← back to list

Dec 02, 2018

Room For Doubters

Room For Doubters

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: Advent 2018

Category: Sunday Morning

Doubt is where faith develops and matures. Let your doubt or what feels like a dead-end be the perfect place for God to work a new beginning.

Pastor James shares an account of doubting that God would provide for a dire situation. There was no way for him to solve the problem – it was a dead end. And he doubted that God could do anything about it at that moment. Recounting to God his faithfulness, it was hard to understand why God would let him down like this. The situation was resolved from something that was put into place 11 months before – God provided.

The world was in the same place: God had made some promises through the prophets but then He went silent. 400 years of silence. Then after 400 years, an angel appeared to Mary. Imagine Joseph’s position – certainly not how he had planned his relationship with Mary. Joseph was at a dead end; humanity was at a dead end.

Dead ends are a perfect place for new beginnings. Sometimes what looks like disappointment in our lives is actually from God. Our process is to receive.

Matthew 1:24-25 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

The Bible doesn’t mention that the angel gave any proof, or does it tell us how Joseph feels. It only tells us that Joseph arose and did as the angel of the Lord had commanded. Too often we get caught up waiting on the proof when God has only given us the direction.

A few promises of God:

Psalm 37:23-26 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and he delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old. Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or His descendants begging bread. All day long He is gracious and lends, and His descendants are a blessing.

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity; to give you a future and a hope.'

An assumption is that faith is absence of doubt, but faith is simply the ability to overcome doubt. Richard Rohr says, “The art of faith is patience with mystery.” If the absence of doubt was a prerequisite for being used by God, then Mary could have never been the Mother of Jesus.

Luke 1:29 But she was very perplexed at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. Luke 1:34  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”

The question of “How” is always a good place to start. What we see as a dead-end, God has destined for a new beginning.

Doubt is where faith develops and where faith matures. Faith takes us where we cannot go on our own. It forces us into a dependency on Christ to redeem us from what on our own is impossible.

Problem: a lot of us are waiting for the doubts to disappear before we take the next step. We allow doubts to quench our faith rather than grow our faith. It’s ok to have a little doubt about the process as long as you don’t lose sight of the promise. Let doubt force us to dependence on Christ.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Mary didn’t understand the process asking, “How can this be?” And then remembered the promise of His name – Immanuel. He is with us at the impossible place we are at – the dead-end - let Him speak.

What dead-end are you facing today?

Would you give up the process if it meant not receiving the promise?

What step do you need to take in the face of doubt?