Monday, July 18, 2011

Defeating the Doubt, worry and fear in your heart - Part Two

In this series of blogs that we began yesterday, we defined the triple weaponry of the enemy as doubt, worry and fear - and how we can defeat them with the Bible.  We also noted that all three are attitudes of unbelief towards who God is and what he has said.  Doubt is when I have belief about what God has said to me in the past, worry is unbelief about who He is to me in the present and fear is unbelief about what He will do or say in the future.  Will God come through?  That’s the question of fear.  Is God still with me?  That’s the question of worry.  Did God really say that? That’s the question of doubt. 

In today's blog we will be concerned about the place where these three issues arise - the heart.  David wrote Psalm 39, explaining all of the doubt, worries and fears he was grappling with in his situation.  You and I can’t tell what he is dealing with in this Psalm, however all of the emotions and stresses He is articulating are well known.  For instance He states in Psalm 39:3 – “My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue.”  This certainly describes how I have felt lately.  How about you?  Do you ever feel like you’re going to explode?  The Hebrew phrase for “the fire burned” carries with it the meaning of feeling like we’re going to explode. 

What do you do when doubt about what God said, worry about the present or fear of whether or not He’ll come through threatens the very fabric of your faith?  In other words – How do you deal with doubt, worry and fear in your heart?  Let’s follow the Psalmist’s thoughts in this Psalm and into the next Psalm.  If you are going to defeat doubt, worry and fear in your heart, you need to….

1. Hand your self-sufficiency to God 39:1-6
At first David thought it would be best to keep his mouth shut.  In 39:1-2 he attempted to “bridle his tongue” and “be dumb with silence”.  Very often the reason why you and I choose not to tell those close to us our deepest struggles is because of our self-sufficiency.  We believe it is best to deal with it on our own.  However, God has a way of breaking that down.  Our own self-perceived strength is our greatest enemy.  God is trying to remind you as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9 – “His strength is made perfect in weakness”. 

David could no longer hold it in.  He cried out to God, asking God to give him an eternal perspective on his own frailty.  As painful as it was, he asked God to show him in verse 4: “make me know my end.”  As a desperate patient pleading with the surgeon: “Doc, do whatever you need to do to rid me of this disease”, so David appealed to the Great Physician.  David realized that his life truly is but the width of a man’s hand (verse 5) and that men at their very best are but vanity (also verse 5).  Self had to die.  Self-sufficiency is but a mirage in the life of the creature.  Only when we stop clinching our fists, hanging onto what is most dear – ourselves, and only when we open our hands towards heaven to that which is most precious – God alone – will we find true sufficiency. 

2. Hasten to see God as your sole desire 39:7-11
Psalm 39:7 indicates a major shift in this Psalm, note what it says: “And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.”  David shifts from reflecting on how bad things were to how hopeful He is now.  Did his circumstance change?  Not yet.  However his perspective did change.  How?  Having lost all hope in himself, He found all his hope in God.  I so identify with what he is writing here.  In the verse following the struggle is still taking place.  Clearly his inability to explain what He is going through is God’s doing (37:9).

 In fact, God illuminates to David that it is He who is testing David.  David actually refers to God as a moth who consumes whatever is beautiful in his life in 39:11.  It sounds so cruel at first- why would God take away what is “beautiful and desirable” in my life?”  The only answer is that God must be the object of my affections and desire above all things.  He alone endures.  All other goods and beauties deteriorate and fail after the passage of time, however, God is the fixed constant, the true Good, never changing nor varying (Malachi 3:6). All goods and beautiful things are given so that through them we can see God who is Good and beautiful.  It is all a matter of keeping everything in its proper order.  Only when God becomes the sole focus can we see the ability to overcome the doubt, worry and fear.  Thus…

3. Have confidence that God is hearing you 39:12-40:5
As we close this blog today, let’s see whether or not God came through for David.   In reading Psalm 39 and 40, it is my conviction that both Psalms are being written about the same event.  After all the struggle and tears of Psalm 39, we need to know: Did God show up for David?  Psalm 40:1 answers – “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”  In fact the remaining verses detail David’s testimony of how God had indeed came through for Him. 

As an added bonus, David will write a prophecy Psalm 40 about the coming of Christ into this world, as spoken by the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 10:4-5.  It truly was worth it.  Christ was seen more clearly in the end than at the beginning.  So what about you?  Are you and I going to make it?  Is God going to come through?  Have confidence, dear friend.  If you truly know Christ as Savior, Lord and Treasure, place you hand in His, for His other hand is connected to God the Father (1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:20).  Know this:  God hears the cries of his saints.   He is greater than your doubt, worry and fear. 

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