April 18, 2012
It's Not Supposed to be This Way
"We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved." Hebrews 10:39 (NIV, 1984)
"I can't do this."
"Things will never change."
"My life isn't going to get better."
"I'll never have the confidence I need."
Those are some depressing thoughts, aren't they? But oh how quickly they slip into our minds and convince our hearts that they are true.
There have been times when I felt almost paralyzed by thoughts like these that were laced with uncertainty.
Times when I let self-doubt convince me that feelings of inadequacy and discouragement were normal.
Times when I've shrunk back from changes and challenges, as well as opportunities and open doors.
Other times I've pulled back in my relationships - with family and friends, and even God. Shrinking back into a place of unbelief ... settling for less than God's best.
All because I was tired of muddling through apprehension and indecision.
Are there days when doubt convinces you that feeling inadequate and discouraged is normal? Or that having confident assurance isn't possible for someone like you?
I think we sometimes forget we have an enemy who uses self-doubt against us - who shouts from the sidelines:
"It's too hard."
"You might as well quit."
"Go ahead and give up."
"You don't have what it takes."
It's time for us to take a stand and stop listening to these lies. God wants us to know and believe that with Christ all things are possible - even a confident heart.
Otherwise doubt, and the enemy, will win every time and our hearts will be eroded by attitudes and emotions of defeat.
But it's not supposed to be this way.
All throughout scripture, God tells us things can change; life can be better. He declares with confidence: "See, I am doing a new thing!" "I am working all things together for good for those who love me and are called according to my purpose." "All things are possible to [her] who believes." (Isa. 43:19; Rom. 8:28; Mark 9:23)
So how do we stop listening to our doubts and start living in the power of God's promises?
By choosing to believe God's truths more than our feelings and fears. By moving beyond believing in God to really believing God as we rely on the power of His Words and live like they are true - no matter what our feelings tell us.
It is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day, doubt-by-doubt decision where we process our thoughts and emotions with God, positioning our hearts and minds to let His perspective redefine ours with each uncertainty we face.
Some days I do better than others, and you will too. But I have found that it's possible to have lasting Christ-confidence by choosing to remember to believe.
Let's choose to remember today, and every day, the words of Hebrews 10:39, that we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed - but of those who believe and are saved!
Lord, give me a confident heart in Christ. I want You to lead me beyond believing in You to truly believing You. Help me rely on the power of Your promises and live like they are true. When self-doubt tells me I can't overcome my insecurities, I will believe Your promise that all things are possible to whoever believes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Today's devotion is based on truths Renee also shares in her powerful book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises.
Are you ready to live in the power of God's promises? To take hold of the security of His love? Join Renee's online study of her best-selling book, A Confident Heart, beginning April 23rd. Here's what others are saying about her study:
Through this online study of A Confident Heart I have learned to seek and find the strength God desires me to have. I can also be confident that when I do fall short God still loves me anyway. What a blessing and a gift! ~ Cindy
This book and online study has made such a difference in my life. I now see myself as God sees me, and that gives me confidence to be more of the person He has always desired me to be. I am beautiful in His eyes, and now believe He is really the one who matters! ~Sherri
For more daily encouragement and powerful truths, join Renee's Confident Heart Facebook page.
Reflect and Respond:
Have you ever agreed with the whispers of doubt and found yourself stuck in a cycle of defeat? Is there a promise in today's devotion, or in the power verses below, that ministers to your greatest need? Why not write it down and pray it out loud - claiming God's truth and letting it become yours today.
2 Corinthians 2:14, "But I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ." (GW)
Romans 8:37, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (NIV)
© 2012 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105