"Stop doubting and believe." John 20:27 (NIV)
Do you ever have doubting days? Days that you doubt yourself? Days that you doubt God's call on your life? Days that you doubt that God even has a call on your life?
I'm having one today. I shouldn't be surprised. Last weekend I attended Proverbs 31 Ministries' She Speaks conference...along with 607 other women that feel a call from God to write, speak, or lead in women's ministry. It was outstanding! Wonderful worship...fabulous speakers...amazing testimonies...precious prayer moments...great girl time! It was chock full of encouragement, equipping, Spiritual empowering. You have to know that the enemy isn't going to let an opportunity to "bring you down" after a mountaintop experience like that pass him by. Today he started planting the seeds of doubt in my mind.
Now I must admit that when I sat down at the opening session, I was struck with the thought, "What on earth am I doing here??" All of those perfectly coiffed, stylin' women with really cute shoes...and purses...and belts...and flashy jewelry...surely had book proposals ready for meeting with an editor or agent...or a perfectly polished speech to present to their speaker groups...or some incredible vision for the women's ministry at their church. Their testimonies all seemed extraordinary (spoken like Angela Thomas)...truly worthy of sharing. And I thought, "Why am I here?"
And then God answered...through a workshop that will be tremendous preparation for an upcoming women's retreat speaking engagement. Through the words of other writers and speakers who shared their fears, doubts, and inadequacies. Through newly formed friendships with Jennifer and Terri...fellow writers...joined "by chance" to critique each other's writing. Lord, thank You for bringing them into my life!!! By allowing me the privilege of hugging the necks and seeing the lovely smiles of women that I've prayed for, yet never met face to face...like LeAnn and Marybeth. Through God strengthening the bond of camaraderie and fellowship with my writer's group girlfriends, Cara and Tatum. Only a God like ours could have orchestrated the time we shared. Then there were the times shared with my dear sisters in Christ, Tara and Wendy, over breakfast and lunch...blessing upon blessing.
Yes, I was supposed to be there. I remember it now. And this written trip down memory lane has been good for me.
And yet I feel that tugging of doubt.
But through a little Scripture searching, I see that I'm in pretty good company. The first, obvious, example is Thomas...a disciple of Christ. He doubted. (John 20) And then there was Peter, another disciple....another doubter. (Matthew 14) When "the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go...they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted." (Matthew 28:16-17) Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He asked the eleven, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?" (Luke 24:38) Doubters. Many have gone before us...and they were encouraged to "Stop doubting and believe."
As Paul challenged the Galatian church (in chapter 5:7-8), "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the One who calls you." "The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24) He has given us His Word "so that the man [or woman] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:17)
We need to remember Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, "Brothers [and Sisters], think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify that things that are, so that no one may boast before Him." Let's trust in "His divine power [that] has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)
May God "equip [us] with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him." (Hebrews 13:21)
Well, I hope that your days of doubt may be transformed...like mine...through the encouragement of God's Word...into days of determination to believe!
Lord, I just have to say thank You for Your "amazing grace that saved a wretch like me." Thank You for loving me, for drawing me, for entrusting me with Your message to share...however You see fit. Help me to believe...and to obey. I love you.