How do you feel when you know you can do something but someone doubts your ability? It's pretty devastating isn't it? You've got yourself all psyched up to do this great thing and someone comes along who pops your bubble with "Are you crazy? You can't do that". Suddenly you feel like you can't. You have to have a lot of confidence and determination to do great things in the face of doubters.
Doubt is a destructive thing no matter what we are talking about but especially when it comes to your relationship with God. Here we have been promised all these things by Jesus and we should be able to act upon them, but many of us don't because of that nagging voice of doubt. "What if ..." is what we hear over and over again. What if that promise isn't for you? What if he is holding something against you? What if you've got it all wrong? What if he doesn't really love you? Maybe this is the reason apostle Paul prayed this for the Ephesians:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:16-17)
Yes, we need to be strengthen in our inner being so that we have the faith to permit Jesus to live in us. There are plenty of voices on the outside and inside yelling at us that we are stupid to believe. It is only going to get worse. As the world looks for justification to hate the Church it will attack the truth with lies and will try to paint a picture of you to make you feel stupid for believing.
The pressure will only get worse as we have prominent celebrities telling parents to believe what they want but not to pass their superstition on to their children. I know parents don't want to hear it but there is a concerted effort in the school system to separate children from faith in Jesus. It comes as no surprise as the Bible tells us over and over again what the last days look like:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive,disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
You think it is bad now? Watch what is already here and growing. There will be hatred in the world against the Church and even within the Church there will be destructive forces trying to destroy you, the Bride of Christ:
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (2 Timothy 4:1)
We need to check ourselves and encourage others to check themselves. We need to take inventory and see where we stand in faith with Jesus. We need to shore things up now because the days are growing short and the great tide of opposition is beginning to hit us. It will not get better and is promised to only get worse. If you don't have faith to stand up under the little bit you have been facing now because of the name of Jesus, how do you hope to stand against the great storm that is approaching?
I'll tell you how: you will stand in the power that is strengthening you in your inner being. That power is given by the Father to insure that you will stand because in faith Jesus lives in you. You are far more powerful, strong, determined, and persevering than you can possibly imagine because of Jesus in you. Block out those voices, get your eyes fixed on the goal, don't stop praising Jesus and, no matter what it costs. never give up on the hope that is ours. Our Father will see us through the days that lay before us and we will meet together in the home he has prepared. Until the that day comes, stay strong in the Lord and stand your ground.