The Crucible of Doubt

I find that those who walked with God in the Old Testament seem far more honest than some of us today. The psalmist D0avid, for example, was brutally honest with God. The prophets poured out their hearts to God; Job railed against God. Those who were able to bring their doubts and fears, however raw, into the presence of God, and who truly wrestled with their faith, found a faith that could withstand anything.

The apostle Peter was pretty sure that whatever Jesus needed, he was the man for the job. But as he faced the greatest failure of his life, he was about to be transformed . . . into a man of faith.

Doubts unexpressed isolate us and drive us from the heart of God. God’s heart is big enough to carry whatever burden you are bearing.

Do you doubt that God loves you?

Do you doubt that He cares?

Do you doubt that He will see you through any and every circumstance?

I encourage you to bring your doubts to Him. He can be trusted with your questions.

Excerpted from A Grand New Day...

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Quietly Persevering

The Bible provides us with good examples of folks who patiently persevered, working in the background until they were called center stage to strut their stuff. Why, Moses was so far offstage, it took a burning bush to get him to move in the right direction. Joseph was thrown in prison. He used that time to prepare for God’s call. David was out in the field watching the sheep and learning how to take on lions, tigers, and bears when Samuel came calling to anoint David king.

Gideon was threshing wheat on his farm when an angel popped in for a little visit and an assignment to lead the Israelite army. James and John were fishing when Jesus called them to fish for men.

Moses, David, Gideon, James, and John all remind us that we should go about the business God has appointed for us today—whether that’s tossing out our chipped china saucers, puzzling over a long-lost process (like remembering how to cook), or tending the garden.

The Lord is perfectly capable of finding...

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The Gift of Age

What does your age really represent? Days and nights spent living your life, coming through a myriad of experiences that sometimes seem mind-numbingly monotonous, only to be interrupted by life-altering surprises and unforeseen tragedies. Your age reflects years of (hopefully) collected wisdom.

Your age also represents mounds of memories. You’ve exchanged some of the energy of youth for them, but the higher the number on your birthday card, the more wealth you have in your little treasure trove of reminiscences.

In our culture, our age is viewed as some kind of disease that, if we just keep treating it, might be defeated or go away altogether. Like we can somehow push back the edges of mortality. The only thing we’re pushing back is the edges of our acceptance of the gifts of time and the physical limitations that make the interior gifts more precious.

So you’ve got a year or two on your friends. So you’ve got a wrinkle or two. So your hair is changing color...

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Be Quiet and Listen

Taking time to listen to God and to discern what He’s calling us to do is a discipline we all can embrace. Sometimes in our great need to be heard we forget that listening allows God to be heard. I believe I’ve learned more in the silence, listening to Him, than I’ve ever learned as I prayed and begged Him for answers. At times I wasn’t even asking the right questions, but when I quieted my mind and listened, really listened, I heard what I needed to hear.

Contemplative listening is a rich experience for those willing to make time to be still in God’s presence. Set aside ten minutes and just be quiet. Turn off the music, the phone, and the television. Be quiet and invite God to speak to you in your spirit. As you grow comfortable with the silence and learn to hear God’s voice, I think you’ll want to set aside longer periods of time in which you deliberately listen for His counsel.

When I actually get quiet and listen, I find that God usually...

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