John the Baptist: The one called as a herald to the Messiah: "'I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me...' says the LORD Almighty." (Malachi 3:1 NIV); "A voice of one calling: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'" (Isaiah 40:3 NIV).
Baptist: The one who first recognized Jesus as the Messiah, the one who
baptised Jesus: "John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look,
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'...Then John gave
this testimony: 'I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and
remain on him...I have seen and I testify that this is God's Chosen
One." (John 1:29, 32-34 NIV)
John the Baptist: The one who
would later doubt that Jesus was the Messiah...: "John's disciples
told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to
the Lord to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect
someone else?'" (Luke 7:18-19 NIV)
Tell me: Just how can
one go from heralding someone as the Messiah to asking "Are
you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?"
It baffles me to think of this. John actually saw the
Spirit of God come down as a dove and remain upon Jesus; yet he went on
I don't know about you, but I take comfort in this
story. You see, God has revealed Truth to me many times and has
confirmed His Word and my understanding. Yet in a weak moment, I still
find myself thinking, "Did God actually say that???"
Take, for example, the recent sale of our house. We asked God to confirm
that we should put it on the market, and He did, through His Word. So we
put the house on the market. Two weeks later, there hadn't been even a
single showing. I was about as discouraged as I could be, and I had a
John-the-Baptist moment. I cried out to God: "Lord, if you really
want us to sell the house, give us a sign! May there be even the tiniest
show of interest in the sale of our house!"
immediately of my doubt. I remembered that God had told us to
sell, and I withdrew my request...
Does God punish us for our
doubt? Does He get impatient with us? Does He withdraw His promises and
John the Baptist's messengers left, Jesus turned to the crowd and said,
"What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by
the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine
clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are
in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you,
and more than a prophet." (Luke 7: 4-26 NIV).
understands our weaknesses, and He does not punish us for our
doubt; rather, He invites us to come to Him with our doubt, and
He is ever ready to help us through them.
I also find
it very interesting that when the disciples of John the Baptist came to
Jesus asking if He was truly the Messiah, it was a "yes/no" question;
yet Jesus did not give them a "yes-no" answer. Instead, He began doing
things that only the Messiah could do: "At that very time Jesus
cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight
to many who were blind. So he 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 cleansed, the deaf hear, the
dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.'"
(Luke 7:21-22 NIV).
Sometimes I wish God would simply tell us
"yes" or "no". It would be so much simpler! But God knows something we
don't always realize: A "yes" or a "no" might not actually be enough for
our doubting natures!
This is what God did for me as well. He
didn't tell me, "Yes, Lyn, I do want you to sell your house!"
Instead, He did something of a miraculous nature that gave us
encouragement. Later that same day, after my weak moment when I asked
for a sign, despite the fact that I repented of my doubt and withdrew my
request, we received a text requesting a showing of our house that
afternoon. 30 minutes later, the request was canceled, and our agent was
texting us to apologize, saying that this hardly ever happens, but the
people changed their minds. He said, "I really don't know what that was
about!" But none of that mattered at all to me. God had given me my
sign, and it was something out of the ordinary. As a result, I had
no doubts that it was, indeed, His will for us to sell the house.
When I later told our agent the whole story, his faith was strengthened
God wants us to believe in Him, yes; but He does not
punish us for our doubt. Instead, with everlasting love and kindness, He
invites us to come to Him with our doubts, so that He can guide us into
all faith. What an amazing God we serve!
Is your faith
weak? Tell God about it. Give Him your doubts. Be perfectly honest with
Him. He knows your heart anyway, so why hide what is there? Then be
prepared for Him to--Strengthen your faith!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.