Faith is the beginning.....

Monday, May 11, 2015

Defeating Discouragement and Doubt

How often it is that worldly concerns for us believers seem to overtake and consume us! I must confess I have struggled with this throughout my life. I am growing, however, in this area and find that it is grievous to God if I don't trust Him and His ability to provide for me; God desires that we trust/believe and not doubt, for it discredits His promises to us. He delights in our belief and trust! He would rather our thoughts be concerned with doing His will and reaching the lost. How much precious time we waste in our cares of this current life which lasts only as long as a flower -- here today, gone tomorrow. In light of eternity this helps put it in focus.

In Matt 16:6, Jesus said unto them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." The disciples were perplexed and thought Jesus was rebuking them for not bringing bread with them for the journey. But Jesus meant something entirely different - He rebuked them for not remembering that He had performed the miracles of the bread and fish for the multitudes that He had mercy on, thus reminding them that if He can feed thousands with only a few fish and loaves, how much more can he take care of them? Rather Jesus was warning them of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. It had nothing to do with having no bread!

For further insight we find an excellent commentary on trusting the Lord in Matthew Henry's clear terms:

"O ye of little faith, why are ye disquieted for want of bread?’’ Note, To distrust Christ, and to disturb ourselves when we are in straits and difficulties, is an evidence of the weakness of our faith, which, if it were in exercise as it should be, would ease us of the burden of care, by casting it on the Lord, who careth for us."

"The aggravation of their distrust was the experience they had so lately had of the power and goodness of Christ in providing for them, v. 9, 10. Though they had no bread with them, they had him with them who could provide bread for them. If they had not the cistern, they had the Fountain. Do ye not yet understand, neither remember? Note, Christ’s disciples are often to be blamed for the shallowness of their understandings, and the slipperiness of their memories. "Have ye forgot those repeated instances of merciful and miraculous supplies; five thousand fed with five loaves, and four thousand with seven loaves, and yet they had enough and to spare? Remember how many baskets ye took up.’’

For more encouragement in trusting God for all of life, below is a wonderful message from non-other than Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher from the 17th century:

"Only be thou strong and very courageous." — Joshua 1:7Our God's tender love for His servants makes Him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without carefulness, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are desponding we are subject to a grievous malady, not to be trifled with, but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord loveth not to see our countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should come into the king's court dressed in mourning: this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come mourning as we are; but still He would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in an heroic manner. If he be fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonor his God. Besides, what a bad example it is. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads amongst the Lord's flock. One downcast believer makes twenty souls sad. Moreover, unless your courage is kept up Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Savior, the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you: but cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, labor is light to a man of cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who toils, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in joy; therefore, dear reader, "be thou strong, and very courageous."

In closing may I mention a verse out of John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Keep trusting our Lord! He loves you with an everlasting love!

Growing in Him,

Mountain Girl 

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