example of a clay pot demanding explanation from its maker. Isaiah concluded, “You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn’t ask, ‘Why did you make me this way? Where are the handles?’” Isaiah 45:9 CEV. “A clay pot shaped by a potter,” not a very flattering picture. Such a presumptuous exchange with one’s Creator is not as rare as may first appear.

Life is simpler when realizing you are His creation rather than creator. We are often bewildered by life and demand God account for His actions, or presumed inaction. When you have questions; God is your answer. “ We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that . . we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 MSG. God is neither insensitive to your pain nor takes pleasure in your suffering. Paul describes our human situation at times as, “. . hard pressed, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” The content within matters eternally, not your circumstance or confusion now. “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” Colossians 1:27 NKJV.

Certainty and security is restored when you rest your questions upon unhesitating trust in God’s wisdom, unrivaled power, and righteous character. There is much you do not yet know, but there is so much more you can and do know. “We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompleteness will be canceled . . 12 We don’t yet see things clearly . . We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 13 But for right now, until that completeness . . Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:9-13 MSG. You may know only a “portion of the truth,” but that is enough truth to save and keep you now and forever.

My prayer for you today is that you release the unknown to God who is omniscient.

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Life’s Dilemmas

May 2nd, 2011

“Fear not . . (God) will work for you today.” Exodus 14:13

“Be certain of this; God is the solution to every situation.”

My thoughts today are about “life’s dilemmas.”

There are situations that seem to have no solution, times when you find yourself “betwixt and between.” You see no way back and no safe way forward, just stuck in one of life’s dilemmas. You will have many questions and few if any answers. Out of your uncertainty doubt comes, and out of those doubts fear rises. At such times, though you do not have the answer, God does.

God’s word for you today is the same as it was to a newly-birthed nation of Israel, “Fear not; stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today.” Exodus 14:13 Amplified Bible. Exactly when you need to know what to do next, God is there with perfect knowledge, complete wisdom, and clear direction. He may not tell you everything about what is ahead nor explain all that is bewildering to you right now, but He will faithfully provide the next step you are to take.

Israel found themselves in just such a place. From their Egyptian masters, they had suffered unjust servitude for generations. Read Exodus 1-5.They had no options; the future looked darker than the present. And then it went from bad to worse. But God sent a shepherd/deliverer, Moses. What followed was miraculous; a nation was released to unimagined freedom, generations of oppressive captivity was turned around in a single night.

Joy reigned; despair gave way to hope until . . rumors became bad news and news bred fear. Pharaoh and his army were in pursuit. Their new freedom seemed a cruel illusion; their fate appeared worse than before. They faced a dilemma of incalculable estimation – the Red Sea, an impassable natural barrier they could not cross, and a vengeful army whose strength they could not resist. Do you think it strange how quickly they forgot the sovereign, miraculous deliverance God had given them just days before? They allowed the present moment to dismiss the previous experience of God’s might and power on their behalf. This mere road block was nothing compared to what they had already seen God do.

Have you found yourself in such a place? When you do not know what to do, here is Godly advice for life’s dilemmas: (1) “Fear not!” Resist the terror of imagining the worst. Fear predicts the likely; faith believes God for the impossible. (2) “Stand Still!” Stop running from problems and face your fears. When you see nowhere to turn, turn in God’s direction. (3) “See the salvation of the Lord!” Look for what God is doing in your situation. He may be behind the scenes, but He is there. (4) “He will work for you!” Be certain of this; God is the solution to every situation. There are many things you will not know and much you may not understand, but God is at work for you.

“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose . .  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:28/31-32 NKJV. The correct answers to those questions are obvious.

My prayer for you today is that in every situation, you place your confidence in God.

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