Attitudes of Yah: Encountering Doubt: A Cynthia Heald Study-Part 3
In parts 1-2 we learned what doubt means, we studied those who doubted in the Bible. This part is going to discuss how to overcome doubt.
Asaph for those who don't know who he is: Asaph was a prominent Levite singer and seer in David’s court and was the son of Berachiah of the tribe of Levi. (1Chr 6:39, 1Chr 15:17, 1Chr 15:19; 1Chr 16:4-7; 2Chr 29:30). He is the ancestor of the Sons of Asaph, one of the great family guilds of temple musicians.
In Psalm 77 Asaph has doubts about the Faithfulness of Abba Yah. We will be learning some definitions from this verse that is very important for our understanding of doubt.
Psalm 77:1- KJV
[[To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.]]
I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Now let us break down the important words so that we can understand what is being said
Questions to keep in mind are:
Why is Asaph in anguish and how did he find relief?
vs 2 In the day of my trouble H6869 I sought the Lord: my sore H3027 ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
of my trouble-H6869
my sore-H3027-יָדyâd, yawd; a primitive word; a hand (the open one [indicating power, means, direction, etc.], in distinction from 3709, the closed one); used (as noun, adverb, etc.) in a great variety of applications, both literally and figuratively, both proximate and remote [as follows]:—( be) able, × about, armholes, at, axletree, because of, beside, border, × bounty, broad, (broken-) handed, × by, charge, coast, consecrate, creditor, custody, debt, dominion, × enough, fellowship, force, × from, hand(-staves, -y work), × he, himself, × in, labour, large, ledge, (left-) handed, means, × mine, ministry, near, × of, × order, ordinance, × our, parts, pain, power, × presumptuously, service, side, sore, state, stay, draw with strength, stroke, swear, terror, × thee, × by them, × themselves, × thine own, × thou, through, × throwing, thumb, times, × to, × under, × us, × wait on, (way-) side, where, wide, × with (him, me, you), work, yield, × yourselves.
We read that Asaph is having trouble, distress with the direction his life is taking and wonders if Abba Yah Removed His Mercy from him.
vs7 Will the Lord cast off H2186 for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
Cast off- H2186
Here we come to understand Asaph feels abandoned rejected pushed aside by Abba Yah and wonders if he is no longer pleasing or acceptable (which is what favorable means) to Abba Yah.
vs8 Is his mercy H2617 clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
Is His Mercy H2617
Asaph is questioning whether or not Abba Yah removed His Kindness and Compassion from him.
The Definition of Kindness:
Kindness is a type of behavior marked by acts of generosity, consideration, or concern for others, without expecting praise or reward.
The Definition of Mercy
compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
How many times in our lives have we doubted whether or not Abba Yah cares? Especially when our lives are twisting and turning in ways we never saw coming or when we question our actions either past or present. It is very easy to doubt the Love our Abba has for us when we feel doubt and begin to lose hope.
What does Abba Yah Promise us?
Sometimes when Abba Yah wants us to be still and allow Him to work, we can find ourselves doubting if He even cares. It's vital to our mental health to know how Abba Yah is there 24/7 even when it seems He is not.
Now let us answer the question: Why was Asaph in anguish and how did he find relief?
Asaph didn't know what direction his life was going in or if it was the right direction. This unknown feeling was causing him doubts to the point he was losing sleep and questioning our Creators Motives for allowing this uncertainty to come in.
He was able to find relief by remembering and reflecting on what Abba Yah had done for him before.
It can be hard at times to change our perspective and reflect on the Goodness and Mercy of our Abba. Especially when we lose sleep and our mind cannot rest properly because we are analyzing everything that is going wrong in our lives.
So how can we overcome doubt? First we need to understand what doubt does to our brains.
Strayer University- The Washington Post
Research in science, psychology and education shows that self-doubt and fear—powerful impediments to progress—can be overcome with focus, careful practice and knowledge of brain chemistry.
Magnetic resonance imaging and brain mapping show us exactly how the brain’s filters process information, including our thoughts, opinions, beliefs and attitudes—for better or worse. Where doubt is concerned, "these filters create medical, electro-chemical and bio-physical self-fulfilling prophecies. We put the limits on our own potential," said Andrew Wittman, a mental toughness and leadership expert.
MRIs show us that doubt shuts down half the brain. Empower that unused space and turn on your problem-solving side by asking yourself, how would I solve this problem? Two minutes of cognitive reflection gives your brain time to realign creatively.
Our brains can change over time, for the better. Knowing that doubt is one of many normal human emotions running through our brains, learning how to manage and transcend any negative feelings is the key to overcoming doubt.
A common element among successful people "is the resilience they exhibited when things weren't going their way," said Timothy Bono, an assistant dean and lecturer in psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.
"Instead of allowing setbacks to paralyze them or provide justification to call it quits, they reflect on what they could have done differently and they use that to motivate future success."
How to Overcome Doubt? These steps laid out by the Huffington Post are Wonderful
1. Have faith.
"If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits." - Don Ward
Faith helps remove all doubt. Once you have a vision of what you want and have faith in it, this will give you the faith and strength to get there. Faith is a commitment. Remember you wouldn't have the desire in your goals if you didn't have the ability to achieve it.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
No matter what we do in life we must always keep Abba Yah/God in front. Whatever He asks of us and whatever we face, Nothing is Impossible with God by our sides.
Another synonym for doubt is disbelief. By building our faith in God, in ourselves, and in our abilities to make sound choices we are able to take back control of our thoughts and redirect the "bumpy curves in the road" which allows us to build our faith. Disbelief is a hinderance. As we read in Psalm 77 and most likely experienced ourselves, doubt causes lack of sleep and restless nights, when we can't sleep we don't make sound choices.
2. Doubt can only be removed by action.
Always do something. The only wrong choice is not making a choice. As Martin Luther King once said "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run then walk. If you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." or as Albert Einstein said, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving." Always choose an action because any action, even the wrong one will help you grow.
We must keep moving. When Abba Yah pointed out what was wrong with me: I was in doubt and becoming depressed, He had me do this study. We should Always be in prayer asking Abba Yah for His guidance. When we doubt Him, do what Asaph did and make a list of All the times The Lord God Almighty was there for you. Sometimes, we don't even realize what He has kept us from or what He has done. Having Gratitude and Humble enough to ask for guidance is key. I couldn't pin point what was wrong, but Yah could and I listened.
Sometimes you only action is to be still and know Yah is Yah and He will Work it out. I visualize laying my burdens at His feet and walking away. That is an action, a mental and visual exercise we can all practice when facing obstacles in life.
3. Don't invest in doubt.
Overthinking will never solve any problems. Sometimes when you move away from the fog of a situation you can see it from a better position. So take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective and you will find the answer.
4. Make decisions from a position of love.
Before making a decision practice taking 10 deep breaths. Physiologically this will increase the oxygen in your body to help you relax, feel more peaceful and gain more clarity.
"There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open hearted vision of people who embrace life. "- John Lennon
Box breathing Techniques
Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. ...
Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut.
Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 at least three times.
Doing box breathing before decisions allows you to take in the oxygen and slow down your heart rate relaxing. Repeat until you feel calmer and clear
5. Don't be afraid to fail.
Stretch outside of your comfort zone. If a fisherman casts his line 100 times to try and catch a fish, and only catches one on his final cast he has failed 99 times but is still successful.
Ministry to me is still new and producing content with Abba Yah is the only help He has sent me. So I question whether or not I give enough information and explanation.
I must remember:
I am only the messenger and as long as I do His Will and If Nobody listens, reads or views what He has me write oh well. That doesn't signify failing on my part because I was obedient to Him and I know He corrects me when I am wrong. Even if nobody listens, I am and that's enough for me.
Doubt is something we all face and if left untreated self-doubt can lead to mental disorders. People with pervasive self-doubt may begin to have a difficult time making decisions and experience low self-confidence. This can then lead to anxiety and depression. However, it is possible to overcome self-doubt and have a fulfilling life.
We must Remember All Things are Possible with Yah. No matter what we face, we need to remember:
We are not alone in this life. As the Body of Yah we must unite and help each other.
Sometimes we are in a process of Refinement and we need to just Be Still and Let Yah work.
When we are uncertain and face doubt, We need to get into prayer and Ask Yah for Guidance and then we need to Listen for a response. His responses for me come in whispers, dreams, quick thoughts, or signage on the road. A lot of times He sends me messages via license plates and I know to go to Strong's and look up the number or even Bible verse. I have had many breakthroughs having read numbers or verses from a plate driving down the street.
Everything is Temporary!!! This too shall pass