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The stealer of confidence and courage.

It's not feeling good enough...or that your efforts are useless. Those thoughts are the footholds of doubt creeping in- telling me to quit or that the task is not for me to do.

Maintaining diligence in the face of not much encouragement, or even direct discouragement always has a way of making me question myself...

Am I supposed to be doing this?

Am I really making an impact?

What's the point? No one is listening to me. I'm not making much of a difference about anything.

I tried, right? So, it's okay to quit going. I'm sure someone else could do a much better job.

When I was younger, I used to succumb to the this feeling almost every time. I didn't see the point in continuing something if no one else valued the time I was putting in to it.

But now I see that view point as being short-sighted. Sure, for some instances it is best to cut your loses and move-on. But for the work of the Lord-no.

For starters, our measure of success or progress cannot be made by the same standards that are for profitable businesses because our measurable outcomes are not the same.

The goal isn't to become more famous or grow a bottom line. The goal is to share the gospel, to encourage others, to be a light in a dark world.

Secondly, the impact a person has on others is usually unknown and deeper and wider than what is mostly assumed.

Just because people aren't writing letters in, or notifying me that the work has made a difference doesn't mean that it hasn't.

I have ultimately been able to climb out of this pit of doubt by remembering who God says that I am and that the world is not my measuring stick- nor what will define me.

Immediately I am reminded of what scripture says in Galatians 1:10

"For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ."

I also find comfort in verses like Psalm 1: 1-3.

"How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. "

These verses speak to me that it is never a good idea to value the "advice" of people, including myself (since we are all sinners) over the instruction of God.

By staying planted in His word, soaking up what He wants us to accomplish, and not relying on our own strength or the world's ideas of success...then we will not wither, or fall into the pit of doubt and discouragement.

God wasn't wrong when he called Moses, Gideon, Peter, or Paul...and each of those men had numerous reason to not feel qualified.

God knows what He is doing and He doesn't need much to do a great work. Heck- He took nothing and created the whole universe.

Realizing this, I will trust in Him and not myself. I will plant my feet in His scriptures, soaking up His wisdom and direction, and I will hang my hat with confidence knowing that I am not laboring in vain.

God doesn't make mistakes.

And that- that's a fact I will never doubt.


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