Category Archives: doubt

Hang On

TODAY’S VERSE
The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When we can’t, God can. This is the mystery. There is something about God’s timing. Just when you think you can’t make it one more step, He gives you the strength. Just when you can’t understand, He gives wisdom. How? James tells us how. He finishes today’s verse by writing, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” God gives the wisdom we need. He provides the strength. He gives the ability to hang on. And as a result, our perseverance finishes its work, helping us mature in Christ. That is why Paul could share his testimony, writing, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Today, might the same be true for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me today to persevere. Help me hang on. Give me the wisdom I need so even in my weakness; I can be strong in You. Thank You, Father.
AMEN

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Doubt and Fear

TODAY’S VERSE
Then the chief of staff stood and shouted in Hebrew to the people on the wall, “Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria! This is what the king says: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you. Don’t let him fool you into trusting in the LORD by saying, ‘The LORD will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!’’
Isaiah 36:13-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you been confronted by doubt and fear? It happens. And it’s not always quiet. Just like the chief of staff in today’s passage, doubt and fear shout out their message of pending doom. Isn’t that usually how it goes? Our faith whispers, “trust God,” and our doubt and fear shout “Don’t be fooled!” “Don’t be deceived.” These doubts and fears challenge our faith in God’s integrity, power, or desire. However, Hezekiah knew what to do. The Bible says, after Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the LORD and prayed. Part of what he prayed was this, “It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But, of course, the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O LORD our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O LORD, are God.” Today, be like Hezekiah and don’t give up. Don’t give in. Instead, quiet your heart, spread out your worries before God, and trust in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You that You are the one true God. Your word is true, Your power is almighty, and Your love toward me is boundless. Today, I give you my doubts and fears. Today I recommit myself to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Unbelief

TODAY’S VERSE
Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.
Mark 6:51-52 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it so hard to believe? What is it about the supernatural that makes us so skeptical? Why is it we can experience a miracle one minute and doubt if God will help us in the next? The disciples had seen Jesus heal countless numbers of people. He just finished feeding thousands of people from a few loafs of bread and fish. And yet, when they were in a battle for their life on the sea, they are shocked that Jesus could (or perhaps would) stop the raging sea. When explaining this mystery Mark simply says that “Their hearts were too hard to take it in.” And therein lays the problem – their hearts, their felt beliefs, their deep-down gut-level feeling that things will be okay were not softened by a relational belief system. Their hearts didn’t know Jesus. They may have seen His power, but they did not see His heart! They weren’t convinced of His love for them. And neither are we. If we were, we would react differently to the storms we encounter. Instead, we too doubt, cower in fear or lash out in anger, all reactions to our confusion over who He is and what He wants to do. The good news is that today we can change that. We can begin to know Jesus better by spending time with Him. As we get to know His heart better, we will find ours start to soften.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord Jesus, help me to know You better. I want to know Your heart, motives, and wisdom. Help me trust You in everything that comes my way.
AMEN

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More Than Coping

TODAY’S VERSE
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
II Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
So many times, I feel a deep need in my heart. It’s like a tugging or anxiousness. Sometimes it is like a tightness in my neck or shallow breathing. Other times, I give out a deep sigh. If I stop to reflect, I may be able to get in touch with the thoughts and feelings going through my mind. Then, I could apply today’s verse to my situation. But instead of seeking comfort from God, I choose to cope or escape into other things. Isn’t this at the root of lust, cravings, or our drive for success? Isn’t this why we tend to procrastinate, over compensate, or just vegetate? We want comfort. We want to know that we are okay, loved, and will never be abandoned. We want that feeling that all is well and people are happy to be with me. And so we search, seek, and try to find comfort in all the wrong places. But Praise God, Paul gives us hope. He asks God to provide us with what we so desperately need. Receive Paul’s answer for anxiety today. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.” Today receive His incredible comfort and strength deep into your inner being.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I cannot find real comfort on my own. I cannot find the strength I need in myself or the other substitutes I use. I need You. I need Your comfort and strength. Come, oh Lord, and comfort my soul. In Jesus’ name I pray.
AMEN

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Never Give Up

TODAY’S VERSE
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.
Luke 18:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever had your back against the wall? There was a period in my life when I thought I would never get out of the horrible situation I was in. Emotionally, I was a mess. Financially, it was much worst. We had lost everything, and I could not find a job that paid what I needed. I had a wife and three boys, and it was everything I could do to put one foot in front of the other. But then there was God. I prayed while I waited for a way out. I would cry in despair when there was no answer and then pray again. How often, over the years it took to dig out, did I read today’s passage? Every time I did, I would pray and fight the feeling of giving up over and over again. I read where Jesus said, “Knock and keep knocking, ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking.” So I would pray some more. As life went on, some days better than others, there was one thing I knew. God had not forsaken me. His love was sufficient even in the worst of times. God never promised me wealth, a sublime life, but He did promise He would never leave me. I kept thinking of His life, walking from town to town, nowhere to lay His head, all the way to the cross. And He did it so I could pray to Him. He did it for you, too. I know many who are reading this are going through horrible struggles, perplexed and hurt. Today know this. Jesus was purposeful in what He said. He wanted us to know this one thing, pray and never give up.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Jesus, it is so hard sometimes. I just want to give up, but You said to pray and never give up. So, Lord, I will get up, I will show up, I will pray up, and I will never give up. Help me make it so. In Your name, dear Lord.
AMEN

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Less disbelief

TODAY’S VERSE
Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.
Luke 24:11 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There were reports that Jesus had risen from the dead, and the disciples found it very disturbing. It was one thing to see Jesus raise Lazarus from a tomb, but Jesus from the crucifixion? His death was so brutal, so hateful, and now they feared for their own lives. Perhaps the most disturbing was the “How?” questions echoing in their heads. “How could someone who loved so much die so despised? How could someone so supernatural die so naturally? And so, they had a hard time believing. Even when Jesus “showed up” in the Upper Room, they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder. Aren’t we the same way? We hear of a miracle or witness one, and don’t we react with disbelief and wonder at the same time? Where did this unbelief come from? We need to be more like the man to whom Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The man turned to Jesus and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Today, choose to have less disbelief and more joy and wonder.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for my unbelief. Help me be filled with more joy and wonder at all You are and do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Truth

TODAY’S VERSE
Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.
Proverbs 23:23 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You would think that “truth” would be a priority in our life. But not so. If we examined our lives, we would be shocked at how many lies we believe. Dr. Chris Thurman, in his book “The Lies We Believe,” exposes many of the lies that we take for granted. Lies like, “I must have everyone’s love and approval.” “I can’t be happy unless things go my way.” “Life should be easy.” How about this one, “Because I am a Christian, God will protect me from pain and suffering.” There are so many more that we believe. Jesus told us that truth would set us free. Why? Because He knew that lies keep us in bondage. What can you do? Challenge the lies you believe by asking God for the truth. Lies usually come at the expense of ignorance, so Solomon suggests that you also ask God for wisdom and the discipline needed to act on it. Finally, Solomon suggests we exercise good judgment. Sound judgment and discernment will keep us living according to the truth we decide to believe. Today, ask God for His truth, wisdom, and discipline and let the truth set you free.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, it is so easy to believe a lie. Worst, too often, I am tempted to live a lie. I need Your help. I want to live in truth. Give me the wisdom, discipline, and good judgment I need to know and live the truth today.
AMEN

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Trust, Don’t Fear

TODAY’S VERSE
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times have you tried to stop being afraid? Throughout the scriptures, God tells His people to “fear not.” Here though, Solomon tries a different approach. He says to “Trust in the Lord.” But not just a casual trust; he said to trust in the Lord with all your heart. It makes sense. If we are going to stop fearing, we must replace the fear with trust. That’s what Solomon meant. He said not to listen to our twisted logic, lies, and misconceptions that lead us to fear. Instead, we must trust God, submit our life to Him, lean on Him for sound direction, and He promises He will lead us. So today, don’t fear, instead, trust in the Lord. Bring your fears to Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for being there. Today, instead of fearing or leaning to my understanding, I will put my trust in You.
AMEN

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Don’t Worry

TODAY’S VERSE
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Romans 12:12 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Jesus warned us, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” Life is, well life. It comes with all the ups and downs. But we must remember what Jesus said next. He said, “But take heart because I have overcome the world.” What comfort. This is why Paul could write to the church in Rome to rejoice in their hope. But not just a half-hearted hope. He said a hope that is confident in its outcome. With this confidence, he wrote that we could also be “patient in trouble.” This kind of patience comes out of the awareness that God is there and that He cares. That is why Paul finishes his instructions with, “Keep on praying.” God is greater than our worries. Today, when troubles come, be confident in your hope. Be patient and talk to God about your problems. He will guide you. He will comfort, He will give you strength.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that when troubles come, I can come near to You. I can be confident in my hope that You care, and will guide me and help me. Help me today to be patient and bring every worry to You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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A Simple Thing

TODAY’S VERSE
This is what the LORD says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! You will see neither wind nor rain, says the LORD, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and your cattle and other animals. But this is only a simple thing for the LORD.
2 Kings 3:16-18 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love the faith of Elisha. He is telling everyone that God is going to do this mighty miracle. God was going to fill a desert with water, but He was going to do it without rain! And then Elisha adds, “But this is only a simple thing for the Lord.” Why are we so amazed by this kind of faith? Why do we so often vacillate between our own faith and unbelief? Most of the time, when I have doubts, it is because I do not know what the will of God will be in a given situation. I seem to lack confidence in how to pray. Other times it is simply a lack of faith. I need to remember what Elisha knew; miracles are not too hard for God. So how should you pray? You need to pray as God leads you. Elisha was close to God, and it was God’s Spirit that came upon him and led him to believe. Deep communion with God will do the same for you. You should get direction from God and then ask Him for mighty things He has shown you, having the assurance that nothing is too hard for God. So if a miracle does not happen, let it be due to the sovereignty of God, not because you did not believe or never asked. Today, seek God’s face in all matters and pray in faith believing. Answering prayer is a simple thing for the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your mighty miracles. Help me to trust in You. Help me to commune with You and really know Your heart so I can pray in faith believing.
AMEN

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