You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
(Isaiah 26:3 ESV)
What’s one area of your life that seems impossible? The hardest to overcome, the hardest to have faith, the hardest to redeem. It could be a situation, a struggle, an insecurity, a belief — a particular area where, at some point, doubt seeped in and has never left.
I’ve recently learned that if there’s any place you should never doubt yourself, it’s at a roller skating rink.
Earlier this summer, I decided to learn how to roller skate. I found my dream skates, bought my gear, began practicing, and before I knew it, I found myself at a rink.
I stayed over an hour the first time, practiced going back and forth, using tips I learned from experienced skaters, and getting used to doing what I’ve been told.
There’s a beautiful thing that happens when you choose courage and make up your mind to learn something new. With practice and the right technique — even if you’re just starting out — muscle memory eventually kicks in and your movements start to feel natural. In those moments, I not only concentrate on how I’m moving, but what I’m thinking: I can do this. Wow, this is getting easier and easier. I’m doing it! I try my best to remain positive, and unsurprisingly, it keeps me on my two feet (even when I’m balancing on quads).
But when I start to get tired, I realize my thoughts tend to change: I’m getting tired. I think I’m going to fall. And yup, that’s when I usually lose my balance and grip the wall.
When it comes to roller skating, I’ve learned you don’t want to fall into doubt. If you start to panic, you’ll probably lose control of your body. If you start thinking you’re gonna fall, chances are, you might fall.
When it comes to our lives, we need to be mindful of our thoughts as well. The voices we listen to can impact our movement, or in other words, the direction we’re going. The messages we believe about who we are and who God is can mean the difference between obedience and disobedience. Being nourished and built up by faith or being constantly burdened by doubt. Embracing the freedom and victory that comes with Christ or feeling overwhelmed, abandoned, restricted, and defeated.
Sometimes, the enemy tries to attack you the hardest where God wants to use you the most — and oftentimes, the battle starts in the mind.
When doubt comes in.
Maybe you’re the one who has something to say, but you fear nobody wants to hear your voice. Maybe you have a testimony, but you’re often silenced by shame. Maybe you have a gift or talent that God can use, but you feel like you have nothing to offer.
The enemy attacks us in vulnerable areas. John 10:10 reminds us that he “comes to steal and kill and destroy.” The same area that God has gifted you in could be the same area the enemy tries to discourage you from pursuing. The same areas that need healing could be the same areas the enemy distracts you in. The same areas that could be used to showcase God’s power, love, and redemption could be the same areas the enemy tries to weaken, intimidate, and destroy.
There are many people who fell into moments of doubt or disbelief in the Bible.
Consider Peter’s fear. When Jesus commanded Peter out of the boat, Peter was able to walk on water when he had faith and kept his eyes on Jesus. The moment he feared the wind around him and started to doubt, he began to sink (Matthew 14:28-30).
But then, after saving Peter, Jesus asked, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v. 31).
Consider Sarah’s disbelief. When the Lord promised Abraham that his wife Sarah would have a son, Sarah laughed because they were both old in age; the chance of her becoming pregnant seemed extremely unlikely (Genesis 18:9-12).
But then, the Lord told Abraham. “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (v. 13-14a).
Consider Gideon’s self-doubt. When God called Gideon to fight the Midianites and save Israel, Gideon doubted his ability to win because he was the youngest son of Joash and was part of the weakest tribe of Manasseh.
But then, Lord asked him, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”
Consider Moses’ own self-doubt. When God asked Moses to speak to Pharaoh in order to set Israel free, Moses doubted his ability, saying he wasn’t eloquent enough and of “slow speech.”
But then, God told him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak” (Exodus 4:11-12).
I know it looks impossible.
Every one of them had their reasons to doubt. I could only imagine what they might have been thinking — or at least, what I might have thought in those circumstances. How could I possibly walk on water, especially in the midst of this strong wind? Or, There’s no way I could have a child! I’m too old; it’s too late for me. Or, I can’t win this battle. They are stronger than me. There’s no way I’ll have victory. Or, I can’t be the one to lead this. I’m not good at speaking; nobody will listen to me. I can’t do it.
But here’s the thing: Jesus was the one who commanded Peter to walk on water — not to see him fail — but to see his trust. If Peter kept his faith in Jesus, he would have stayed afloat (even if a storm came out of nowhere).
Similarly, God told Abraham that Sarah would have a child in her old age — because He could make it possible.
God wanted to use Gideon to save Israel even if he felt he was too weak — because He was powerful enough to prepare Gideon for battle and get the victory.
God wanted to use Moses to speak to Pharaoh even though he felt incapable — because, as God even told him, He would tell him exactly what he had to say.
Their circumstances didn’t seem ideal for the commandment or promise God gave them. But the Lord’s response to each of their concerns were powerful reminders of the truth: He was the one who called them, and He was the one who would equip them.
There is healing in trusting Him.
I don’t know what your impossible looks like right now. There may be weaknesses, pain, and past failures. But God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), He promises not to leave you comfortless (John 14:18), He promises to strengthen you (Isaiah 41:10), and He promises to provide for you (Philippians 4:19).
Yes, the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give life and give it more abundantly (John 10:10).
As you walk with God, know that He can bring new life into the very areas that seem dead, broken, or irreparable. Your obedience and trust in Him are the very things that will sustain you, bring glory to God, and point others to a loving and faithful Savior.
Perhaps you could show the hope, healing, and transformation Jesus brings in the very places you’ve walked through. Perhaps you could walk alongside those who think nobody else knows what it feels like, no one else understands, no one else has walked through this. Perhaps your example could prove that yes, Jesus can meet you there in that same area. Yes, even there. And yes, He can meet you there, too.
That’s the scope of God’s power and grace; it touches every single area of life. As He asked Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
The voice you listen to matters.
The words that you hold closest to your heart are the same ones your mind will cling to. Freedom is found in taking God at His word and holding onto His truth. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” We can draw near to God, study His Word, and know who He is and who we ought to be in Him.
There is so much joy in choosing humility and acknowledging God’s authority. So, let your fear of others draw you back to the fact that you are living for an audience of One — that only the Lord can satisfy your heart and offer true peace. Let your doubts remind you that you’re not the one in control. Let your weaknesses turn into obedience because you know He is the one who strengthens you.
There’s still so much for me to discover when it comes to roller skating, but over the past months, I’ve been enjoying the process. Because in the process of something, there is opportunity to learn, grow, and improve. And guess what? In every season of your life, there is an opportunity: a time to draw even closer to God. Lord, in this hard thing, what are you trying to show me? Help me learn, help me grow, help me improve. How could I reflect You in this? How should I respond to this?
Listen to the voice of your Redeemer, not the accuser. Reject Satan’s lies and hold onto God’s truth. You serve a powerful and loving God. Don’t let the enemy hold you back.
I encourage you to hold onto this hope: That same area the enemy wants to destroy, might just be the same area God wants to use. God has created you with value, given you unique gifts, and He has a purpose for you. The voice you listen to will impact your direction, so let God’s voice be the loudest voice in your life.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”
(Jeremiah 32:27 ESV)
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