Throwback Thursday: Silencing Doubt

 

SILENCING DOUBT

By Carolyn Dale Newell

But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

Luke 1:20 NKJV

Do you ever find it difficult to believe God will fulfill His promises? Do you struggle to trust Him to provide when the bank account is empty? Have you stopped believing He will heal?

You are not alone. Even Zacharias, a devout priest, could not believe the words of Gabriel concerning the promised birth of John the Baptist.

Zacharias and Elizabeth had longed for a child. They are the New Testament Abraham and Sarah.

Gabriel appeared before Zacharias as he performed his priestly duties in the temple. He told Zacharias his prayers would be answered with the birth of a son, but not just any child. He was the forerunner for the Messiah.

Zacharias wanted proof. He doubted Gabriel’s news. They were old, and Elizabeth was well past her childbearing years. The angel reminded the priest he was Gabriel, the archangel. He had been sent by God to bring these glad tidings, but Zacharias responded in unbelief. Gabriel informed Zacharias he would be mute because of his disbelief. Doubt was silenced, not likely what Zacharias had in mind as proof.

Mary received a visit from the same angel. She responded in faith, not in doubt. Gabriel told Mary she would give birth to the Son of God. Such astonishing news, but she believed and rejoiced.

Both Zacharias and Mary were fearful at the sight of an angel. Gabriel encouraged both of them not to fear.

Mary’s question was one of curiosity. How could she give birth as a virgin?

A wise old priest failed to trust the promise from God, but a young teenage girl’s faith encompassed much more.

Gabriel revealed Elizabeth’s news to Mary, because they were kin. Mary journeyed to the house of Elizabeth and Zacharias. Imagine the dinner table talk between faithful Mary and Elizabeth. Two women, in the same family, were selected by God to give birth to special little boys.

Zacharias’ speech did not return until after the child was born, and it was time to name him. Obviously, Zacharias had communicated Gabriel’s message to his wife, because she knew to name the baby John.

Without a doubt, doubt dies hard. Like poison ivy, it continues to come back. We are children of God residing in bodies of flesh. Bodies prone to disease. Bodies prone to injury. Bodies prone to sin, and bodies prone to doubt.

In a promise-breaking world, doubt comes naturally, yet, God has never broken a promise. His timing may not match ours, but God always breaks through. Silence doubt before doubt silences you.

Doubt mutes our testimonies. It is an affront to God, our heavenly Father. The inability to believe hinders us from encouraging others. Stand firm on the truth in Luke 1:37: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Luke 1:5-45.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Shun every thought of doubt as soon as it enters your mind. Avoid people who cannot believe, and surround yourself with those who believe all things are possible with God.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Guide Dog Tales: When You Fall

When You Fall

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Psalm 37:4 NKJV

Does your pooch find grass as fascinating as Iva? She carefully sniffs each blade like a human scrolling their Facebook feed to learn what happened overnight. You might understand my impatience in the pre-dawn hours as I waited for Iva to potty, so I thought I would assist her.

I speedily headed up the embankment to her favorite place to do number two. In that moment, I broke two rules for partially sighted folks. Don’t get in a hurry, and don’t expand the doggy bathroom, even in your own backyard.

The minute my foot hit the landscape border, I realized I wasn’t where I thought I was. Not only did I fall flat on my face, but I skidded through the gravel. On my face. Thoughts of scars raced through my mind. Thoughts of someone removing tiny pebbles from my cheek rushed in as rocks fell from my skin.

I found Iva’s leash, as she tried to make it better with kisses. I instructed her to find the steps. Once inside, I called for my husband. Tears began falling as I explained, “I’m bleeding. My lip”

Timmy examined me, and assured me I wasn’t bleeding. No cuts, not even a scratch. My hands weren’t even scuffed up. My coat didn’t even have any dirt on it. I couldn’t believe it!

I had fallen, but God delivered me. His angels didn’t break the fall, but they made sure nothing broke. Not a bone. Not even the skin.

Is this how the three Hebrews felt when they emerged from the fiery furnace without a hint of smoke on them?

We all slip and fall at one point or another. Some of us take physical falls, while others fall into a pit of despair. Some fall spiritually. You allowed yourself to linger longer around the temptation. Then came the sin. The fall.

David penned this psalm after he faked madness when the philistine king captured him. Prior to that, David had deceived the priest in order to obtain food and the sword of the mighty Goliath, the giant David slew.

David had fallen into the world’s ways while running from King Saul. Lying and worldly weapons would not protect him. Only God could do that.

God delivered David out of the hand of the Philistine king and eventually from King Saul. Friend, He delivers us too. His angels encamp about us as a hedge of protection.

The Lord is our deliverer. He will deliver us from harm. He can deliver us from brokenness. And yes, when we sin, He will deliver the genuine soul.

God delivers the one addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, or gambling. He delivers the one bound by depression. He delivers us from disease. He delivers the prodigals back home. Our God is a mighty deliverer!

Trust in the Lord. You are surrounded by angels.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.