Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12.
I recall how the lyrics of Goodness of God, a song by Bethel Music, moved me into heavenly realms of gratitude to God at the first time I heard it. In spite of the fact that I have never at any point in my life had every single thing my heart desired, I affirmed that indeed, God has been faithful to me all my life. Though I am no more immune to disappointment than you probably are and whether I have always desired the right things at the right time or not is a question for another day.
There is something about unrelenting disappointment that makes our hearts very vulnerable to the unnerving effects of doubt. Everyone, young and old, from the strongest to the weakest of people, can relate to this. Life is not a bed of roses but I tell you, the antidote to doubt has long been in our hands – the Word of God. Somewhat cliché right? Well, I promise you won’t find more worthwhile answers elsewhere. So let’s get to it.
|STOP LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE:
Believe me, I know how hard it can be in trying times to hold on to a reality that you can only see by faith but can you boldly say that you have ever found better alternatives to God’s promise of peace in yourself or elsewhere? Think about it.
If you are being sincere with yourself, you’d see that any certainties found outside God’s word only brings an illusion of happiness or self-sufficiency that is usually short lived. If your confidence is in yourself, your eloquence, your accumulation of many degrees, your circle or network, your relationship or background etc; you will find yourself doubting each time someone with more of what you think you have comes around.
When your confidence is in yourself, you will forget easily that all you have has been given to you as a blessing from God and place yourself on a pedestal.
Unbelief prospers where self is exalted.
However, God’s word reminds us of our place in him and it reaffirms his ever faithful nature to us in all things. And what’s more? Jesus has overcome the world and he promised us that this victory will be ours too.
1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
By the scripture above, we see that it is our faith that has overcome the world. Our faith. But you must note that the victory is in Christ and it is only yours because you are in him. So surrender it all already.
“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.” John 16:33
Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, has overcome everything that threatens your peace and faith.
If you are an avid fan of movies with medieval settings, you would understand when I say that a king who has spies in an enemy nation isn’t usually afraid of losing a battle. He knows that true victory starts when you attack from within enemy lines, not outside. When doubt creeps in, remember that Jesus already won the victory and has given it to you on a silver platter. You want to be immune to doubt? You can only do it by strengthening your faith in God’s word.
In life, we will always have disappointments. You will never have every single thing you want but when you build your joy in the right place, you will discover that your strength is evident even when you don’t expect it to be and God’s peace births a stillness in you that the greatest storm can’t stand a chance against. Remember this song?
Verse: When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well
With my soul
Refrain: It is well
With my soul
It is well (2x)
With my soul
Horatio Spafford, the writer and composer of this hymn had just gone through the most devastating experience anyone with his class and reputation could have imagined in the late 1800s. Spafford had lost his son as well as his entire family’s livelihood stashed in a warehouse, in the great Inferno of Chicago in 1871.
After some years, he decided to send his wife and four daughters ahead of him to Europe; a journey in which their vessel collided with another in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving all dead but his wife. The words in this hymn, It is well with my soul, were penned down by him as he sailed through the spot where his daughters had died on his way to meet his grieving wife. And while I can assure you that he wasn’t jumping with joy while he wrote that, this entire hymn are the words of a man resting on God as the Holy Spirit taught him faith just after he had lost everything. Indeed, peace does transcend understanding.
I am sure your doubts and disappointments pale in comparison to this terrible affliction. Just believe every word in the bible that says or implies that our peace and joy are not circumstantial… because they are not.
When you are tempted to doubt that anything good will come your way because of a bad past, or that the job/scholarship you seek will be yours because of several disappointments, or that you will ever find love again because of several heartbreaks, remember that all things and all manner of things will be well. It is well with you. Learn to say this to yourself.
|PRAY AND PRAY RIGHT:
“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ.” – Phillipians 4:6-7
You didn’t think you’d read through this post without seeing something on prayer did you? Lol. If you did you thought wrong. So many times, we actually know that the solution to our problem is in praying but that is the very thing we do last or don’t even want to do at all. You can’t escape it. Truth is not less true simply because you ignore it. Believe me dear friend, God will not rather have you pray at any other time than at the time you are struggling.
Are you drifting from him? That’s when he wants you close. Is your faith at an all time low? God will still listen to you and give an answer. Sometimes, we expect to reach a certain level before we can be sure of getting results when we bring a case before God but that is all wrong. Your prayers are not answered because you are standing in a good place momentarily, they are answered only on Christ’s merit. We have answers because of Jesus’ good work, not ours.
Whether you are only struggling slightly with unbelief, fear or doubt (whatever the name is) or you are struggling greatly with life, pray from exactly where you are in your heart. God is not far away at all. He has given us his spirit, and I’m a living witness of God’s ability to rid us of this disease called doubt/unbelief by his spirit. And he’ll start the work in you the very moment you yield.
Now I’m aware that our understanding is very limited and we do not always know what or how to pray. But I tell you, you are not alone. Even when you can’t form the words or muster the strength, God’s spirit is still working in your behalf.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27
Not only does he give us strength, but he even stands in the gap for us and prays for us according to God’s will. It would seem that in your weakest moment is even when the perfect prayer is being offered on your behalf. I don’t know about you but I’m sure I can’t pray a more perfect prayer for myself than the Holy Spirit will.
Therefore, I’m strongest when I’m weak and broken. And so are you. However, praying in tongues will be a great way to be sure that you are praying right but that’s going to be discussed in another article.
|SPEAK WITH THE RIGHT PERSON(S):
No matter how mighty you are in the place of prayer, God has placed us among other believers so that we can all strengthen each other. There is no problem that is peculiar to you, so don’t swallow the lie the devil tells us, that no one will understand. It’s a lie! Life has also happened to many of the people you have access to that are strong in faith but it’s not written on their faces. If they don’t tell it, you won’t know. So when you are weak, please locate strong people that can help you get back on your feet. If among your friends, you can’t see anyone that can help your walk in faith, then you need to shuffle your relationships with new ones.
Even star players can fumble when there is no one to play the assists. You are not suppose to struggle alone. If you need answers, ask questions and please ask the right people. Stop hiding from your pastor and treating your fellow church members like they are nosy when they just want to know what’s up with you. Identify the people in your life with whom you can be vulnerable. I believe they are there even if you can’t see them.
Counselling is not for weak people. Humility is not denying your strengths, it’s admitting your weaknesses.
I hope you have been blessed by this post. If so or if not, drop your thoughts in the comments section. Shalom.
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