Q: How can I control doubt when something I’m expecting seems not to be coming in time? This is shaking my belief.
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You have not given me any details, so I am not sure that you have prayed about this situation, but if you have not, I recommend that you do take this situation to God in prayer.
Waiting – exercising patience – is a very important quality to cultivate. Oftentimes we pray for something, and we feel so sure that it is the right thing; we pray and then we wait to experience the answer to our prayer. And when it does not come as we expect, we wonder whether we will see our prayer answered at all! And then doubt can creep in.
When thinking about this situation, it’s important to realize that your expectations may not be fulfilled just as you hoped – or that the answer to your prayer may have to wait – or that God has something even better in mind for you.
Here’s a very good section from The Urantia Book that helps us understand the answer to prayer. I recommend reading it carefully:
Among other important things, we read the following statement in that section:
168:4.9 6. All true prayers are addressed to spiritual beings, and all such petitions must be answered in spiritual terms, and all such answers must consist in spiritual realities. Spirit beings cannot bestow material answers to the spirit petitions of even material beings. Material beings can pray effectively only when they “pray in the spirit.”
168:4.13 10. All genuine spirit-born petitions are certain of an answer. Ask and you shall receive.
Doubt can be a stone in our path…doubt about our place in the world, about whether our faith is really worth having, about whether God really cares for us, about whether our prayers are heard…Jesus tells us that the “good fight of faith” is very important:
159:3.8 The world is filled with hungry souls who famish in the very presence of the bread of life; men die searching for the very God who lives within them. Men seek for the treasures of the kingdom with yearning hearts and weary feet when they are all within the immediate grasp of living faith. Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt—unbelief.
No matter whether your expectation is fulfilled or not, your faith in the goodness of God will help you rise above any disappointment you may feel if your prayers are not answered as you wish. God knows you better than you know yourself, and he does hear you. Leave all outcomes with him, try to relax, and know that whatever plans he has in store for you are good.
2:6.9 Facing the world of personality, God is discovered to be a loving person; facing the spiritual world, he is a personal love; in religious experience he is both. Love identifies the volitional will of God. The goodness of God rests at the bottom of the divine free- willness—the universal tendency to love, show mercy, manifest patience, and minister forgiveness.
And in the meantime, spend your energy in getting closer with God and sharing your inner life with him. As Jesus states in the passage above, God dwells inside of you – in your deepest mind and highest thinking – so making an effort to really commune with him will bring you comfort and guidance.
Thanks again for writing, and best wishes!