Note from JesusDear Disciple,
Doubt! Even the best people have periods of doubt. My cousin John the Baptist was in prison awaiting certain death at the hands of Herod. John’s prophecies about Me were bold. His proclamation of repentance and practice of baptism were powerful. His willingness to give up his popularity and point people to Me was incredibly courageous and humble. However, even John had his lingering doubts.
Why? Why would someone so bold, powerful, courageous, and humble have doubts?
Think about it. Courage is boldness in the face of danger and doubt. Faith is trust that risks everything in the face of uncertainty and danger. You will have doubts — sometimes deep doubts just like John faced. John was wanting to know with certainty that he had not wasted his life as he approached his death. So he asked, “Are You the Promised One, or shall we keep looking for someone else?”
As I said while on earth, “Listen, there is no human being greater than this man, John the Baptist.” Yet John had doubts as he faced his own martyrdom because My work didn’t seem to match his understanding of My role.
You have been born of God into My kingdom. In this way, you are greater than John (Luke 7:28). Still you will have doubts, and they will find their gravity in the same two places John’s doubts found theirs:
First, life is hard and can rattle you to your soul. The world may not appreciate the truth of the life you live to honor the Father. John’s passionate and faithful proclamation of truth landed him in Herod’s jail and ultimately led to his martyrdom. The world’s brutal treatment of God’s people can lead to times of doubt in their hearts.
Second, you have certain expectations of Me that sometimes don’t seem to line up with your reality. Even in those times when I appear to be distant and unconcerned, please remember that I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6; Romans 8:32-39).
In your doubt, remember what I helped John the Baptist do: he got a fuller picture of Who I AM. In your life, I will help you in a similar way through a deeper look at Scripture, My promises, the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and the people of faith who have come before you and those who support you now.
My hope is for you to have a deep understanding of My grace and to have a faith that can hang onto hope through life’s storms when things don’t seem to line up with your expectations of the Father’s promises. Remember, doubt is part of living life in a tough world. The greatest heroes in Scripture had their moments of doubt. Yet hanging onto faith, looking at great examples of faith in Scripture, and using Scripture to get a fuller view of Me will help you be faithful… even to the point of death. Courageous faith is choosing to believe in the face of uncertainty and difficulties.Verses to LiveThe following passage from Luke’s Gospel recounts the events when John’s disciples came with his question about Me. Notice that My answer wasn’t just a bunch of words; my answer to John’s disciples included actions. These actions were specific types of miracles: miracles that Isaiah had prophesied the Messiah would perform — prophecies John knew. So My explanation about fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah made clear to John that I AM indeed the Messiah!News of Jesus spread across the whole province of Judea and beyond to the surrounding regions. When these reports reached John’s disciples, they brought news to John himself, who was known for his preaching and ritual cleansing. John sent two of his disciples to ask the Lord, “Are You the Promised One, or shall we keep looking for someone else?”
They came to Jesus and asked their question exactly as directed by John the Baptist.
Before He answered John’s messengers, Jesus cured many from various diseases, health conditions, and evil spirits. He even caused many blind people to regain their sight.
Jesus (to John’s disciples):Go and tell John what you’ve witnessed with your own eyes and ears: the blind are seeing again, the lame are walking again, the lepers are clean again, the deaf hear again, the dead live again, and good news is preached to the poor. Whoever is not offended by Me is blessed indeed.When John’s messengers left, Jesus talked to the crowds about John.
Jesus:When you went out into the wilderness to see John, what were you expecting? A reed shaking in the wind? What were you looking for? A man in expensive clothing? Look, if you were looking for fancy clothes and luxurious living, you went to the wrong place — you should have gone to the kings’ courts, not to the wilderness! What were you seeking? A prophet? Ah yes, that’s what John is, and even more than a prophet. The prophet Malachi was talking about John when he wrote,I will send My messenger before You, to clear Your path in front of You.Listen, there is no human being greater than this man, John the Baptist. Yet even the least significant person in the coming kingdom of God is greater than John.The common people and tax collectors heard God’s own wisdom in Jesus’ assessment of John because they had been ritually cleansed through baptism by John. But the Pharisees and religious scholars hardened their hearts and turned their backs on God’s purposes for them because they had refused John’s baptism.
Jesus:The people of this generation — what are they like? To what can they be compared? I’ll tell you: they’re like spoiled kids sitting in the marketplace playing games, calling out:We played the pipes for you,
but you didn’t dance to our tune!
We cried like mourners,
but you didn’t cry with us!You can’t win with this generation. John the Baptist comes along, fasting and abstaining from wine, and you say, “This guy is demon-possessed!” The Son of Man comes along, feasting and drinking wine, and you say, “This guy is a glutton and a drunk, a friend of scoundrels and tax collectors.” Well, wisdom’s true children know wisdom when they hear it.(Luke 7:17-35)Response in PrayerAlmighty God, thank You! Thank You for giving me a Bible that is full of people like me — people who love You but struggle with real-life faith and doubt. I trust You, Holy Spirit, to lead me through these times and conform me to be like Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Source: Passion for Praise