First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

I'm just not sure. ("Cautious doubt")

November 5, 2015

 

 

Count how many times you attempt something today that requires faith.  For me the list would include:

     1. an alarm clock that works.

     2. ears to hear the alarm.

     3. a working arm to reach out and shut off the alarm.

     4. ability to roll out of bed.

     5. two functioning legs with which to stand.

     6. eyes to see where I'm walking.

     7. etc, etc, etc.....

 

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365.25 days a year are filled with countless moments of faith for us. We just don't think much about all these moments because most of them are almost automatic...until they aren't. Think of a time when the alarm didn't function, your ears didn't hear the alarm, your arm(s) had fallen asleep, your body rebelled when you attempted to roll out of bed, you almost fell because your legs weren't ready.....

 

        "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea,

        blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 

        he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (James 1:6-8, NIV)

 

    We have been wrestling with God's provision at our Wednesday Bible studies. The account of the Israelites standing at the edge of the Red Sea was a moment of faith testing. With the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army bearing down on them, doubt flooded their faith in God's deliverance. This narrative in Exodus 14 describes our lives. We are faced with insurmountable odds and immediately our heart and mind are seized by doubts. 

    Two weeks ago one of the study participants offered a timely phrase for our times of doubt and fear. Steve, who doesn't say much but who is always listening and processing information, spoke up. In his offering on the subject of doubt he used the phrase, "cautious doubt". The rest of us stopped, looked at Steve, and realized the power of his thought.

    Human nature won't allow us to not doubt and suspect failure.  Steve's phrase pushed us all further along in our faith to allow room for doubt but expect God is working just out of our sightline. "Cautious doubt" allows room for prayer; it  allows God's strength to push us forward in faith.  Israel had witnessed God intervene on their behalf so many times yet failed to lean on God here at the Red Sea. Before we get too haughty, we have done the same.

    Today, whatever you face that threatenes to defeat you, know God is about to make a way where no way seems possible. God's track record for delivering His beloved is quite good. Perfect in fact!

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