Recently, I was standing at the train station, waiting for a train, when a strange little scenario played out in front of me. A train had been slowly filling up with passengers; seconds before the doors closed so that the train could leave, a man suddenly jumped off the train, onto the platform looking flustered, his face a pained mask of worry. Just as he did, the doors closed behind him and the train started to slowly move away. He said in an anguished voice to the lady standing next to me. “I think I was on the wrong train, I have a job interview in Larne”. She looked at him and then at the train, now in the distance and said “Oh my dear, you were on the train to Larne!”
So what had happened? He had a legitimate ticket. He was on time for his important interview.
The man had had a sudden attack of debilitating doubt and fear that so overtook him that he got off the very train He was meant to be on!
Doubt can rob us of peace and confidence.
Sometimes new Christians struggle with doubting their salvation.
John writes in 1 John 5:13: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life”
We need never doubt our salvation through Jesus Christ. God promises that through faith in His Son Jesus, we have eternal life: “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” 1 John 5:11)
Sometimes ‘veterans’ in the faith can go through periods of doubt.
That seed of doubt starts with a thought Am I on the right “train?” In other words, “Did God really say..?”
Yes, you know He did! You know His promises to you and you know He is faithful. Stay on that train.
If you feel you need wisdom, James says in James 2:5-8 ‘ask God’ (for wisdom) don’t get into a flap and jump off the train, and go asking this person and that person. We have direct access to our Father, God. We need only be still, right where we are, know that He is God, tell your own voice of doubt, fear unbelief to be quiet, and then simply ask God. James 1:5-8
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
If you’re struggling with doubt, then you’re in a place where belief and unbelief are in conflict with each other. It’s not a comfortable place to be, but, as we see over and over again in scripture, Jesus can work with it. While we are warned against doubting Jesus, doubt does not disqualify us. We sometimes forget that Jesus disciples struggled with unbelief and doubt at times too. I found several scriptures this morning where Jesus said to them “Why do you have so little faith?” But did that mean he gave up on them? Never.
“Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” (Matt 14:31 – when Peter attempted to walk across the water to Jesus)
Also: Matt 8:26; 16:8; 17:20 “Help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:23)
The Lord is moved by that heartfelt confession of doubt. The tiny ‘mustard seed’ of faith in that prayer is enough to throw any mountain of doubt into the sea.
Let’s keep trusting, keep believing our Faithful God, when you feel doubt or unbelief creeping in, look at your ‘ticket’. (1John 5:13)
Remind your doubting heart of God’s Faithfulness to you.
You’re on the right train!