August 18, 2010

Why do we doubt (part 2)

John did not expect to be so deluged by doubt and fear while in prison. 

What had seemed so clear was now so dim.  He wrestled at the very core of his being at the heart of what God had called him to do. 

Had he got it all wrong?

Jesus replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."  Luke 7:22-23 (NIV)

Jesus must have invited John's messengers to stay and watch for awhile so they could give a first hand account of what they had seen and heard.

How did Jesus answer John?

He didn't answer with a direct "yes"or "no".  He used scripture as proof of who He is. 

There have been times in my life when situations were very dire and I was drawn to scriptures that proclaimed a truth that didn't seem to be relevant to the present situation nor did they give a direct answer or response to my prayer.

Yet these scriptures resonated with a power that captured my spirit and heart but, at the time, did not bring enlightenment to the present situation.  What held me was the deep assurance inside that He is Faithful. 

Now as I ponder scriptures that in 1987 didn't seem to address the situation I see them shining with a truth that is relevant as I look back on them now in light of the present.  (I hope this makes some sense to you... it is a study and testimony that is best done verbally)

Also, we are in a spiritual battle and when Jesus Himself was confronted with Satan, it was the word of God which was used in this battle.  Proclaiming the simple truth of God... "it is written."

Getting back to John, take a closer look at this bible commentary as it is cross referenced with 2 scriptures from Isaiah with Luke 7:22-23.  Jesus omitted the following from His response to John:

 Isaiah 61:1  To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;


I can only make a conjecture about the why.  But I wonder, was it because John WAS in prison and there was to be no physical liberty or freedom for John?

He could have set John free.  He could have sent angels to shake the gates and chains would have fallen off.

But He didn't.

Do we doubt because He does not always answer immediately?

Do we doubt because His answer may not be the deliverance that we pray and hope for?

For a season we may, because we are human and we hurt.  But if not careful, Satan will come in to bludgeon, steal and destroy the hope within you.

In John's prison and darkness of doubt He sent a promise that sustained his faith.

  • Sometimes we will be delivered from the circumstance.
  • Sometimes we will be delivered by walking through the circumstance as God develops character, faith, beauty from ashes in these situations.
  • Sometimes we are in the circumstance and God decides to bring us home to heaven. (As with John).
He always answers and sends the help that He knows we have need of.  His grace is sufficient and He offers a hope that is rewarded in Heaven.

In John's darkness, He sent a promise that would sustain Him.   He will do the same for you.

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