Have you ever had an experience like this?
Someone you trust promises they will do a specific thing. You believe them because you trust them. Then time moves on and what they said they would do doesn’t happen. You begin to doubt their word. If you let it go further, you begin to doubt their character. You start asking questions like, “will they ever come through with their promise?” And maybe you even start second guessing whether they even care about you. Maybe you aren’t important to them after all. Maybe they aren’t even who you ever believed them to be.
Not many of us actually go to this extreme in our thought process but you can see how it could go even further than what I described. We have to admit that we DO allow our expectations of what people will or won’t do go off in the wrong direction sometimes.
Perhaps after you get all bent out of shape because you decide the person must not love you anymore and therefore never intends to fulfill their promises to you, they suddenly come through and you feel ridiculous about what you were thinking. It sounds like something out of a movie where the wife is completely convinced that her husband has been cheating on her because he’s late getting home. When he walks in the door to find a hysterical wife, he says he’s stopped to pick up flowers for her. She feels ridiculous for worrying needlessly.
It all sounds comical but isn’t that what we do to God all the time? When we ask Him for something we need and He makes us wait, we get impatient. Then we start wondering if He even heard us. Then if we aren’t careful we can begin to doubt that He even loves us. We allow doubt to creep in and cloud our thinking.
My pastor once said, ” Why do we believe our doubts and doubt our beliefs?” That’s a great question. Why is it so easy to allow doubt to come in when we are waiting on God to answer our prayers?
Doubt was introduced in the Garden when the serpent said to Eve, “Indeed, has God said…?” If we allow doubt to guide our thinking we will surely lose the battle.
So when we pray and we are waiting for God to answer, what do we do? We’ve all heard the advice to “stand on God’s promises” but what does that mean? It means making a decision to believe God is who He says He is. If His character is trustworthy then what He says is also to be trusted. You will find His promises in His Word. He has given them to us in writing so there can be no misunderstanding.
Now when the devil comes and says, “indeed, did God say?” we can go straight to God’s word and find out exactly what He said.
When the devil tempted Jesus to doubt God, Jesus went right to the word and quoted it back to the devil.
If it worked for Jesus it will work for us. Try it.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you. – Psalm 33: 20-22