This is the time of the year when we remember and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year. For a brief moment, we can put the year behind us and look forward to the hope we have in the Lord. When He came, as a child to Bethlehem, He came so that you and I could experience the wonders of God's love towards humanity and towards you as an individual. The Christmas story is a story of salvation, and how God's love came to rescue, save, and deliver all of mankind. One of the very first aspects of the Christmas story was when the angel came to Mary and told her about what was about to happen. If we look at the life of Mary we can see how she moved from a place of doubt, to a place of complete confidence in God. It is a picture of salvation for each one of us. May the wonders of His love, move you from a place of doubt and fear, to a place where you can believe in God and His great mercy towards you.
DOUBT - THE ULTIMATE HINDERANCE!
In the book of Acts chapter 1, we see the story of how the angel came and visited Mary and told her about the great things that were about to happen.
Luke 1:28-33 The angel went to her and said, ''Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.'' Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ''Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.''
Just having an angelic being visit must have been an awesome experience, but then to be told that you were chosen and that these great things would happen through you, a young girl, must have been daunting. Mary's initial reaction was so typical of all of humanity. Firstly, she was troubled, confused, disturbed and fearful. In the same breath, when we hear about the wonders of His love for us, as individuals, and His gift of salvation and eternal life, we too can have questions, concerns, hesitations and even fears. Then Mary appears to move into the arena of doubt.
Luke 1:34 Mary asked the angel, ''But how can this happen? I am a virgin.''
She begins to realise that this cannot happen, and she questions the angel and gives him reason for her position. The angel graciously confirmed how things would happen and addressed Mary's doubts. Doubt has the potential of undermining our faith and robbing us of the potential blessing that God has prepared for us. Doubt is the start of a downward spiral. Doubt causes us to shift our focus from what is promised and it is the first step towards fear. Fear has a way of paralysing us and it stops us from experiencing all that God has prepared for us. We can doubt, but only for a moment and then we must move in the direction of believing. We should doubt out doubts and believe.
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