1. How strong is your faith?
a. Is it like the Pharisees'? - Matt. 23:30-32
b. Is it like Peter's at the last supper? (Matt. 26:33-35; 26:75)
c. Is it like Abraham's? John the Baptist's? Stephen's?
d. Do you think you can/will stand regardless? 1 Cor.10:12
2. Endurance in the face of life's conflict, temptation & trials is a mark of a strong faith: Prov. 24:10; Gal. 6:9 (Heb.12:3-5).
3. Doubt - Lit., "to be without a way (no way)." Without resources, in perplexity, at a loss. - cf. Lk. 12:29 (weak faith)
4. Doubt is one of Satan's devices which he uses quite effectively to cause discouragement & complacency within Christians life! (2 Cor. 2:11)
I. AREAS WHERE DOUBT CAN OVERTAKE US & DESTROY OUR FAITH.
A. In Our Personal Faith In God (in the Christian's life for Christ).
1. Psa. 73:13-18 - The commitment, trials, endurance may seem vain at times - Just want to give up!
a. v. 2-3 - By envying the wicked.
b. Matt. 13:20-22 - Because of no roots in tribulation (cares of world & wrong values cause doubt & falling away)!
2. The cost of discipleship to Christ must be counted, & willingly paid! (Lk. 14:33; cf. apostles - 1 Cor. 4:9-13).
3. Heb. 3:12-14 - We must take heed, we must exhort to avoid the hardening of doubt, we must hold fast our confidence!
B. We Can Begin To Doubt God's Care For Us & His Power In Our Lives (Does God hear me & care about me)? - Psa. 22:1-2
1. In trials & troubles we are tempted to doubt the presence of God, His care & His power to help us!
a. Mk. 4:37-40 - Our faith in Gods tender care, His watchful concern & power will sustain us!
b. v. 2 - When an immediate resolution to trouble fails to come, it doesnt mean God is uncaring - cf. Heb. 12:3-6 (Christ & Christians).
2. How can I overcome doubting Gods powerful presence in my life? - Psa. 77:1-3, 7-15.
a. v. 1 - Keep prayerful contact.
b. v. 10 - Realize the problem is with me, not with God!
c. v. 11-12 - Remember Gods mercies in my life.
d. v. 13-14 - Remember Gods strength in all things.
e. v. 15 - Remember Gods salvation is real.
C. We Can Begin To Doubt The Truthfulness & Effectiveness Of Gods Word - cf. Rom. 10:16.
1. You may begin to doubt whether the gospel will have any impact upon souls.
2. Then, you start looking for other messages / methods which people will receive (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
3. Once more, the deficiency lies in the heart of the hearer, not in the truth of God! - Rom. 10:21
-"The reason people are down on the Bible is that they are not up on the
Bible." (William Ward Ayer)
II. DOUBT RESULTS FROM TRUSTING IN SELF MORE THAN GOD!
A. Overcome Personal Doubts By Trusting Gods Sovereignty - Psa. 73:21-28. (His ruling power over all things.)
1. v. 21-22 - Grieve over doubting God!
2. v. 23-24 - Walk with Him (fellowship), by His counsel (word) -- Glory!
3. v. 25-26 - Desire God first in life (strength).
4. v. 27-28 - He destroys the sinful - Take refuge in Him & declare His works!
B. Overcome Doubt In Gods Care & Power By Trusting Gods Deliverance - Psa. 22:19-21, 24.
1. v. 19 - God is near, ready to aid us! (v. 1); Heb. 13:5.
2. v. 24 - He cares, hears & responds!
3. cf. David; Christ - God delivers (Psa. 71:1-5).
C. Overcome Doubt In The Effectiveness Of Gods Word By Trusting In Its Power - Isa. 55:11. (It changed you once, it can restore your faith again!) (Heb. 4:12)
1. 1 Cor. 1:18; Rom. 1:16 - Word of the gospel will remain Gods power to save - Refuse to doubt it or be ashamed of it -- Obey it! Live it!
2. cf. 2 Cor. 4:7 - The power of gospel is in God, not in its messengers! Trust God, not yourself!
1. In Christ there is victory over Satan, sin & death.
2. Dont doubt - Be steadfast - 1 Cor. 15:56-58.
3. Commit yourself to Gods care today - Live by faith! - 2 Tim. 1:12