The Word — Jesus is the cure for toxic doubt

Published 9:52 am Sunday, July 31, 2022

For the last two years, I had not had so much as a sniffle! But then in happened. The first thing I noticed was a tickle in my throat that I couldn’t seem to satisfy. The tickle got progressively worse so that I was constantly trying to clear my throat. The next morning I took my first COVID-19 test and it came back negative. I wasn’t convinced so I began wearing a mask.

My throat began to ache and got worse by the hour. Headaches set in. The next day I took my second COVID-19 test and it came back positive so I began isolation at home. That’s when the fever set in that had me shivering one moment and waking up covered in sweat the next. I was blessed, however, because four days after my symptoms began they went away.

I used the calculator on the VDH website to determine how to respond. In my case, because my symptoms dramatically improved I was supposed to isolate for five days and then wear a mask for another five days. But was COVID-19 really gone? I had important events scheduled and I wasn’t sure if I should go ahead with them. Every time I had a tickle or a cough, the doubts would grow along with the temptation to cancel everything and stay home. I just didn’t know what I should do. Even when my temperature came back at 96.1 degrees, I still wasn’t sure. The doubts I struggled with were crippling.

My struggle with toxic doubt makes me so thankful for Jesus. In John 11:25-26 Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”

Eternal life is a present reality for all those who believe in Jesus. Eternal life is already mine. I will continue to struggle and I will die one day but don’t let that confuse you. Even though I die my soul will continue to live with Jesus for eternity because eternal life is already mine. There is no doubt about it.

How can Jesus promise that eternal life already belongs to those who believe in him? Because it doesn’t depend on anything I’ve done or haven’t done. Eternal life is ours because Jesus died for our sins and the Holy Spirit has given and maintains faith in us. That’s it. Listen again to 1 John 5:13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Knowing that I already have eternal life sets me free to live everyday joyfully. To make the most of life’s thrills and defeats. While I always want to try my best I know that eternal life is already mine simply because God gave his best.

Rev. Matthew Sorenson is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at pastor@stjohnsfarmville.org.