Dealing With Your Doubts

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Dealing With Your Doubts

TEXT: Luke 7:19-23

INTRODUCTION: Let me ask you a question. Has any one here ever struggled with doubt after becoming a Christian?  Now I’m not talking about doubting your salvation. However there are some that have struggled with doubt as it pertains to their salvation. What I really want to focus on this is Defeating the Doubts that plague our minds from time to time. 

        Everybody has doubts.  We all have a tendency to second guess ourselves and say, "Did I do the right thing?  Did I make the right decision?  Should I take it back to the store?"  We all struggle with these kinds of questions in our lives.

There are many different kinds of doubt. Let me quickly name a few:

·     We doubt the future, we call it worry. 

·     We doubt other people we call it suspicion. 

·     We doubt ourselves we call it inferiority. 

·     We doubt what we hear on television we call it intelligence! 

·     We doubt everything we call skepticism. 

·     We doubt God we call it uncertainty.

        People refuse to admit that there are times when they doubt God because they misunderstand doubt. If doubt is not properly understood and dealt with, it can destroy your faith in God. Let me point out something that all of us need to remember.  Doubt is not the opposite of Faith. Unbelief is the opposite of Faith. Doubt means to be uncertain or undecided. A wavering of opinion or belief: A condition of uncertainty:  An unsettled point or matter.  When you and I doubt something we are not saying that we don’t believe it. We are saying that we are not sure. Doubt left alone and not properly dealt with can lead you and I to unbelief. Personally to me doubt is somewhere between Faith and unbelief. We can say that we are saved beyond a shadow of a doubt. But at the same time not be sure of God’s will for our lives as far as a specific ministry is concerned. We can live with the assurance of our salvation and yet be unsure as to rather or not God will meet our needs or bless us. Doubt can and will deprive you of God’s promises and blessing for your life. Listen to what God’s word says.

        James 1:6-8 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

        While this passage of scripture is dealing with asking God for wisdom it’s principle of truth applies to all areas of our Christian lives. The principal is this. God honors faith. James says, “Let a man ask in faith not wavering or doubting.” A doubting person is an unsettled person just like the waves of the ocean that are driven by the winds. This person life is unstable, unreliable and undependable. This person is not sure what they believe. They believe something; they are just not sure what it is. Therefore they are unstable.

        God wants us to be part of a bible believing and bible-preaching church where He as appointed leaders to develop us in our faith. The leaders in the church are there to help us grow in the knowledge of God’s word. By becoming rooted and grounded in God’s word we will no longer be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine that comes along. The mountain of circumstances we face will no longer move us. As we grow in the knowledge of God’s word we become stable Christians that can have an effective ministry to others. In order to defeat doubt you have to recognize four facts about doubt.

I.          Recognize The Reality of Doubt. (V.19)

A.        John is in prison and hears about the ministry of the Lord Jesus and sends to of his disciples to ask Jesus a question. “Are you the One or do we look for another.”

1.      Folks John is sitting in a prison cell and he’s saying I have some doubts that I need to over come. 

2.      Let’s take a quick look at the Apostle Paul.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

3.      Underline the word Perplexed and despair.

a)      To be perplexed means to be at a loss; to doubt; to move away from; depart from; to make uncertain, doubtful and confused.

b)      Perplexed comes from another word that means to pierce through.

B.        The Devil or the world tries to bring doubt into our mind to move us away from the truth of God’s word that we believe in.

1.      The enemy of our soul wants us to live in a state of uncertainty and confusion in order to bring about destruction in our lives.

2.      In fact the word pierce means to breakthrough.

3.      Remember that breakthrough is an offensive thrust that penetrates and goes beyond the defensive line in warfare.

4.      While you and I are trying to have a breakthrough we need to remember that Satan wants to have a breakthrough into your mind. He wants to breakthrough the wall of faith in our lives and bring about our downfall and destruction. How does he do that by bringing doubt into our minds?

Paul said, “ we are perplexed, (we are faced with uncertainty; we are faced with some doubts;) but not to the point of despair.  Despair is to loose all hope. Despair is to see no way out. Despair is a loss of hope.

C.        You may face doubt but you don’t have to allow doubt to bring to the point were you loose hope and see no way out.

D.        The Lord Jesus Christ is the Way out. He is a way maker. John said, “ I have some doubts but I know Who has the answer to my doubts.

1.      No one is immune to doubts. John the Baptist was born into a Godly home. He was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. He had a successful ministry.  In fact in John 1:36 we hear his declaration of faith about the Lord Jesus. “Behold the Lamb of God.” In John 1:29 he says’s, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes way the sin of the world.”

II.       Recognize The Reasons For Doubt:

Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

John was in prison, why? Matthew 14:3 3For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. 4For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

A.        Unfavorable Circumstances:

1.      John was in prison because he confronted the corruption of Herod; he took a stand for the Truth and rebuked Herod for his sin.

2.      Herod was living in adultery and John told him it was a violation of God’s law.

3.      We all face unfavorable circumstances at time.

B.        Unfulfilled Expectation:

1.      Notice John’s question again. “Are You the One or do we look for another.”

2.      The Jews were looking for a Messiah that would come and conquer and over throw Rome and restore the Kingdom back to Israel.

3.      We face unfulfilled expectations in our lives as well.

C.        Unfulfilled Ministry:

1.      John was thrown in prison.

2.      John perhaps thought this can’t br the end of my ministry.

D.        Unfriendly People:

1.      How many of you know that Herod didn’t like John.

2.      Herod was very unfriendly to John.

III.    Recognize The Results of Doubt:

A.        A Loss Of Joy.

1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

1.      A life filled with doubt is a life filled with turmoil and fear.

2.      That isn't the life that God intended for the believer to live.

3.      Jesus tells us that the life He brings is abundant and full.

4.      John explains the purpose of writing this first epistle was:

a)      That we may know that we are saved.

b)      And that our joy may be full.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

5.      Doubt will steal our assurance and cause a loss of joy.

B.        A Lack of Effectiveness:

1.      Doubt will cause us to stay back and never get into the real will of God.

2.      We need to settle any and all doubt while there is time.

3.      Our Christian walk is to be one of faith and assurance.

4.      We cannot be effective in our service to Him as long as we doubt Him.

C.        A Loss of Blessings:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

IV.    Recognize The Remedy For Doubt: (7:20-23)

I want you to notice that the Lord Jesus did not rebuke John or answer him with sarcasm. The Lord Jesus met John at the point of his need.

A.        Start By Admitting Your Doubt:

1.      Doubt want disappear just because we deny it.

2.      Be honest.  "I've got some doubts." 

3.      You cannot overcome doubt unless you recognize and admit it. 

4.      So many people I know who are Christians are intimidated by their doubts. 

5.      A doubt comes up or starts to creep into their mind, and they being thinking "Oh, no! I may not be a Christian. 

6.      Maybe God won't love me if I've got these doubts." 

7.      They can't even face the fact that they have some legitimate, honest questions. 

Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest man who ever lived and even John the Baptist had doubts.  One time John the Baptist was in prison, everything was going wrong, he was at a low ebb in his ministry and he sent some people to Jesus to say, "Was I wrong? Did I make a mistake?  Are you really not the Messiah?"  He had doubts.  Jesus sent the people back to John to reassure him.  He didn't condemn or criticize him.  Then Jesus turned around and said to the crowd, "John the Baptist is the greatest man who's ever been born."  Right after John had expressed doubts about Jesus. 

B.        Ask Jesus For Help:

Mark 9:23-24 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

C.        Start With The Faith That You Have and build on it.

1.      I said that doubt is not unbelief but uncertainty.

2.      I may have a week faith but at least I have faith.

3.      Start with the weak faith that you have and then build and strengthen it. 

CONCLUSION: How do I start with the faith that I have and strengthen it?  Let me suggest a few ways to do this.

Examine the Evidence:

Listen to The Word Of God.

Listen to the Testimonies of others that have defeated doubt.

Act on what you know.

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