Preaching Articles

One of the things I love about the Bible is how honest it is.  The pages of Scripture don’t gloss over the flaws and sins and weaknesses of people.  Even the great heroes of the faith are not airbrushed or photo-shopped to make them look superhuman.  I also love that Scripture lets us see the real struggles that people have in seeking to follow God.

One such person in the Bible is a guy named Asaph.  You can feel the angst in his soul when he wrestles with the following questions.

7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
    Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
    Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he slammed the door on his compassion? 

                        Psalm 77:4-9 (NLT)

If we are honest, we would have to admit that even as pastors we have our Asaph moments.  But thank goodness, the passage doesn’t end in verse nine.  As we walk with Asaph we can discover a couple of practices that are helpful to our soul when we find ourselves in seasons of doubt.

1.  Remember God’s track record

This is about gaining perspective.  This is about stepping back from your immediate circumstance and getting a look at the big picture.

I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts.  I cannot stop thinking about them.       Psalm 77:11-12 (NLT)  

I want you to notice four words in these two verses…recall…remember… thoughts…thinking.

Memory is a friend to faith.  I can witness to this personally.  God has an amazing track record in my life.  And, his faithfulness in the past gives me confidence to deal with the doubts that come in the present.

This past week while flying between here and Dallas, I was thinking about this very point.  Now, ponder this for a moment.  Here we are flying almost 600 mph at 31,000 feet.  There are about 200 of us in an over-sized coke can hurtling through the air.  I look out the window and can’t see a thing because we are flying through the clouds.  I look around and not one person seems panicked or even nervous.  WHY??  Because we had faith in the airline’s track record.  We had faith that someone had built the plane well. We had faith that someone had inspected the plane and that someone had put fuel in the plane.  We had faith that there were pilots in the cockpit (although I never saw them)  and we had faith in the instruments they were using to fly the plane.

And, likewise, when I step back and reflect on God’s track record, my doubts diminish.  

Asaph says “these wonderful deeds are constantly in my thoughts.  I cannot stop thinking about them.”  These events are true.  God’s track record is historically verifiable.  So, if God can deliver 2 million people from Egypt and he can part the Red Sea and he can make the walls fall down at Jericho and he can let Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego come out of the fiery furnace unharmed and he can keep Daniel from being eaten by the lions and Jesus could rise from the dead… then he certainly can take care of me.

Let me give you a practical step you might take here.  If you are going through a time of doubt, spend some time reflecting on God’s track record. 

2.  Choose to trust God’s character and power  

O God, your ways are holy.  Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of miracles and wonders!  You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.                         Psalm 77:13-14 (NLT)  

Our God is a God of miracles and wonder and power.  That truth is seen spectacularly in creation.

Isaiah 40:26 (NIV) says Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:  Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one,  and calls them each by name.  Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Think for a moment about the neighborhood we live in called planet earth.  Our sun is 93 million miles away and it is just an average size star in Milky Way Galaxy.  And it is perfectly positioned at just the right distance to sustain life on this planet.

The sun is 333,000 times the size of the earth and it is so powerful that it takes its light and heat only 8 minutes to travel from surface of the sun to touch your skin.  Every sunrise is a reminder of God’s faithfulness.  With amazing precision and majesty, the keeps showing up every day.

It hangs up in the sky as a testimony for God’s bigness and power and creativity.  Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT)   says The heavens tell of the glory of God.  The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.

When I meditate on God’s majesty and when I consider his creation, it helps me overcome my doubt.   There is freedom in coming to terms with your smallness.  Even though your world may seem out of control, the universe isn’t out of control.  The great big God of the universe can be trusted.  He is not powerless or negligent.  If you are the crowning achievement of all his creation, don’t you think he is going to take care of you?

May you rest in that reality today.

Lance is the founder of Replenish ministries and is often referred to as a Pastor’s Pastor.  He is also the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live and lead from a healthy soul.  Before launching Replenish, Lance served 20 years as a senior pastor and 6 years as an Executive/Teaching pastor at Saddleback Church. 

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion