Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13, 2017 ... Confusion or Conviction

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 44 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of song and lyrics from Stephen Curtis Chapman singing his song … His Strength Is Perfect … poignantly declaring the promise that God’s strength is always ours to overcome the weight of our doubt, discouragement, and despair.

Highlight Verse[s]: John 11:14-16, 20:24-29 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Thomas believing and Thomas doubting. Which would we rather be?

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Habakkuk 1:2, 3:17-18 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… God’s Prophet … from confusion to certainty … from death to life.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Romans 7:24-25, 8:1-2 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul discovers the victory over doubt and death is found in a deep/abiding relationship with Christ.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … Philippians 4:11-13 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, shows us how to capture His strength and be content, no matter what comes our way.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Tim Gustafson, compared Thomas when he was strong in his trust of Christ with a time when he was weakened and doubted. The ODB author wrote: Despite having witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:38–44), Thomas still could not bring himself to believe that the crucified Lord had conquered death. Not until Thomas the doubter—the human—saw the risen Lord, could he exclaim, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Jesus’s response gave assurance to the doubter and immeasurable comfort to us: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v. 29). 

There was a time when Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, would’ve followed His trusted Teacher unto death (see John 11:14-16); but later, even after seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead and perform many other miracles, the Apostle doubted his Master (see John 20:24-29). And we, as disciples of Christ, also likely have moments of strong belief and then others where clouds of doubt almost paralyze us.

The Prophet Habakkuk in the OT journaled how he went from confusion to conviction (see the Habakkuk 1 & 3 passages above). The Apostle Paul went from a victim of self doubt to being victorious in Christ (see Romans 7 versus 8 passages). And God, thru many other character studies and promises (see Phil. 4:11-13 above, as well as Prov. 3:5-6 … Isaiah 26:3 … 1Peter 5:7), gives us ample promise of His strength to draw upon when we feel doubtful or discouraged.

The question is … in our trust and faith in King Jesus, will we draw upon the empowering grace of God to cover our doubts and weaknesses?

My friend, if we’re in a dumper of doubt right now, let us hear and be lifted up by today’s song and move away from being a “doubting Thomas,” [see photo] allowing God to give us the strength we need to overcome the doubt in our minds/hearts. Let us move from the darkness of doubt into the Light of Christ today.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, help me to avoid being a doubting Thomas and use Your strength to cover my weakness. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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