Tag Archives: trust

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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Your Red Sea Moment

YOUR RED SEA MOMENT

By Carolyn Dale Newell

And the Lord said to Moses, but lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

Exodus 14:16 NKJV

I stand at the water’s edge, waves lapping at my ankles. An occasional spray of sea foam brushes my cheek. I look back to see Pharaoh’s army approaching. In the distance, they appear as a multitude of ants invading a Sunday picnic. Their horses and chariots roar like thunder in the distance. This is my Red Sea moment, and it might be yours too.

The medical dilemma that leaves your family with no really good choice. The relationship with your spouse, parent, or child that pleads for divine intervention. The financial woes that threaten to pull you under.

The Red Sea is infamous because God parted the waters for Moses and the Israelites to cross over. But before there was a miracle, there was a mess. One with no good solution. One without any hope. It is one of those messes only God can wipe up.

The children of Israel cried out to God. They complained to their leader.

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Ex. 14:13-14 NKJV)

Then God told Moses to lift up his rod. It must have puzzled Moses at first. Can you picture the look on Moses’ face when God told him to stretch out his rod? What is that going to accomplish? Those folks were already upset with Moses. Now God wanted him to look stupid?

When we have our Red Sea moments, God might ask something illogical of us too. Actually, if you’re not sure you are hearing God, ask yourself if it sounds reasonable? If it does, it probably isn’t God.

God asked Noah to build an ark before raindrops had ever fallen from heaven. He asked Abraham for a child sacrifice. Elisha told Naaman to dip seven times in the dirty Jordan River to receive healing.

God often gives us  a senseless task before He sends His miracle.

God has told me to lift my rod. This is one of great expense, but I will trust God to provide. I am obeying my heavenly Father.

Are you on the shores of your Red Sea? Have you heard from God? The thing that makes the least amount of sense? The question remains: will you wait helplessly, or will you follow in the footsteps of Moses, stretch out your rod, and watch the waters part?

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the Red Sea moments. They are the times we will see You work through the impossible. They are the times when faith is revealed. We praise You for the miracles You will accomplish in our times of distress. In the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Exodus 14:7-30.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Do you struggle to act in faith when God directs you? Why? Find a promise from Scripture that you can pray and hold onto while you wait.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.