Doubt and Fear

To be in doubt means "to be wavering or undecided in opinion or belief, to be uncertain or divided in opinion about, to hesitate to believe or trust, to feel doubt about, to call in question, to mistrust."

Fear is "the emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil, a particular apprehension of some future evil, a state of alarm or dread."

Doubt and fear are soul taints in your faculties of faith and trust. They arise from confusion and uncertainty. To sacrifice them in prayer is your only solution.










Edna Lister on Doubt and Fear

The ancients called imagination the king of all faculties, and with good reason. It can build magnificent dreams or horrible nightmares of fear. For example, you could imagine a lump in your breast and it could appear there overnight. Yet the lump will have no life but what you have given it. You can produce all sorts of creations that are not true, but they cannot last.

How long until you eliminate the fear depends on you. You can keep stowing more stuff under the surface to get rid of later. Some day you will decide to entertain it no more, but will say, "Get out," whenever some fear suggestion arises. Then the fear will no longer bother you. You spend hours entertaining these ideas. Any visitor you entertain as lavishly as you do these notions of fear would always return for more. You are the conqueror and must assert yourself.

The only way to end the fear is to raise your hands high and keep reaching up to God. Breathe deeply and declare that you are drawn into the heart of God, and nothing can drag you down or out. Keep declaring it until it becomes a reality in your life. Each time you climb out of the fear, you will climb higher – someday into the sunlight forever. Just hold fast, that’s all. None of this has ever touched your soul, only the self. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, September 1934.

Hard work does not kill you. Worry, fear and doubt are the trouble – have always been. Whether you admit it or not, all three are born of egotism. Hard? Truth. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, October 12, 1934.

St. James said we could not waver, "a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." Ask for anything in the Master's name, and never doubt. – Edna Lister, Life Is a Battle, March 29, 1936.

The worse things look, the closer you are to real freedom, if you keep your mind and heart clear of doubt and resentment. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, August 17, 1937.

When the last doubt and fear are erased from subconscious mind, then you have complete surrender. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, April 17, 1938.

Let no clouds of doubt obscure your soul's high courage. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, September 28, 1938.

Never doubt, fret or worry that the right things won't come. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, November 24, 1938.

Don't be anxious about outer things. Don't bind yourself to the outer. Look to the inner, and the outer will take care of itself. Anxiety slows the flow of the River of Life through you and dries up your love of life, leaving only husks to feed your soul. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, April 26, 1939.

Focus your mind on desire for perfection, rather than on figments of imaginary offenses, lest unwise thoughts betray you to doubt, which shall then carry you down a strong current of earth life, when your Way should be upward into the Light of eternal glory. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, November 3, 1939.

Out in the world we see fear, doubt, delay, one waiting upon another. One falls, and all the "waiters" fall flat on that weak one. People lose houses and opportunities because of heartbreaking delay and are full of grief. Our Father never fails us; we may wait, but we know the fulfillment does come. We can use joy, faith and love, be happy, understand, and when we do fail briefly, we know we are using doubt and fear, not the Light that God wants us to use. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, November 24, 1939.

Being indifferent, lukewarm or asking, "Why should I carry the burden when others don't," is disgraceful. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, February 13, 1941.

When in doubt about a situation, ask for God's Wisdom and guidance. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, February 22, 1942.

No bars, no doors, no barriers restrain you except your doubt and lack of faith. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, October 7, 1942.

Many unseen fears for the self lie in the confused mind, and one so confused always seeks to block the way of those sent by God. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, November 15, 1943.

Even a fraction of an instant's doubt in thinking or emotion when creating causes delay. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, January 16, 1944.

When all your ancient fear is gone, everything that once was yours will be yours again. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, December 8, 1944.

Hold the faith of God, in which may be no doubt or fear. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, December 11, 1944.

To wonder is to doubt. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, February 7, 1945.

Decree your desires, truly and steadfastly, then lift all buried doubts and fears as they arise in your conscious mind. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, June 21, 1945.

You must cleanse yourself of all fear and doubt. A little leaven can ferment and congest the whole. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, July 22, 1945.

Doubt and fear affect the solar plexus (the navel center), and you feel them as nausea. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, December 16, 1946.

Dig out old fears, which form old patterns beneath the surface that the subconscious mind continues to work out. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, July 1949.

God destroys nothing but negativity, doubts and fears that drag you down. – Edna Lister, I Remember, October 8, 1950.

Any negative thinking, especially fear, doubts or turning back to a thought of delay, puts sand in the gears and carburetor. You encounter physical disorder when you entertain doubts. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, July 30, 1951.

A group composed of fearful people cannot do much. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, October 15, 1956.

Stay up, where Power is undiluted, unadulterated by fears for the little self. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, November 22, 1956.

To look back, doubt or fear cuts every line and destroys God's Plan for the matter. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, September 5, 1957.

If you have any fear, you must conquer it. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, August 28, 1958.

If you awaken with foreboding, your subconscious has uncovered some buried fear. – Edna Lister, Intuition or Hunch?, September 18, 1955.

Every trifling word of doubt, of seeing darkness before you seek full Light, magnifies itself in proportion to the Power going through you. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, December 17, 1956.

Stand steadfast and secure. Stay up where your antennae reach the Source. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, February 23, 1960.

You pamper self with fear and "things" to keep yourself from achieving. To give up is an instantaneous act. Emulate the prodigal son, who gave up and went home. You can do anything instantly. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, March 21, 1960.

If you hold all lines of Light without sinking into fear, doubt, fretting of self, your miracles shall come. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, March 3, 1960.

Kick the fear upstairs every time it comes up and pay no attention to it. Anything else is an excuse. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, March 21, 1960.

Doubting that God can use you for perfection is unbecoming, which is why we say, "This is good," no matter how ugly. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, April 7, 1960.

"If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest." – Luke 12:26 directly forbids sitting and concentrating to make things visible under adeptship. This includes patting your self on the back by talking about it. – Edna Lister, Consider the Lilies, May 29, 1960.

Doubts and fears arise in the contraction phase of any expansion-contraction cycle. If you finely hone your sense of timing, under the principles of equilibrium, harmony and balance, you can maintain perfect poise in faith. – Edna Lister, How Can I Help Myself, May 31, 1960.

When you backslide, you think, "Why is this happening to me?" This reveals doubt and fear, a definite soul dread of the law because you unconsciously know the law will strike back. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, January 22, 1961.

Do not be double-minded! You cannot say, "God is with me always," then whine, "I am lonely." – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, September 3, 1964.

When you're afraid the other fellow will raise heck, he will. You may not hold a bit of a fear idea. Cleanse it! Speak matter-of-factly, stand firmly and believe the Lord is working it out. Put it on the altar and make a stand: "That's the way it's going to be." – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, July 31, 1965.

Doubt is a form of self worship. When some seeds seem to fall on barren ground, see Light on the situation, wasting no time in any false worship. Any thought of self is a form of bowing to an idol. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, July 18, 1966.

The kingdom of heaven is open to everyone for a price – full acceptance, without a doubt or fear. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, June 5, 1967.

Do not permit self to become anxious about anything. – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, January 9, 1968.

You'll not "try," you'll do! – Edna Lister, Unpublished Papers, May 9, 1971.

One of the saddest conditions earth living has produced is that fear draws men together more often than love. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

Don't be awestruck by others or try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as you can. Most people, despite their confident appearance and demeanor, are often as scared and doubtful of themselves as you are. – Edna Lister, Undated Papers, 1933-1971.

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Treatments for Doubt and Fear

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. – Psalm 23.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When Thou saidst, "Seek ye My face," my heart said unto thee, "Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Hide not Thy face far from me; put not Thy servant away in anger: Thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. – Psalm 27.

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Stories That Illustrate Doubt and Fear

The Resurrection of Jairus' Daughter: And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, and besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.

While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.

And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat. – Mark 5:22-24, 36-43. (See also Luke 8:41-42, 49-56.)

Command Over Wind and Waves: Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. – Luke 8:22-25.

Walking on Water: Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. – Matthew 14:22-32. (See Mark 6:45-51 and John 6:16-21.)

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New Testament on Doubt and Fear

You cannot "walk on water" when you doubt. – See Matthew 14:25‑31.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27.

Be not afraid, only believe. – Mark 5:36.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.– Mark 11:22-24.

Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. – Luke 12:4-5.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. – Luke 12:32.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. – Acts 10:34‑35.

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. – Romans 14:1-2.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. – James 1:5-8.

God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7.

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. – 1 Peter 2:17.

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. – 1 Peter 3:15‑16.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. – 1 John 4:18.

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. – 1 John 4:16-21.

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Old Testament on Doubt and Fear

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. – Psalm 33:18.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. – Psalm 34:7.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. – Psalm 56:3-4.

Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Psalm 64:1.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. – Proverbs 111:10.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. – Psalm 118:6.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. – Psalm 118:8.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7.

Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. – Proverbs 1:33.

Whoso despiseth the Word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. – Proverbs 13:13.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. – Proverbs 29:25.

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Doubt and Fear in Other Sacred Writings

Fear is nothing but a betraying of the help which reason offers; the fearful expectation within, being less, counts the ignorance more than the cause which brings the torment. – Wisdom of Solomon 17:12.

At first, wisdom will walk with you by crooked ways, bring fear and dread upon you, and torment you with her discipline, until she may trust your soul, and try you by her laws. Then will she return you to the straight way, and comfort you, and shew you her secrets; if you go wrong, she will forsake you, and give you over to your own ruin. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:17-19.

They who fear the Lord are a sure seed, and they who love Him an honorable plant: they who regard not the law are a dishonorable seed; they who transgress the commandments are a deceivable seed. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 10:19.

No man is greater than he who fears the Lord. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 10:24.

The fear of the Lord is all wisdom; and in all wisdom is the performance of the law, and the knowledge of His omnipotency. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 19:20.

He who has small understanding, and fears God, is better than one who has much wisdom, and transgresses the law of the most High. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 19:24.

A fearful heart in the imagination of a fool cannot stand against any fear. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 22:18.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of his love: and faith is the beginning of cleaving unto him. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 25:12.

They who fear the Lord shall find judgment, and shall kindle justice as a light. – Wisdom of Ben Sirach 32:16.

None will be saved unless they believe in the Crucifixion, [Resurrection and Ascension]. When you examine death, it will teach you election. None of those who fear death will be saved; for the kingdom belongs to those who put themselves [their self] to death. Make yourself like the son of the Holy Spirit! – The Apocryphon of James, Codex I, 2.

Fear not the flesh nor love it. If you fear it, it will gain mastery over you. If you love it, it will swallow and paralyze you. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3.

They were ignorant of the Father, He being the one whom they did not see. Since it was terror, disturbance, instability, doubt and division, many illusions were at work by means of these, and (many) empty fictions, as if they were sunk in sleep, and found themselves in disturbing dreams. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2.

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Etymology of doubt: Latin dubitare, "to waver."

Etymology of fear: Old English foer, "danger, sudden calamity."


Doubt and fear are soul taints, moral defects, negative influence, and spiritual contamination.


An Essay on Man
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan,
The proper study of mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A being darkly wise and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride,
He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast;
In doubt his mind or body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little or too much;
Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd;
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!
Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides,
Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides;
Instruct the planets in what orbs to run,
Correct old time, and regulate the sun;
Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere,
To the first good, first perfect, and first fair;
Or tread the mazy round his followers trod,
And quitting sense call imitating God;
As Eastern priests in giddy circles run,
And turn their heads to imitate the sun.
Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule—
Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Alexander Pope


Quotes

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act 1, Scene 4, 86-89


References

Pope, Alexander. "An Essay on Man," The Complete Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Bliss Perry, editor. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1902, 137.

Shakespeare, William. "Measure for Measure," Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Lucio in Act 1, Scene 4, 87-89. W.J. Craig, editor. London: Oxford University Press, 1914; Bartleby.com, New York, 2000.

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981.


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