Usually it is my Dad sending me emails that are sometimes reposted and shared here on my blog. But today it is something from Mom. Enjoy!

HOW TO: Rout Doubt
by BENTON PATTERSON

Guideposts Contributing Editor

I had started a business believing I was following God’s plan for my life. I felt confident. After a year and a half, however, the business collapsed, leaving me with not only a pile of debts but also some questions I’d never really pondered before.

The fact of God I never doubted, but I couldn’t help wondering: Does God actually have a plan for each of our lives, for mine in particular? Did He hear me when I talked to Him, and if so, would He do something to help?

While I was struggling for answers, a letter came to me out of the blue, asking if I’d be interested in a job, a very good job, with a magazine I’d never even considered working for before. I took it.

I was convinced that the offer, unsolicited and unexpected, was the Lord’s doing. He still had me in His plan, I felt. He had simply cut new orders for me. All doubt suddenly vanished.

Since that time nearly 20 years ago, in other hours of weakness or defeat, I’ve seen doubt return, like a relentless enemy. But now I don’t wait for a miracle to drive it away; I go to work to overcome it. Here’s what I do and what you too can do:

1. Realize doubt is normal. Despite God’s instructions, Moses doubted that he could get his own people, much less Pharaoh, to listen to him; Gideon doubted God would give him victory; John the Baptist, discouraged and in prison, doubted Jesus was the Messiah; the apostle Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection. I remind myself that almost everybody has doubts. And I remember that like so many of God’s people, I too will overcome mine.

2. Go back to the mountaintop. Recall a time when you felt close to God. For example, I often think of that winter night some years ago when a friend called asking me to look up a colleague of his who had recently moved to a town near ours. I didn’t know the man and didn’t know the town, but suddenly I had an urge to contact him as soon as possible. He had no phone, but I had his address.

I got into my car and drove to the town, where I went up one street and down another searching for his street. As the distances between houses began to stretch out, I decided I was heading in the wrong direction, and then, stopping to turn around, I spotted his street. Minutes later I was in his house.

It turned out that he and his wife were having family problems, and he, new to the area, had no one he could turn to for help—until I came. To this day I believe God led me straight to that man at the very time he needed someone.

3. Remember the promises. My father’s death a few years ago was one of the saddest times of my life, the sort of time when I find doubt sneaking into my thoughts. Is this the end of all Pop’s love and goodness? I thought as I sat through the funeral. Is it all over? Then Christ’s words came ringing back: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). No, it wasn’t the end, not for anyone who belonged to Christ.

4. Look for reinforcement. When you run out of gas, you won’t get much help from anyone whose tank is also empty. You need somebody who has enough to let you siphon some. When I have doubts and my faith is running low, I go to believers—to friends who share their faith with me. Mine is replenished when I see and hear about theirs.

5. Ask for belief. If I need help on my job or around the house, I figure the best way to get it is to ask for it. So when I feel short on faith, I pray the words a desperate father once spoke to Jesus: “I do have faith, but not enough. Help me!” (Mark 9:24, Today’s English Version). Jesus gave that father what he asked for. He does the same for us.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

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