Conquering Self-Doubt.

By: Ron Bouchard.

God came one night to the child Jeremiah and spoke wondrous things to him.  He told Jeremiah that He’d always known him, even before he was conceived in his mother’s womb, and that while He was forming Jeremiah in the womb, He chose to set him apart for a special purpose: to speak God’s very words to the world!

Jeremiah responded with fear and self-doubt, and said to God:

“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” (Jeremiah 1:6)

Looking closely at what Jeremiah said, we find that his self-doubt was really a cover for the fact that he doubted God.  He didn’t believe that God could do and would do what He said, with his life . . .

At that point The Lord could have shrugged His shoulders and said, “Ok, I’ll find someone else who will believe me.” But, that is not what He did.

No, what God did was gently rebuke Jeremiah and declare to him what would actually take place in his life.  Then the Lord performed something quite intimate with Jeremiah:

He reached out with His hand and touched his mouth tenderly, and with that touch, God filled Jeremiah’s being with His Word.  That very Word would accomplish the will of God as it went forth from Jeremiah’s lips and life!

My friend, if you are a lover of God, beware of self-doubt.  As a believer, it is really a disguise for a lack of faith in God.  Look to Him.  Allow the Lord to touch your life with His grace, His power and His life-giving Word.  Cast self-doubt away and trust in the Lord with all of your heart!

His Grace, Ron

P.S. Here is Jeremiah’s complete account of what the Lord did:

Jeremiah 1:4-10  Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations.
Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatsoever I command you you shall speak.
Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.
Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.


Week of August 19

Providing for the Family

 1 Timothy 5:1-16  

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. — 1 Timothy 5:8

Recently a friend recommended a course offered at her church titled “Financial Self-Defense.” My first thought was that the church should offer another one called “Financial CPR” for those whose finances need complete resuscitation.

My husband and I are financial idiots. We continue to be thankful for those smarter than we are who are willing to step alongside us to walk us through mortgage paperwork and insurance headaches. In keeping with our simple financial minds, our financial goals are pretty simple: tithe and give offerings faithfully; get out—and stay out—of debt (I’m hoping we’ll get there yet!); and take care of our family, including our parents, should that become necessary.

But, like most people, we have times of severe financial stress. One of the worst times was when our children were young and the furnace in our big, old house gave out for good. It was December, a time when it starts to get really cold in Illinois, where we live. And December is also a time when our bank account is emptier than usual because of Christmas spending.

Our furnace repairman was a deacon at our church, and he encouraged us to let our church help us pay for the furnace through the benevolent fund. It’s an extremely humbling experience to lean on your Christian brothers and sisters this way, but we gratefully accepted the help. As recipients of that financial aid, we now are more keenly aware of the importance of giving to the benevolent fund at our church. We know what it feels like to need a cash rescue.

Generally, though, David and I work hard to provide for our children—by giving them, not a luxurious life, but a simple, safe and healthy one. This is a Biblical concept. The apostle Paul wrote that it is a shame for believers not to set a loving example by generously providing for their own households. The church plays a role in helping those who are alone in the world—those who are orphaned, widowed or abandoned. But Paul reminded Timothy that Christians who fail to take responsibility for their own families are worse than unbelievers. That’s quite a reminder!

David and I need God’s help to achieve our financial goals, and we’re trusting God to help us be the ones to provide for the needs of our four kids and our parents. With God’s help, we can keep his admonition in mind to care for our own household.

—Annette LaPlaca

Let’s Talk

• What financial goals do we share as a couple?

• Have we encountered difficulties in providing for our own household? How have we gotten help? In what ways has that assistance helped us become more discerning about handling money?

• How is financially providing for our family part of our calling as Christians?

This devotion is from the Couples’ Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion.”

Revelation 14:1

The apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” This teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” Nothing else attracted the apostle’s attention so much as the person of that Divine Being, who hath redeemed us by his blood. He is the theme of the songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels. Christian, here is joy for thee; thou hast looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb. Through thy tears thine eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb exalted on his throne. It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of his presence; thou shalt dwell with him forever. “I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!” Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, “Heaven and Christ are the same thing;” to be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ. That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters—“O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want.” It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not thy soul say so?

“Not all the harps above

Can make a heavenly place,

If God his residence remove,

Or but conceal his face.”

All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is “to be with Christ.”