Sermons

Summary: Doubt is one of those things that if not dealt with, will rob the joy of the Lord from our lives.

“What do I do when I doubt?”

6-23-01

New Community Church

OPENING ILLUSTRATION: As a kid I always looked forward to celebrating my birthday. I mean for that one day you were like a Hollywood superstar and you wanted everyone to know about it. I remember one birthday though in high school that wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. I woke up that morning wondering what this day would hold for me. I was so excited. I went to school, received some gifts from my school friends. I returned home from school that day and it seemed like no one was home. I opened the front door and didn’t see anyone around. I was thinking maybe they are hiding and are about to jump out of the hallway and shout “Happy Birthday”. But as I investigated the rest of the house there was no one around. Maybe they are getting my birthday party ready. Maybe they are out getting me a cake. So, I patiently waited for everyone to come home. Minutes turned into an hour. Still no one. I finally got a call from my mom and she said that her and my dad were not going to be home for awhile. I thought “ah huh”. She is setting me up. So I continued to wait patiently for my birthday party. Again, minutes turned into hours and before I knew it the clock said 9:00 p.m. I realized that there was no birthday party for me. I went into the kitchen and found a t.v. dinner and cooked it.

God has called all of us to a joy-filled life. That’s what he designed us for. That’s what the Christian life is all about. But you know as well as I do that there are things that come in our life that knock the joy right out of us. For the next several weeks we are going to look at some of the things that rob our joy and see how we can rise against them. Today we are going to look at what we do when we doubt. Doubting God and his activity can rob the joy from our lives.

Let’s read Matthew 14:22-33

Doubt in a spiritual sense means to be unsure or skeptical about the promises and presence of God in our lives. Doubt comes from two sources. First of all, it comes from ourselves. We many times think wrong about God because of lack of knowledge or because of wrong thinking. We allow it to distort our thinking about God.

Doubt also comes from the Accuser—Satan. He wants to keep us from living a joy filled life worse than anyone else. When you become a Christian He is not able to keep you from going to heaven but he can keep you from thinking about it and allowing it to permeate everything you do.

In the story we just read Jesus had just miraculously fed 5,000 people. He tells his disciples to get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side. He stayed behind to spend time with the Father. While on the disciples journey the wind began to get pretty wild. It began to batter the boat. About 4 a.m. Jesus walks out to meet them. The disciples are so frantic and so scared because of the storm that they think they see a ghost. Jesus speaks to them and says, “guys, don’t be afraid, it’s me!” Peter then asks to come out on the water. Jesus, says come! He makes his journey out there. But he gets his focus off of Jesus and onto his circumstances. He begins to sink. Jesus immediately saves Peter.

What are some important things to see in this passage regarding doubt.

· Doubt keeps us from trusting in Jesus.

Jesus had already sent them to the other side. Jesus knew the windstorm was coming. As a matter of fact a windstorm on the Sea of Galilee was almost a daily occurrence. The disciples freaked out. Jesus came walking up. They thought they were seeing a ghost. Jesus says, “Take courage guys! It’s me!” “Remember, the one who just fed over 5,000 people? The one who performed all those miracles? The one who gave you authority to drive out evil diseases and heal every sickness? The disciples at that moment struggled with the presence of Jesus. They got their eyes off of him which resulted in a lack of faith.

Remember that doubt in a spiritual sense is to be unsure or skeptical about the presence and promises of God in our lives. You have been there haven’t you? You have been unsure about whether or not you are actually a follower of Christ. You have been unsure about God’s calling on your life or the direction he wants you to go.

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