How to Handle Doubt
One of the few things I remember from studying under-grad psychology are the terms ‘internal locus of control’ and ‘external locus of control’. I won’t go into the details, mainly because I don’t remember them 🙈, so I will just highlight points that are necessary for me to make my point.
The little that I do remember, is that people with internal locus of control are usually self-motivated. These are the people who after they have experienced a failure or hardship, they resolve within themselves to do better next time. When life doesn’t go as expected, they believe that they can make it better even if it looks bleak now.
Do you know those ‘motivators’ in sport movies; where at half time, the team is usually falling behind with a significant point margin and the people with internal locus of control are the guys who tell everyone that ‘we can do it’. The score line doesn’t discourage them much, they truly believe they can overcome their circumstances and achieve their goal of winning the game and ultimately, winning the tournament.
And then there are people like me. People who have an external locus of control. We struggle to find inner motivation when we encounter hardship or failure. I am not pumped up to do better when I have failed or when tough times make my goal seem lass attainable. I struggle to keep the faith.
I have learnt though, that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.
I’ve therefore, decided to share with you three scriptures that help me counteract doubt and help build my faith.
Three main points will be highlighted through these scriptures. Firstly God will get me through not because I am good, but because He is good. Secondly, God’s ways are eternal. It may be challenging now, but our reward is not laid up where moth and rust can destroy. Lastly, be patient. Trust Him.
Exodus 14:13-14 “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.”
I especially love this scripture because Moses said this to the Israelites shortly after they had left Egypt and they were already beginning to complain about and doubt God’s intention. They hadn’t even crossed the Red Sea yet. This for me is one of the most expressive moments of God’s mercy and grace. Not only did God choose to liberate an unworthy nation (Deut 7: 7-8), He also encouraged and made a way for them when they doubted not only His method but His intention too. However, in all of His mercy He says I will fight for you.
2 Corinthians 4 “8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
I encourage you to read the full chapter. It really holds encouraging words for someone who may be struggling not just to believe but encouragement that our struggles are not in vain. The Lord sees the faithfulness of His people and He will reward them.
I wonder how it must have felt for Abraham to die having seen only Isaac and his sons, when the Lord had promised him descendants as many as the stars in the sky. Yet, the Bible says He kept the faith. Sometimes our faith is not just for us, but our children and our children’s children.
Doubt is trying to steal not only your inheritance, but the inheritance of your children too. Keep the faith, if not for your own sake, then for their sake.
Psalm 27: 14 “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage. And He shall strengthen your Heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord”
Now this is a hard one.
We have heard the promise, we have received words of confirmation and still we see and experience none of it. It’s at this point that we can so easily be tempted to take matters into our own hands. God will open the door when it is time.
The more you wait, the more strength He will give you to keep the faith. A little bit every day. As it says in Isaiah 40, if you wait on Him you will be strengthened. You will not grow weary. You will not faint. You will fly
I hope these scriptures encourage you as they have encouraged me.
Remember, God is good, He is faithful and He will strengthen you.