When Doubt Darkens your Hope

I remember having a difficult season in college. The Lord was allowing me to battle serious doubt: doubt in myself and doubt in Him. I felt like I was falling into a bottomless dark pit. One day as I cried for the Lord’s help, He simply said, “Quit struggling. Relax and float.”

Fearfully I replied, “Okay, Lord. But please don’t let me fall too far.”

Quit struggling and float

Months later as I emerged out of that dark time, I recall thinking no matter how dark it was, there was always a light with me. It was small, like a tiny flicker of flame, but it was present nonetheless. That tiny flame was the Lord. He had been with me through all the darkness. He had never left me alone.

As moms—as women—as humans, we struggle with doubt. Some times for moments in a day, other times for months or years. We doubt our ability to rise to the occasion before us. We doubt God’s desire to walk with us. We doubt His intention to see us through. I remember at times putting my hands on my hips, looking at God (or where I envisioned Him to be hovering in my room), and asking, “What were You thinking?”

Doubt plunges us into hopelessness. Hopelessness to resignation. Resignation to sitting down and feeling sorry for ourselves. Giving up and sulking.

So how, then, do we restore our hope? How do we silence out doubts?

We don’t. Truth does.

Jesus said, “I am the truth” (John 14:6). Whenever I battled any kind of doubt, I found that I had to quit looking for answers and simply looked to Truth. I studied various attributes of God, names of Jesus, or meditated on the stories of Jesus.

I held onto scriptural promises. Whether they appeared to be manifesting in my life or not, I held to them anyway. In fact, sometimes I quoted them back to God and said, “This is what You promised and I’m holding you to it.”

I recalled stories I’d heard where God proved His faithfulness. Stories of grandparents, friends, and heroes of the faith like Corrie Ten Boom. I reminded myself my situation was nothing new in the world. Others had walked through worse and God had brought them through—purified and shining like gold (Job 23:10).

Paul encourages us, “… we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 NIV).

Hope is the biproduct of our tribulations and it’s founded in God’s love.

Hope is the biproduct

 

I think no matter what topic I ponder, I always come back to the foundation of God’s love. Without God’s love we have no hope. Without continuously bathing in God’s love, doubt will take charge.

copyright March 2016 by Cheri Johnson

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