Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt
Psalm 27:13-14 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Renee and I both happened to comment on an experience that we both independently experienced recently. As we talked, we realized that we’ve both had this experience on many occasions. We just haven’t talked much about it. What’s the experience? God reaching out to encourage us at periodic moments of self doubt.
As this surfaced in a conversation, we discovered that we both encounter occasional moments of self doubt. They seem to be triggered by different events or happenings, but when they do, ungodly thoughts come like fiery darts. “Does anybody even really like me?” “Am I a good person?” “Do I really have anything to say that people want to hear?” “Am I a good spouse?” “Am I a good parent?” “What do my kids really think of me?” And on and on.
We’ve both been taught enough in the Word of God to know and recognize the source of these thoughts – the enemy of our soul – and what we should do with them. We cast them down in Jesus name. We focus on our love with God and those around us. We stay focused on working hard at everything God has given us to put our hand to. We do not let these darts of self doubt become seeds in our heart for the enemy to water and grow within us. That would lead us to of the wrong places. Yet, when they come, even if we don’t entertain them and let them hang out, when they do show up, they hurt.
In the desert, Satan tried them on Jesus. “If you are the son of God….” He was trying to get Jesus to doubt who He was with the goal of getting Him to give up His faith on who He was. If he’ll work on Jesus, he’ll work on us.
My esteem has never been built upon confidence in myself. I know my shortcomings, my failings, and the areas of my life that need help. I know the limitations of my own ability. Before Jesus, my own ability and confidence produced a reckless and miserable life. So much for trusting in myself! But with Jesus and the revelation of His love and desire to help and work in me, I’ve grown in confidence – not confidence in myself but confidence in His faithfulness and love to always be with me and help me.
When Jesus was attacked and dragged off from the garden of Gethsemane, all his disciples freaked, split, and abandoned him. All of them! But Jesus said that He wasn’t alone – that His Father had not abandoned Him. That is the confidence I have gained over the course of my life in Jesus. God will not abandon me!
Renee and I also realized that we have both encountered very special touches of God’s love and encouragement in those moments of self doubt. We both had story after story of how when those moments came and those fiery darts hit, that as we talked to God, He always sent people across our path right on time to encourage us and put those lies where they belong, in the pit! I’d preach a message that I just wasn’t sure hit the mark. Doubt would come. For 24 hours the fiery darts would come. “What are you doing preaching to begin with?” “It’s not your calling.” And on and on. Suddenly, I’d get three emails or two voicemails by someone who had to let me know how my message changed their life and how thankful they were. Renee told me this same thing happened to her, over and over. It’s just that love of God reaching out to encourage when doubt tries to fill your mind and heart.
In the book of Judges, we read about Gideon. There is much we don’t know about Gideon before his first direct encounter with God, but, I believe he was one of those trying to seek and live for God. The Israelites of that day were backslidden and looking to other gods. It opened the door to them being oppressed by their enemies. A prophet had spoken to the people warning them to turn from these ways. The people were crying out for God to help them. God sent an angel to Gideon. Why Gideon? I’m confident because of Gideon’s heart. God is always seeking the hearts of those who will live wholeheartedly for Him and serve Him. He sent an angel to Gideon. Gideon was not a confident man in himself. But God was confident in him for reasons of the heart leading the angel to speak these words to Gideon: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Judges 6:12
As the story goes on, Gideon experiences moments of self doubt but God encouraged his heart in word and through signs. It helped Gideon’s confidence and strengthened him in obedience to continue to walk out God’s plan.
We can ask God to encourage us in ways that only He could make happen. God knows that the enemy tries to discourage us to lose heart and quit or give up, or to doubt ourselves. He brings promises to us that if we respond to by faith, will touch our lives in ways that restore our strength and confidence that He loves and will help us. Today’s Fresh Manna brings out that promise saying, I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psalm 27:13-14
When you go through moments of self doubt, just ask God to help you and then have faith He will. He is faithful and you will be encouraged.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved