Overcoming Doubt by Trusting God rather than Ourselves.

Overcoming Doubt by Trusting God rather than Ourselves.

Read Proverbs 3:1-8

“Do not be wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”

The most challenging task to perform is to relinquish our self-control and blindly trust someone else. It is one thing to trust someone to help me up when I fall; it is quite another to stand on a chair, close my eyes, and then fall backward, trusting that the people behind me will catch me. We want to be in control, and we want to be masters of our destiny. Tragically this is also true in our relationship with God.

Proverbs is part of the wisdom literature in which the writers seek to give us practical guidelines on how to live in line with God’s establish moral order. For the sage, the focus was not on the theoretical discussions of theology but the practical application of our theology in daily life. To be wise was not merely to know how to make good decisions but to make decisions that place us within the parameters of God’s moral law. Thus the starting point of wisdom was the fear of the Lord (1:7). Without the fear of the Lord, one’s ability to discern what is wise is inherently flawed and will inevitably lead one to the realm of folly.

In 3:5-7, the psalmist then draws the practical application. The wisdom that begins with human reason, even our reason, is flawed because of the sinful nature and will ultimately lead us astray. Sin not only corrupts our actions, but it also corrupts our thoughts. Thus we cannot put any confidence in our own ability to discern what is right. Instead, we are to base our moral decisions upon the character and revelation of God. Only God and his word can give us the clarity to think rightly.

The reason we struggle with doubts is not that God is not clear; it is because God’s word conflicts with our thoughts. As God reminds us in Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” At the heart of faith is the recognition that God is infinitely wiser than us, that only he is omniscient, so instead of trusting in ourselves, we must learn to trust in God. The ultimate question we must ask is not, “What do I think about...” but “What does God say about…”. We need to come to realize that “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). Only when this becomes the focus will we discover true wisdom, and will we no longer be plagued by doubt but governed by faith. If we seek to alleviate all doubts by human reason, we never will. Only when we surrender our thoughts, actions, and values to God will we truly discover the confidence of faith.

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