It is something like no other. Do you have this? It is what separates angst from peace, hope from despair, confidence from worrying doubt.
Now, there is a healthy kind of doubt . . . which is not really doubt but more like a bottom-line seriousness, concern, conviction. Ultimately, in that case, there is no doubt, but there is a constant wanting to please and "chagrinning" (sometimes I like to make up words that I think ought to be:) over one's spiritual missteps and falling short. . . . It's what keeps you honest, keeps you looking over your shoulder, staying alert and engaged in the ongoing spiritual battle.
But when speaking of what separates, for instance, "confidence from worrying doubt" . . . the doubt I am referring to is that doubt which is like an abyss. There is no confidence there to fall back upon. We want that which separates confidence, hope . . . from THAT kind of deadly doubt.
There are so many harrowing things at the moment. Sometimes I wonder if what is wrong with me, causing these incessant headaches . . . accompanying some other disturbing symptoms . . . could be something quite serious. I still don't know what is going on there though have been able to manage them so as not to totally debilitate me. Also the general stresses and issues going on in others that I must help and bear, being the "head of the household." Then, like so many now, I know, working, working, working--never able to really get ahead, but just hold on, always a little bit behind. Also, the growing instability and insanity and outright evil which seems to be spreading and erupting in the society at large . . . and all the looming, inevitable crises which will only make all these matters that much more difficult. . . .
Yet, it never fails--I find if I turn to God . . . and engage with Him in real time, for real . . . there is that deep assurance and comfort which transcends all. No matter what else, having faith in the Lord and remembering His victory and keeping that truth foremost in memory and affection . . . puts to rest all these other relatively minor challenges. Oh, they are not minor in the sense that they are not worrisome, painful, disturbing, frightening at times. But they are RELATIVELY minor compared to the bigger, all important issue: What happens to the eternal soul? This life is so much just short, brutish, unfair, trying. . . . But it is nothing--neither in time or experience--compared to eternity.
Where our heart is . . . is where we treasure. If it is in this world, even though we claim otherwise, we will suffer immensely. For it is all lost, doomed, and deep down we know it. So no peace, no lasting joy can ever derive from being OVERLY attached to the things and even people of this world.
But having a daily, earnest, deliberate faith in God, in His promises, in His hope . . . instantly transforms a moment of bottomless despair . . . into invigorating expectation, which subsumes present miseries, and makes them only grist for the mill--the mill of soul growth which leads to ever increasing purity and sanctification. If we maintain and strengthen in faith, then our set-backs are not set-backs at all, but only grist for that divine mill, which is producing the stuff of life--of eternal, perfect, holy life.
If, when you turn to God, in these perpetual worldly moments of trial and angst, and no relief is found, then THAT is the order of the day! It is a sign that something is missing and must be sought and found and made a part of one's daily life. It shows a lack of real, real-time relationship with God. Instead, perhaps there arebut empty thoughts and intellectualizations (another made-up word?:) ABOUT some notion of God . . . but God isn't really there. No contact has actually been made. You have an idea of God, but not His Person in your midst, in a familiar way.
This is the order of the day--the most important thing to be about, above all else. This is the primary preparation and sustenance. Get right . . . by getting close . . . to God, to the Lord . . . if He truly be THE Lord of your life. . . . Amen? Amen!
God bless you in this, I pray for us all. . . .