Past the Doubt

Finishing the Race in the Presence of God
July 19, 2020

Struggling with doubts, fears, stress and heavy burdens? David also struggled with those emotions and thoughts. The Psalms express every aspect of the human struggle in our world of sin. They have given me much help and courage during my life and ministry. One time when I was weighed down with care and trials, and feeling tired and weary of the struggle, I was led to read Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and he helps me.” At the same time I read Psalm 29:11: “The Lord gives strength to His people.” As I read on, in Psalm 31:24, I saw this: “Be strong and take heart, and all you who hope in the Lord.” I sensed God speaking to me and telling me to trust Him for strength and help and go forward. This has happened many times in my life. God used a scripture to speak a word in a difficult situation, a trial or a burden and His word inspired me to call upon Him and He answered by giving me the strength and help that I needed.

Almost every one of God’s greatest servants had moments of feeling overwhelmed and praying to God for His strength. He often answered: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10. These words were spoken to Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, David, Joseph and many others. They all had their trials and temptations and felt afraid and troubled. Like them, we have human weakness and struggles. We have moments when we wonder if we can continue. We also have an enemy who seeks to bring doubt and discouragement upon us all. God knows all about our situation and has already prepared a way for us to be strengthened. In Psalm 46, David writes, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” He concludes saying, “The Lord Almighty is with us.” We are not alone in our trouble; God is with us to help and strengthen us.

Remember that many have gone before us and their witness to God’s faithfulness encourages us to trust in God. Jesus Himself has gone before us. He has walked in our footsteps, felt our pain, experienced temptation and knows how to help us in our trials and temptations. Hebrews has many encouraging words for us in our journey. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are... Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15,16.  “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2. That’s where I want to finish my race, in the presence of God. He is more than willing to give me all the help I need to finish there. After all, He promised that His grace would be sufficient for me, and I believe Him.

By James Shires, President