April 21, 2021

Genesis 15:4-6

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him [Abram]: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.”  And he [the Lord] brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

 

We’re talking this week about Jesus’ interaction with the disciple Thomas in John chapter 20. Have you ever noticed how much we seem to enjoy referring to him as “Doubting Thomas”? As if we’ve never doubted God ourselves!

The topic of doubt can be a perplexing one for Christians. Scripture commands us not to doubt, but virtually all of us struggle to fully believe and trust God at one time or another. For example, the Bible constantly tells us God’s love is “steadfast” and “everlasting,” but life’s difficult circumstances sometimes make us wonder if that’s really true. So when we doubt, does that mean we are simply failures at living out what God wants?  

The fact is, yes, God indeed exhorts us not to doubt. He wants us to trust Him! But God also understands it’s difficult for us to trust at times. He knows what it’s like to be human; He created us, and in Christ Jesus He has walked in our shoes. So it’s important we do not miss this tender side of our relationship with Him.

Today’s passage is a beautiful example. Earlier in Genesis 12:7, God had promised Abram that “To your offspring I will give this land.” Yet as Abram continued to age and remain childless, this promise was becoming difficult to hang on to. God said he would have children… but he’s still childless and the prospects seem to get bleaker every day. Now in Chapter 15, Abram expresses those doubts, and the Lord responds with great gentleness: “…your very own son shall be your heir.” (Gen 15:4) Then God does something that always touches me deeply: He walks Abram outside the tent, and tells him to gaze up at the innumerable stars in the night sky. It’s like God has His arm around Abram’s shoulders as He lovingly encourages Abram’s struggling faith: “Try to count all those stars, Abram! So shall your offspring be! You can trust Me, my son!”

No, God does not want us to doubt. But He understands, and He will meet us in our doubt, and help us through it. All we need to do is ask.

Are you struggling with doubt in some way this week? Are you waiting to see God come through and wondering if He really cares about you and your situation? Go to Him! Express those doubts and ask Him to lift you up anew. You can trust Him! He will always meet you where you are at.

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