TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, December 28, 2018:
To lack confidence in; to lack trust in; an unsettled state of opinion; indecision; uncertainty.
O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
Be merciful to those who doubt.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Why do we doubt? This is the question that Jesus asked Peter on the Sea of Galilee and a question each one of us must answer. Doubts come from the great deceiver, the “Father of lies,” Satan himself. Satan uses false teachers to deceive believers in Jesus by planting doubt in their minds. Doubt is Satan’s tool. If our faith is little, it is easy for doubt to cause uncertainty and destroy our faith.
Jude, in his book, deals with the issue of doubt and weak faith that believers have to deal with. Jude tells us (above) that we should be “merciful to those who doubt.” He wants us to be understanding and not judgmental toward those who struggle in their faith.
Instead we are to be a witness to them with compassion and kindness and patiently correct any misconceptions they may have concerning the truth of God’s Word and the certainty of Salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Believers are often critical of other believers who are weak in faith. A person who has questions or doubts about his Christian faith should not be condemned or shunned as an enemy of the faith. Jude tells us that rather than condemning such people we should show them compassion and endeavor to bolster up their faith so that they can be strong and secure in their trust in the Lord.
Not only does Satan use others to deceive us and bring doubts about our faith, but he uses fear that comes when we face difficult circumstances and life gets scary and causes us to question why God would allow such things happen to us.
In the verse above from Matthew, we read the account of when the disciples were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee being tossed by the waves and saw Jesus, not knowing who He was, walking on the sea. The disciples were troubled feeling it was a ghost that they were seeing and cried out with fear.
But Jesus spoke to them, “Be of good cheer, it is I; do not be afraid (or doubt).” Peter wasn’t sure it was Jesus and he answered in doubt. He asked Jesus if it was really Him to tell him (Peter) to come to Him on the water.
Jesus said, “Come.” Peter responded and began walking on the water toward the Lord. At that moment Peter was fearless. He was focused only on seeing Jesus.
The wind became boisterous and the waves became huge. Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the waves and became fearful. It was then that Peter focused on his own circumstances and fear so overwhelmed him that it caused Peter’s faith to grow weak and doubt began to take hold of him. Peter began to sink and cried out, “Lord save me.” Jesus held out His hand and His words to Peter are so relative for us today “O you of little faith, why do you doubt.”
As believers when we have doubts because our faith is weak the words of Jesus challenges us to reach out to Him and focus on Him, not on our circumstances. When the troubles around you cause you to fear, remember that Jesus is the only one who can really help. You need to do as Peter did and cry out to Jesus, “Lord save me.” Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will not be overcome with doubt.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Luke 2:16.
And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Help me to eliminate doubt in my life by keeping my eyes on Jesus no matter what circumstances I am in. May our family learn to keep our lives centered in Christ so that we can stand strong in our faith and reach out to strengthen the faith of others who are dealing with doubt.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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