Category: Religion / Religious

There is doubt and unbelief, and then there is doubt and unbelief. If we doubt and do not believe that God has the power to do whatever it might be, then that is the doubt and unbelief that is not faith. Indeed, if God says this I will do, and we don’t believe him, then that is the doubt and unbelief that is not faith. However, if we say, “Will God do it?” “Have I heard correctly?” And in other words, doubt ourselves but not God’s power, ability, or integrity, then that is something different. In Romans, Paul tells us about Abraham and his faith.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)

The keyword in verse 20 is “waver.” Abraham didn’t waver through belief and unbelief regarding the promise of God. Abraham never thought that God didn’t have the power to do what he said he would do. In fact, if God said he would do it, then he would and could do it. We can waver in our beliefs, but what are we doubting?

Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)
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As Christians, how we grieve in Christ is a matter of maturity in Christ. At least, this has been my experience. Before I was saved, I grieved severely when someone I loved died. Indeed, even in other times of significant loss, I grieved. However, I don’t recall grieving for very long, whether it was false hope or something else. I don’t ever remember turning to God in grief with questions. Of course, I didn’t know God, but it seems a common trope for people to question God in times of great sorrow and grief. Even if they aren’t Christians.

Yet, when I was much younger in Christ than I am today, I went through what I called at the time “The Year of Loss.” During this time, my best friend died, and I suffered several other losses in close proximity. Instead of seeking God more in my grief, my first response had been to stifle it. However, keeping all that pain inside was difficult after each loss.

This leads me to something Paul said to the church at Thessalonica.

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A couple of years ago, near the end of a long work shift, I was tired and looking forward to getting home. At the time, I performed technical support for Gap and Old Navy stores in the United States and Canada. Since it was after nine o’clock in the evening, most of the stores were closed, so I probably wasn’t going to run into any tough issues. If any, at all. However, after getting my stuff ready to go, I got a call from someone who had a problem. There went my hope of leaving work on time. 

After helping the store with their problem, I not only didn’t get out of work on time, I got out of work late, and the long drive home looked even longer. Fortunately, because it was so late, there would probably be less traffic on the freeways. About 10 minutes into my drive, I ran into traffic that eventually reached a standstill. While I waited for traffic to move, I listened to Christian Contemporary Music and praised the Lord. Although I was tired and running late, I was glad to be off work. 

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When we have Biblical questions, we must always be careful where we turn for answers. Just like everything we read in the newspapers or see in the news isn’t necessarily true, we must also apply this concept to what we read on the Internet. While I use the Internet daily as a Bible Study aid, not every site on the Internet should be trusted. There are such things as fake news that are spread deliberately and ignorantly because people don’t fact-check. 

When I use the Internet as a Bible Study tool, I look up printed resources in digital format. Such as Bibles, surveys, and commentaries. Even when I’m curious about how people perceive a verse, I will read more commentaries before I jump into the murky waters which make up the rest of the web. Because someone has a printed commentary, it doesn’t make them a definitive source on what is or is not correct in Biblical interpretation. This is why we must use discernment. 

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