A few years ago I was on a mission team that decided to spend an afternoon at a lake. A Google search informed us that cliff jumping was popular at this lake, so of course we had to check it out. One member of our team had a reputation for being a daredevil. He talked a big game about jumping off this cliff, until he stood at the edge. Suddenly this normally brave guy started to chicken out. I’ll be honest. I’m usually not very brave, but the opportunity to do something our resident superhero was too chicken to do was too tempting. I made up my mind that I was going to jump. As I made the five-second run towards the cliffedge I had a 15-minute conversation with myself about how poor of a decision I was making. I started having some major doubts about the soundness of my decision. Just before the cliff-edge my doubts overcame me, and I tried to stop. Unfortunately, I already had built up too much momentum, and I went over the cliff anyway. This made the jump more dangerous, as the lack of momentum put me much closer to the rocks. Fortunately, all was fine and it ended up being a memorable experience.
In this case, my doubt nearly got me into a lot of trouble. I think its often that way in life. Anytime we take a step of faith, a step to follow God, doubt creeps in. We say yes to serving in a ministry, then begin doubting our abilities. We have a close relationship with God, and then a member of our family gets cancer and we begin doubting God’s goodness. We are far from the first people to doubt God. Look at this interaction between Abraham and God.
The Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:1-6
Abraham had a lot of doubts about God’s plan to build the nation of Israel from his offspring. Yet, after God explains his plan, Abraham comes to trust Him. Any time we take a step of faith we will encounter doubt. When we do, we have to remember the perfect nature of God’s promises. Yes, we may face difficulties, but God has plans for us now and for eternity. When you have doubts, open up God’s Word and remember His plan. Remember that He is always with you, always loves you, and always has a plan to welcome you into His perfect heaven.