Dealing with Doubts (vii)

28 06 2010

These posts are looking at 6 encouragements from the example of Jesus and Thomas about dealing with doubts:

2) Jesus offers them peace

Imagine the scene:

Locked door. Fear that the Jews might try to break in. Terrified of what the future might hold. And then a man, uninvited, appears inside your room! You would be terrified – no wonder Jesus needed to say ‘peace be with you!’

But actually the peace Jesus offers goes deeper than a quick recovery from a momentary shock. It is a state of deep trust in Him.

I have always struggled with the Psalms. Not all of them. Just the schizophrenic ones. You know the ones I mean? The ones that sound like a Radiohead/Bob Marley mashup – one minute it’s all doom and gloom, and the next it’s ‘Don’t worry – be happy!’

Often in the Psalms we see David weeping, shouting, cursing for the first half, and then full of joy and peace for the second. For example, Psalm 13:

‘How long O Lord? Will you forget me forever? … I have sorrow in my heart all day… light up my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death…’

I could relate to that! In my doubting I could relate to his grief. But then suddenly verse 5:

‘But I have trusted in your steadfast love, my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.’

Where does this peace come from? What is it that turns tears into rejoicing? I can only conclude that it comes from an encounter with God. It can’t be engineered or achieved by human effort. It can feel distant and out of reach. But when that moment comes and you suddenly realise God is there, and He extends his hand to you and says ‘peace’, there is nothing like it! It is the most phenomenal feeling – God stilling the troubled heart.

I don’t like waiting for things I have little control over. But it’s a good thing to practice. Hold out for it. Read the Psalms – all the way through – and beg God to do for you what He did for David. Take hold of the promises about Him never leaving or forsaking you and remind Him of them daily. Hold out for the sweet presence and love of God that drives away all your anxiety.

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2 responses

28 06 2010
lou

liam i’ve really enjoyed reading through these. i also have enjoyed your use of the word persiflage- you have widened my vocabulary! I have actually just read psalms all through as i realised i often give up somewhere around the chapter 60’s. been an amazing journey.

28 06 2010
liamthatcher

Hi Lou, Thanks for the comment. Glad you’ve found the posts (and the Psalms) helpful. The latter i can take no credit for!!

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