FAITH AND DOUBT
Negative feelings can be faith-starters!
Faith never appears until there has first been doubt. And doubt can be useful if we utilize it properly.
There are many books that attempt to show us how to rid ourselves of doubts and negative feelings. But, the fact is, fighting negative reactions only increase their power. We don't need to get rid of negative feelings. Instead, we must learn the secret of transforming negative feelings into positive faith and productive action!
THE STARTING POINT OF REAL FAITH
While it is true that to believe in doubt is to be held by doubt; nevertheless, the starting point of real faith is down at the bottom of doubt.
All about life is negative. The purpose of these negative things is to bring us to the point of desperation. In desperation all our self-sufficiency is gone. And self-sufficiency is usually the biggest hindrance to our faith.
FACE YOUR DOUBTS SQUARELY
So, we must face our doubts squarely, let them crush us to the level of desperation, and then transform the doubts by deliberately looking away from both ourse4lves and our circumstances to the God who can supply us with confidence.
If faith is faith at all it was born in the darkness. It is much like turning the lights out within your home so you can look out through the windows and see the silver moonlight that was invisible to you while the lights were still on. The only difference is that in the case of faith we do not turn our own lights out. The pressure of adverse surroundings does it for us. But when the light goes out we have three options before us: We can struggle against the darkness (and only succeed in becoming more aware of it). We can succumb to the darkness (and reconcile ourselves to the dismal prospect of being permanent doubters). Or, we can use the darkness as an occasion to fix our attention upon the author of our faith, God himself. The third choice brings light out of darkness…faith out of doubt.
PRACTICE THAT TRANSFORMS THE HABIT OF DOUBT
Christ has put us in situations full of frustration, despair, and difficulty in order to give us the opportunity to practice this transforming habit.
Think of the ways in which this principle works:
- No sinner is ever converted until he sees himself to be lost.
- No immoral person sees purity for what it is until he realizes how corrupt he is.
- No sick person cries out to God until he perceives the danger of his disease.
- No needy person ever understands that God is his source of supply until he knows the awful unreliability of human economic systems.
So, thank God for feelings of insecurity, doubt, and bankruptcy. Then, thank God that you want to be like Him. And remember, He spent thirty-three years transforming negative ideas and negative forces into triumphant faith and never-to-be-forgotten miracles.
And He is just the same today.
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