August 4, 2009, "Get Out of the Pit of Doubt"

Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,"
~ II Corinthians 10:5 ~

I received an email the other day from a reader of 'Triumphant Victorious Reminders'.

This particular reader truly has the gift of encouragement. She has the ability to encourage me in which I know is from the Holy Spirit utilizing her as a vessel. I have not met her, our only source of communication has been via email. From the short yet 'pithy' encouraging emails, her writing exudes profound wisdom.

Upon receiving her email, I was quite 'dumbfounded' to truly see that she was being deceived by not seeing the great gifts that are within her. Here is a small excerpt from the email, "...I don't sew or cook (very well) I am a helper when it comes to mending fences and I am an encourager. But, I still do not know how to do 'anything'. Do you understand what I am saying? You write, and probably many more things I don't know about. My mom plays the piano, my sister cooks...On and on. I feel so useless..."

As I continued to read her letter, I kept seeing her words, "I feel useless." As I read this I saw a word like a 'ticker' roll across my mind. The word was 'deceived'. As she was being deceived, she was falling into this 'trap of doubt' that God could truly utilize her as His vessel. As she was falling into the 'trap of doubt', her beliefs were being challenged. Many times when our belief system in the Lord is challenged, the result is that we don't walk out in 'faith' with God in all areas.

We must have faith in God to be able to utilize even His gifts within us. They are His gifts not ours, we are only 'stewards' of those gifts. Many times we will even find Him utilizing us in areas that we 'know' according to the 'world's' standards, we are 'not qualified'. In our weakness, His strength is made perfect (II Corinthians 12:9). Even our weakness through Him will make our greatest strengths look weak, because of what He is able to do through us as we must lean on Him.

I am so familiar with the 'turmoil' she was going through at that moment. It happens to me personally many more times than I would like to admit. I truly believe that comparing ourselves to other people is not what God intended. This is why we must immediately do what Second Corinthians 10:5 says to do, "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ".

This reminder brings me to the thought of track runners. Paul also compared himself to 'running the race' and keeping His eye on the 'prize'. Most any experienced runner who competes especially when it comes to sprints, they will say, "Don't look behind you to see where your other opponents are, it will slow you down." We must not look around us comparing ourselves, we must run the race together celebrating the gifts within each of us. If we don't it will only slow down our progress.

Her email was a 'reminder' to me that I must remember as we run this race together the plans of God for us are of peace and His plans are not to harm us or to make us feel inadequate (Jeremiah 29:11). When we become 'new' in Christ, that inadequacy is transformed to adequacy through Him. We can do all things that are of Him, in Christ Jesus who strengthens us.

If you are feeling useless today; today is your 'reminder' that God says you are useful
(II Timothy 2:21)! If you feel condemned, today is your 'reminder' that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). If you feel depressed, today is your 'reminder' that He is the lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3).

I must remember that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by Him!


  1. Hi Teresa,

    So many of your insights are just in line with what is happening in my life. As you know, I have been through so much hurt. I have been following Christ Jesus for almost 3 yrs now. Throughout all the pain I've experienced, I have been waiting and wondering, when will it end? Then, just recently, I woke up and said today, I am good. Maybe not in those exact words, but I simply told myself that that day I was going to believe that I was blessed even though I did not feel like it. I don't condemn those years of struggle, because in some way maybe that was what made me finally choose differently. But, I do feel the light finally peeking out of the darkness. And it was just a simple choice. Simple, yet so hard to finally come to understand...but in understanding that one thing, I have welcomed in Christ's love and light.

    In these "blogs" I see Him sharpening your gifts, Teresa, sculpting you at the potter's wheel, and using you to help others all at the same time...beautiful!


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