In our most confident moments of life, we can hardly fathom why we would ever doubt God or lose trust in him. His presence feels so close it is almost tangible. However, these confident moments are all too often followed by seasons of doubt. What was unmistakably certain now feels like a mere fairy tale, a distant hope.
John the Baptist was thrown into prison shortly after the baptism of Jesus. While in prison, he sent several of his disciples to ask Jesus if he truly was the Messiah. John the Baptist, the man whose sole purpose in life was to prepare the way for the Messiah, was now questioning everything that he had believed. Jesus instructed John’s disciples saying, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me” (Matt. 11:4-6).
John began to doubt because his circumstances were not turning out the way he had expected. He thought he was preparing the way for the Messiah, the one who would “shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace” (Micah 5:4-5). However, John was dwelling in a prison and not security and peace.
We begin to doubt like John when our expectations are not being met. The Christian walk becomes challenging, fraught with difficulty, pain and suffering. Our focus turns from Christ and to our pain, and we lose sight of our hope.
Jesus sends word back to John and encourages him to take his eyes off his circumstances and turn them to the truth. The Messiah had come, and he was bringing hope and life, even if it was not in the way John was expecting. Through sharing stories of hope, Jesus was turning John’s eyes back to the truth, back to him.
If you are going through a season of doubt, turn your eyes back to the truth, turn your eyes to Jesus. Remember how he has worked in your life in the past. Remember the answered prayers, the divine appointments, the everyday miracles he has brought into your life. Write them down as references to the truth. When the enemy comes as a strong wind seeking to shake your faith, may you stand firm, not because of the strength of your faith but because of the strength of the one in whom you have placed your faith.