When Believers Doubt

As believers, we feel shame when we doubt what the truths we know and believe Jesus lovingly reassures us with His truths.

When Believers Doubt

April 23, 2020

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. –Saint Augustine

Years ago, my doctor advised me to take vitamins for some specific health concerns. Unfortunately, the vitamin bottle collects dust as it sits on the shelf. 

The other day my husband asked me if I needed smaller pills. In other words: what can I do to make you take this seriously?

After some reflection, I realized the truth. I know (and I believe) I should take the vitamins. The problem isn’t in the knowing, it’s in the doing. I need help remembering to follow what I know to be true.

This pandemic created a similar struggle for me. I know Jesus is sovereign. I believe He will work all things out for my good. But sometimes I find myself feeling anxious and frustrated. Soon shame for not remembering what I know to be true sets in. Could Jesus be disappointed in my lack of faith?

John the Baptist faced a similar crisis. 

During his ministry, John boldly called many people to repent. He even challenged the unlawful marriage of Herod, the tetrarch. But when Herod threw John in prison, he began to struggle in his faith:

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2-3 NIV)

As the one preparing the way for Jesus and His ministry, John the Baptist knew and believed Jesus was the Messiah. Even before their births, John recognized Jesus as the Lord:

When Elizabeth [John’s mother] heard Mary’s [Jesus’ mother] greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:41-44 NIV)

When John began his ministry, he quickly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah:

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32-34 NIV)

Not only did John know Jesus as the Messiah, he testified to it. But the challenges of life in prison created doubts. Why is this happening? Where are you Lord? What is the plan?

I’ve asked these same questions as the coronavirus continues to redefine my way of life.

I love Jesus’ response to John:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 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. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:4-6 NIV)

Far from disappointed, Jesus reminded John of the following truths:

  • The Messiah performs miracles.
  • The Messiah proclaims good news.
  • The Messiah rewards faithfulness.

With these truths, Jesus encouraged John to hold on to his faith. I believe He asks us to do the same. 

Jesus lovingly reassures us when we doubt.

As we continue to walk through this uncertain time, I pray we can remember the One who reassures us with His truths. 

 

When Believers Doubt

April 23, 2020

As believers, we feel shame when we doubt what the truths we know and believe Jesus lovingly reassures us with His truths.

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. –Saint Augustine

Years ago, my doctor advised me to take vitamins for some specific health concerns. Unfortunately, the vitamin bottle collects dust as it sits on the shelf. 

The other day my husband asked me if I needed smaller pills. In other words: what can I do to make you take this seriously?

After some reflection, I realized the truth. I know (and I believe) I should take the vitamins. The problem isn’t in the knowing, it’s in the doing. I need help remembering to follow what I know to be true.

This pandemic created a similar struggle for me. I know Jesus is sovereign. I believe He will work all things out for my good. But sometimes I find myself feeling anxious and frustrated. Soon shame for not remembering what I know to be true sets in. Could Jesus be disappointed in my lack of faith?

John the Baptist faced a similar crisis. 

During his ministry, John boldly called many people to repent. He even challenged the unlawful marriage of Herod, the tetrarch. But when Herod threw John in prison, he began to struggle in his faith:

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2-3 NIV)

As the one preparing the way for Jesus and His ministry, John the Baptist knew and believed Jesus was the Messiah. Even before their births, John recognized Jesus as the Lord:

When Elizabeth [John’s mother] heard Mary’s [Jesus’ mother] greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke 1:41-44 NIV)

When John began his ministry, he quickly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah:

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32-34 NIV)

Not only did John know Jesus as the Messiah, he testified to it. But the challenges of life in prison created doubts. Why is this happening? Where are you Lord? What is the plan?

I’ve asked these same questions as the coronavirus continues to redefine my way of life.

I love Jesus’ response to John:

Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 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. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Matthew 11:4-6 NIV)

Far from disappointed, Jesus reminded John of the following truths:

  • The Messiah performs miracles.
  • The Messiah proclaims good news.
  • The Messiah rewards faithfulness.

With these truths, Jesus encouraged John to hold on to his faith. I believe He asks us to do the same. 

Jesus lovingly reassures us when we doubt.

As we continue to walk through this uncertain time, I pray we can remember the One who reassures us with His truths. 

 

4 Comments

  1. Beth on April 26, 2020 at 5:06 PM

    The challenges of life do create doubt, don’t they? I am struggling with this same thing right now. Thank you for the reminder of who He is and whose I am

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on April 26, 2020 at 5:29 PM

      They sure do! I love how He sends reassurance, rather than correction when we doubt. Praying for you to find peace in this crazy time!💕

  2. Auli’i Giron on April 28, 2020 at 8:06 PM

    Aloha Shirley❣️I believe God is always keeping me near Him and that my fears and human thoughts of inadequacies arises because I forget HIS PRESENCE! I love the way He reminds me in subtle and loud ways that He is near🥰 More than ever, I pray that I really anchor on to His Word and grasp that there is no one other than Him, who Loves me unconditionally & continually no matter what. Since having more time on my hands I am savoring Gods Amazing Presence- connecting many times during these days… making this a habit as normal life returns. I pray that you are well and I am humbled to be fighting the Spiritual battle with All of Gods Faith filled believers❣️ “But as for me, it is GOOD to be NEAR GOD. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your Deeds.” Psalm 73:28. Much Aloha to you & the family always Thank you for sharing and KiipShining for God✝️💟🙏🏽

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on April 28, 2020 at 8:25 PM

      HiAuli’i! I love how you are using this time to draw near to Him and to remember His continual presence. Your love and faithfulness are always an inspiration to me. Much love to you and your family as well. 💕

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