18 April 2012

Afternoon Thoughts-It's Not Supposed to be This Way:


"We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved." Hebrews 10:39(NIV, 1984)
"I can't do this."
"Things will never change."
"My life isn't going to get better."
"I'll never have the confidence I need."
Those are some depressing thoughts, aren't they? But oh how quickly they slip into our minds and convince our hearts that they are true.
There have been times when I felt almost paralyzed by thoughts like these that were laced with uncertainty.
Times when I let self-doubt convince me that feelings of inadequacy and discouragement were normal.
Times when I've shrunk back from changes and challenges, as well as opportunities and open doors.
Other times I've pulled back in my relationships - with family and friends, and even God. Shrinking back into a place of unbelief ... settling for less than God's best.
All because I was tired of muddling through apprehension and indecision.
Are there days when doubt convinces you that feeling inadequate and discouraged is normal? Or that having confident assurance isn't possible for someone like you?
I think we sometimes forget we have an enemy who uses self-doubt against us - who shouts from the sidelines:
"It's too hard."
"You might as well quit."
"Go ahead and give up."
"You don't have what it takes."
It's time for us to take a stand and stop listening to these lies. God wants us to know and believe that with Christ all things are possible - even a confident heart.
Otherwise doubt, and the enemy, will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat.
But it's not supposed to be this way.
All throughout scripture, God tells us things can change; life can be better. He declares with confidence: "See, I am doing a new thing!" "I am working all things together for good for those who love me and are called according to my purpose." "All things are possible to [her] who believes." (Isa. 43:19Rom. 8:28Mark 9:23)
So how do we stop listening to our doubts and start living in the power of God's promises?
By choosing to believe God's truths more than our feelings and fears. By moving beyond believing in God to really believing God as we rely on the power of His Words and live like they are true - no matter what our feelings tell us.
It is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day, doubt-by-doubt decision where we process our thoughts and emotions with God, positioning our hearts and minds to let His perspective redefine ours with each uncertainty we face.
Some days I do better than others, and you will too. But I have found that it's possible to have lasting Christ-confidence by choosing to remember to believe.
Let's choose to remember today, and every day, the words of Hebrews 10:39, that we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed - but of those who believe and are saved!
Lord, give me a confident heart in Christ. I want You to lead me beyond believing in You to truly believing You. Help me rely on the power of Your promises and live like they are true. When self-doubt tells me I can't overcome my insecurities, I will believe Your promise that all things are possible to whoever believes. In Jesus' Name, Amen. (Renee Swope)

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