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Articles Tagged with: God

WHAT DOUBT IS AND IS NOT

August 5th, 2015 | By admin

By Paul Holland

    When Jesus came down from the mountain where He was transfigured, there was a daddy there who had a son possessed and tormented by a demon. The disciples could not cast out the demon. Jesus commented to the dad: “All things are possible to him who believes.” The heart-broken daddy cried, “I do believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

    That boy’s dad expresses the doubt in our hearts, sometimes. “Lord, I believe, as far as I can go. But doubt is clouding the path.”

    You and I are not God. It sounds pointless to say that and yet, we doubt because we are not all-powerful and all-knowing. Doubt is not skepticism in the sense that we do not want to believe. Nor is it unbelief in that we choosenot to believe. Doubt, to quote the medieval philosopher Anselm of Canterbury, is “faith seeking understanding.”

     Doubt means that we have a pain in our heart that is drawing our attention. It might be pain relative to our own weaknesses or sin or inconsistencies. It might be pain relative to our trust in Jesus to resolve some problem we are having. It might be pain relative to our faith in God that He will, in fact, walk us through the valley of the shadow of death.

    But, as pain can send us to the doctor, so doubt should send us to the Great Physician. Think about the patriarch Job, what he experienced, and how he came through it with a strong conviction in the God of heaven. You and I, too, have to make the decision to put our trust in God, regardless of the weaknesses in our heart: fear, anxiety, confusion.

     Because we are not all-knowing and all-powerful, we have to trust the One who is.

     When you look out at the sky in the mid-day, you do not see stars. Yet, you believe the sky is still full of them. Why? You can’t see them. But you trust, based on what you know, that they are there.

     When we doubt, we feel a sense of discomfort in our heart. This discomfort is not in sync with our knowledge, our reason, or our faith. So, to which do we succumb? Our knowledge? Or our doubt?

     Doubt is a indication that we need to go back to God and His word and strengthen what might be weakened by the onslaughts of the Devil.

GOD’S IMMUTABILITY

May 11th, 2015 | By admin

By Paul Holland 

    In 1776, Augustus Toplady wrote a song which we still sing today: “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.”

     Our Lord is the Rock of Ages, based on such passages as Deuteronomy 32:3-4: “For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”

The idea that God is a rock is the idea that God does not change. He is not susceptible to the same whims and passions that afflict the human race. Indeed, God isimmutable.

The word “immutable” means “unchanging over time or unable to be changed.” In describing God as “immutable,” we mean to say that God does not change His nature.

One of the most obvious verses on the immutability of God is Malachi 3:6: “For I the Lord do not change.” Other verses show the same: Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalm 102:26-27; 103:17; Isaiah 28:17; Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17.

There are, therefore, things that God cannot do. He cannot do something that is outside or beyond or againstHis nature. He cannot lie. He cannot do anything immoral. He cannot make a rock so heavy that He cannot lift it. He cannot deceive. He cannot do something that is illogicalor irrational.

Because God’s nature does not change, we have examples where God is good to non-Israelites because of their response to Him:  Abimelech in Genesis 20; Balaam in Numbers 22-24; King Cyrus in Isaiah 45; Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4; Nineveh in Jonah. Consider Jeremiah 18:8: “if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.”

    In other passages we see that God punishes the disobedience in His own people and we see the immutable nature of God: Moses in Numbers 20, David in 2 Samuel 12, Israel itself, Peter in Matthew 16:23; Ananias and Sapphira.

    Because God does not change, we can trust His word – Numbers 23:19. We can trust His promises completely – Romans 4:21. We know God will be faithful to Himself - 2 Timothy 2:13. His nature is an anchor for our soul – Hebrews 6:17-18. His nature is the foundation for our Christian service – 1 Corinthians 15:58.

    You can trust the Rock of Ages because He does not change!


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