Pastor Nick Cleveland
Doubt is a major giant in our world. Ever doubt something? I have. I was about 6 years old and lost a tooth – not my first tooth. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if I believed in the tooth fairy or not. So that night, I was determined to catch the tooth fairy. I climbed into bed and for 45 minutes, pretended to be asleep. Then I heard the door open, a ray of light shined in and I sensed a hand by my bed. So, I jumped up and grabbed the arm! It was my dad’s arm. He screamed. I screamed – like a middle school girl. He had come in to shut my open window. I checked to see if he had money on him. He didn’t. The next morning, I woke up and there were 2 quarters under my pillow. I went to bed doubting, but woke up believing.
To doubt is to be uncertain, to question or to hesitate to believe. We all face doubt at some time or another. We doubt things like the choices we make, our abilities and skills, God’s existence, God’s goodness, political leaders’ truthfulness and we doubt ourselves. It’s been said that doubt kills more dreams than failure ever has.
One time, Jesus sent his first followers on a boat ahead of him. That night, a storm brewed up on the water. Just before dawn, Jesus walked on the water to go out to see them. Everyone was freaked out. Peter, one of Jesus’ more outspoken followers, asked Jesus if he could join him. So, Jesus invited him and Matthew recorded the event, “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:29-31)
Peter was just fine when his eyes were locked on Jesus, but when he started to believe the waves were bigger and doubt God’s care for him, he started to sink. That’s really the tension we feel, isn’t it? When we lock eyes with Jesus we walk in faith, but when we size up the storm we start to sink and doubt.
Lock eyes on the Savior, not the storm!
I’m not telling you to bury your head in the sand and pretend stuff isn’t going on. But I am telling you to be careful to not overconsume information. The more you focus on the storm, the more you start to sink and doubt. So just look at the storm and then lock in on the Savior. Lock onto His eyes and His heart. He is good and He wants to use this for your good. Good can come from pain. Paul reminded those of us who follow Christ, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (Romans 8:28-29a)
Difficulties in life can be complicated, confusing and cause doubt. God can use anything to draw you closer to Him. Remember it has a purpose. Remember He has not abandoned you. He is calling you in the middle of the storm to come to Him.
You may be tempted to say, “See there, I was right after all! It says that it works out for my good. In the end, it will work out the way I want it to.” Be careful here. Paul is talking about your ultimate good seen from God’s perspective. It is a good defined by God. What God knows is good for us is probably different from what we think is good for us. His good is that we look more like Jesus.
Focusing on God, means focusing on His truth. Truth trumps feelings. The truth is He is in control, He is good, He is loving and He is trustworthy. When you put truth into your life, do you know what happens? You tell yourself truth.
How much time are you spending looking at the storm vs. how much time are you locked into God? Can you double the time you’re locked into God? I encourage you to spend more time in His Word, in prayer and in worship this week.
Lock your eyes on the Savior.