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When Failure Causes Doubt

Last time, I wrote about how we create doubt. Because we do! But even if we didn’t, we’d still experience it. Doubt walks hand-in-hand with faith.

We know that God is the great I Am. We know that He is whoever we need Him to be. At least, we’re very confident about that when things are going well.

But something changes when it comes to failure. When we’re facing failure, it’s easy to doubt. We might even think, “Well, God’s not there.”

Even though we’ve never seen God, we depend on Him for everything. So what happens to us “show me” types when bad things happen? Doubt takes shape! Here’s a typical thought progression:

“I depend on God, who I’ve never seen, to get me through life. Now something bad has happened, and I don’t feel like He’s there. And if He’s not there, then who do I depend on? I have to depend on myself. And if I have to depend on myself, then why depend on God in the first place? If He’s even real, that is. I mean, I can’t even see Him!”

Sound familiar?

I’ve dealt with that. I dealt with that in baseball. Nothing’s a sure thing in that game. You don’t ever know. They say it’s a game of failure, but players make their living based on success. I had to depend on so many things to succeed. I had to depend on making the right pitch. I had to depend on the hitter to hit the ball to the defense. And I had to depend on the defense to make the play.

No matter what you do, you have to depend on so many things for it to go right. We really do depend on God for everything!

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9 tells it like it is, but sometimes it’s so hard to deal with. We have a certain way that we want things to go, and it may not be the same as God’s way. We know that God sees the whole picture, but sometimes it’s hard to accept His direction. If things don’t go the way we want them to, then we wonder if He’s even there. Some of us even stomp our feet and pout! We say, “I didn’t have it the way I wanted it.”

That’s when you start wondering, “Do I believe in a God who’s not there?” Or you ask yourself, “If He’s real, then why is this happening?” You get frustrated. You decide to be all about yourself. You quit leaning on Him. You doubt Him. You forget to depend on Him.

This kind of doubt is pretty common among God’s people. When you read the Bible, you realize that you’re in very good company!

I will talk about that next time. See you Friday.

2 thoughts on “When Failure Causes Doubt

  1. I needed to hear this more than you know! Been working through a injury caused by a stressful career and have started to doubt whether I’ll ever be the success I dreamt of becoming. Failure creates an odd sense of shame that shields us, via fear, from the reality that today is truly a new at bat (with a scouting report about what life’s throwing 0-1 with a man on first.)

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