Summary: Doubt is in direct contradiction to the confidence of the cross! Take courage from the same sources Jesus drew upon.
Doubt vs Courage
Doubt is such a destructive thing.
It strips us of the ability to achieve. It disables our creativity. Hides productivity and strips away positivity.
Doubt was the very thing that Satan used to trip up Eve. Is it really so? He asked her.
Doubt made sure Eve fell, it kept people from being on the ark, it turned Lots wife into a pillar of salt, it is what held Moses back – it was the reason the Israelites often turned from God, it caused Peter to betray Jesus, the Laodecian congregation to be rejected and it has you in its grip.
Doubt is devious.
Its not the hesitancy that you may feel at the edge of the Gouritz River bridge as you bungy jump, that’s sound reason.
Its not the question you have about a possible business investment, that’s business acumen.
Its not the check you have before you sign the lease of a new building for the church, that’s wisdom.
Doubt is the means that Satan uses to destroy vision. Doubt is what strips you of getting excited about tackling something new. Doubt is what takes away your energy for something. Doubt is what makes you depressed about who you are. Doubt is what calls you to question everything about yourself all the time, and results in you being better at asking negative questions than actually getting something positive done. Its what causes the age old, I don’t think I am good enough. I don’t think Jesus could use a wretch like me. No I cant do that. I am not good enough. That’s doubt.
Doubt is in direct contradiction to the confidence of the cross!
If you are not good enough, take the cross away, remove the blood from sin and pack it in now.
Doubt is in direct contradiction to the courage of the cross!
It was made available becase God thought you good enough and It was made possible because one man believed that he was good enough.
Today is a day that we rid ourselves of doubt.
Jesus gave us not only an example of confidence, but he gave us the mould of courage.
It takes courage to march with confidence into the face of danger.
What gave Jesus this amazing sense of fearless confidence as he walked through life? This morning we want to consider some of the sources of his confidence, that we might have greater confidence in life ourselves.
First of all: His mind was set on who he was.
Jesus knew his identity and his destiny. With all the hostility Jesus faced, it would have been easy to begin to think that you really were the horrible person everyone was saying you were.
The people of his hometown thought he was the illegitimate son of Mary. His birth had caused a stir in his hometown, and caused the local folk to look down on his family. And now he was talking like he was a biblical scholar who had been trained in Jerusalem, but they knew that was impossible.
They could not figure out the source of his learned and gracious words. They thought that perhaps he had lost his mind. How else would you explain his confidence which came
across to them as arrogance? Worse yet, it sounded like he was being subversive to the nation. Regardless, they thought he was so bad he deserved to die. And these were folks who knew him — people he had grown up around. These were not the politically motivated and powerful who wanted him out of their way. These were friends of the family.
But Jesus knew who he was. He was not Joseph’s son, he was God’s son. He knew he was legitimate. He knew who he was and who his Father was. And even though they thought he was a criminal who was worthy of death, he held his head high and lived with the confidence of who he was.
One of the great stories which illustrates the confidence of Jesus, based on who he was, was when Jesus was in a boat during a storm. The Bible tells the story like this: “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet Be still ’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’” (Mark 4:37-40). The storm was raging, and Jesus was peacefully sleeping. Others were in full panic mode, he was unshaken. The storm did not define the moment, he did. He was secure in who he was.