by Pastor Tim Burt
Renee and I both happened to comment on an experience that we both recently, but independently experienced. As we talked, we realized that we’ve both had this experience on occasion. We just haven’t talked much about it. What’s the experience? God reaching out to encourage us at periodic moments of self-doubt.
As this surfaced in a conversation, we discovered that we both encounter occasional moments of self doubt. They seem to be triggered by different events or happenings, but when they do, ungodly thoughts come like fiery darts. “Does anybody even really like me?” “Am I a good person?” “Do I really have anything to say that people want to hear?” “Am I a good spouse?” “Am I a good parent?” “What do my kids really think of me?” And on and on.
In the desert, Satan tried them on Jesus. “If you are the son of God….” He was trying to get Jesus to doubt who He was with the goal of getting Him to give up His faith on who He was. If he’ll work on Jesus, he’ll work on us.
My esteem has never been built upon confidence in myself. I know my shortcomings, my failings, and the areas of my life that need help. I know the limitations of my own ability. Before Jesus, my own ability and confidence produced a reckless and miserable life. So much for trusting in myself! But with Jesus and the revelation of His love and desire to help and work in me, I’ve grown in confidence – not confidence in myself but confidence in His faithfulness and love to always be with me and help me. As Proverbs 14:26 says, "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence and it is in this place that those who belong to Him will find refuge."
Renee and I also realized that we have both encountered very special touches of God’s love and encouragement in those moments of self-doubt. We both had story after story of how when those moments came and those fiery darts hit, that as we talked to God, He always sent people across our path right on time to encourage us and put those lies where they belong, in the pit! I’d preach a message that I just wasn’t sure hit the mark. Doubt would come. For 24 hours the fiery darts would come. “What are you doing preaching to begin with?” “It’s not your calling.” And on and on. Suddenly, I’d get three emails or two voicemails by someone who had to let me know how my message changed their life and how thankful they were. Renee told me this same thing happened to her, over and over. It’s just that love of God reaching out to encourage when doubt tries to fill your mind and heart.
In the book of Judges, we read about Gideon. The people were crying out for God to help them. God sent an angel to Gideon. Why Gideon? I’m confident because of Gideon’s heart. God is always seeking the hearts of those who will live wholeheartedly for Him and serve Him. He sent an angel to Gideon. Gideon was not a confident man in himself. But God was confident in him for reasons of the heart leading the angel to speak these words to Gideon: "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" (Judges 6:12) Gideon experiences moments of self doubt but God encouraged his heart in word and through signs. It helped Gideon’s confidence and strengthened him in obedience to continue to walk out God’s plan.
Psalm 27:13-14 "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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