Daily Devotions: When Doubt Won’t Go Away

From Encouragement for Today by Renee Swope, Lysa TerKuerst, Samantha Evilsizer

When Doubt Won’t Go Away

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” -Judges 6:15

encouragment-coverA few years ago, I was struggling with paralyzing self-doubt. I’d made a ministry commitment to do something big, something I’d never done before. Although I had initially felt assured God was calling me to this, now that I was in the middle of it, I wasn’t so sure.

For days, I pleaded with God, asking Him to zap me with confidence and take away all my doubt, but He didn’t. Instead, He led me to the story of Gideon, a man who
was called by God yet paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy. From reading his story in Judges 6, I knew Gideon overcame his doubts and fears by focusing on what God thought about him instead of what he thought about himself.

The first thing he did was speak honestly with God about his bout with doubt. When the angel of the Lord told Gideon to go defeat the Midianites, Gideon protested, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest . . . and I am the least in my family” ( Judges 6:15). Recent conflicts and defeats had shaped Gideon’s perception of himself and caused him to question his ability to fulfill God’s calling. The same was true for me. A conflict with a friend that week made me question whether or not I should even be in ministry. If I couldn’t maintain healthy relationships at all times in all areas, how could I help others? I also received negative feedback on a project that week. One harsh criticism overshadowed several positive comments and consumed my focus.

When conflict arises at work or at home, do you ever feel like these challenges disqualify you from other ministries or callings? Does criticism ever paralyze you or keep you from believing you can do certain things? God used Gideon’s story to show me that overcoming doubt is about changing the way I think, which changes the way I feel, and can eventually transform the way I live.

The next time you start feeling insecure, ask God to show you what triggered your doubt. Then process the trigger point through God’s perspective. Search His Word and ask Him for His wisdom. Then choose to focus on His thoughts toward you instead of your thoughts about yourself. For instance . . .When doubt says you can’t do something because it’s too hard, remember God says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Or when doubt tells you that you will never figure things out, remember God says to trust Him with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; to acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Without a doubt, God wants you to live with a confident heart. Some days it will be about what He’s calling you to do, but even more than that, it will be about what He wants to do in you as you learn to completely depend on Him.

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