I need to confess I suffer from doubt…..I am struggling with doubt…..I am fighting doubt…although I am not sure on the right adjective to appropriately describe how I deal with doubt I do know it has been active and real in my life.
Lately, I have these thoughts: My life has been too hard for too long. My life has been too painful. I can’t take much more but I haven’t experienced less so what is going to happen when the bad picks up again?
I have been trying to hide these feelings from others and from myself. Over the years I have developed a strong survival skill of framing things in a positive way. Which was paired with a long history of sharing negative feelings with loved ones leading to emotional abuse. So, I would consider optimism and encouragement to be a big part of my personality and how I relate to the world around me. Since I have been in a relationship with Jesus I considered that skill to be a sign of my faith as well. It has been easier for me to just ignore the doubt when it comes. Until this summer……
I feel like I have very little fight left in me. All the strategies I used to fight, all the smart and proper techniques have been stripped away and I feel vulnerable. I picture myself on the same battle field I have been for years, but now I’m exposed to all of the elements, it feel like I am being attacked and have very little energy to fight, all I can do is scream for the enemy to leave me alone. I have been pondering what lead up to this current position. I don’t know when the exact moment was but I have a picture in my head. After a particularly difficult battle the enemy side tagged in Doubt to get on the field. Doubt is a tricky opponent, it not only calls into question the truth but offers possible ways out. If you decide to listen for long then the enemy uses it to open the backdoor to a lot of confusion. Before you know it your surrounded and the truth gets difficult to identify.
My life has been difficult, that is very true. It has been painful and I have experienced and continue to experience loss that I wouldn’t choose for myself or wish on anyone. It is a real thing. Doubt came in and took my pain and presented it to me with an argument that it shouldn’t be. In desperation and weariness the argument made a lot of sense to me and I stopped to listen. I heard that maybe I was doing something wrong, that maybe if I did something different, if I worked harder or I would have just____ then the pain and suffering would be less. From there, with it’s hooks in, doubt made me wonder if God truly loved me, if He loved me and favored me then why has it been so hard. At times it even made me question if I was just making up this whole faith thing up.
Today I was reminded of something. The reality of this world is death. We will suffer and we will experience pain. Doubt is a bridge to a battle we were never meant to fight. It convinces us that the “what if things where different here” is the battlefield. It is a deeply effective tactic of the enemy. We spend our time fighting illusions and it’s exhausting. After long enough, after the exhaustion starts to really take hold then it can even open the door to hopelessness. The truth is that Jesus offers us a new life, it’s a new kingdom, and an eternal life. Our hope is in our salvation, not in this dying world. Doubt offered a lie, it says that “if God was ____ then this earthy kingdom should be ______”. The truth is Jesus came and made a new way. I have been chosen, and I choose this new way. I confess the enemy did a good job convincing me that God wasn’t doing something, because if He just _____ then my pain should be gone. Instead of trusting that He is good I spent time reasoning with the enemy. I am not God, I don’t know what should be different. His ways are higher than I can even imagine. I want to believe He is trustworthy and I am tired of letting Doubt come in and tell me He is not. I no longer want to frame this currently kingdom through a positive light and I no longer want to see it constantly questioning why it is the way it is. I want to see the truth of the cross and the offer of new life. I want to see the current kingdom as a battlefield but more so, as a rescue mission. Where the weapons I am equipped with is love, worship, and truth. The other day I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that Truth is a man and His name is Jesus Christ.
I have a new picture in my head. I am on that battlefield. I can see the scars, the wounds and the weariness on my face but Doubt is no longer feeding me lies. Jesus is helping me stand up tall and starting to give me back the strength I have felt was lost. I am so grateful for His love and what He has done to rescue me but that He continues to rescue me when I feel lost.
‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.’ -Revelation 19:11