3 ways to deal with your doubts
By Kyle Patterson
When Jesus doesn't do things the way we think he will or should, we may experience doubt. For John the Baptist, he sent his disciples to make sure that he didn’t miss something. He prepared the way for the Lord, yet he is locked up in prison as a result of his ministry. Matthew Chapter 11 says,
"When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers[a] are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
The Jews were looking for a political kingdom, Jesus showed them a kingdom within the heart of every believer. They were focused on the externals, but Christ is after the internals. The truth is the kingdom of God is not here or there, it's within you.
The Jews were looking for a political leader to take over by force.
But Jesus reveals himself as a humble servant who,meets the deepest needs of the human life.
They were expecting a lion and he came to them as a lamb.
They were expecting power, he came in humility and grace.
John wasn't expecting to be in prison, he was expecting Jesus to possibly overthrow Herod who put him there.
So when Jesus doesn't answer us like we think he may, how do we respond? Here are three ways we can find help in our doubts.
Questions can make hermits out of us, driving us into hiding. Yet the cave has no answers. Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many. When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries, when we mix, mingle, confess and pray, Christ speaks. - Max Lucado
John turns to his disciples for answers. He doesn’t know why he’s locked up in prison for doing the right thing. So he turns to his disciples to get him some answers and hear from Jesus. Am I missing something or did I get this right? He doesn't tough it out alone or suffer in silence, he reaches out to his community of believers and asks for some help.
2) Remember what you saw and heard from Christ.
Remembering what God has done in the past is a big deal. We see Jesus point them to his works. What they saw and what they heard. You've tasted and seen God's goodness in the past, think about those times when you first came to Christ. When you experienced his love, felt his touch. Remember those times. Remember what you saw and heard and think on these things. Talk about these things. Faith comes by hearting and hearing by the word of God. Talk about it, think about it.
What has God done for you in past seasons? We need to lean on the truth of who he is and how he has shown himself to us in past seasons and remember those again.
David said, “Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things He does for me.” (Ps 103:2)
The book of Revelation confirms that we overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. What is your testimony? What are you talking about?
Christ doesn’t condemn us because of our doubts, he affirms us in our calling and affirms who we are in him. He doesn’t see us according to our faults or failings but according to the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus doesn’t condemn John, he praises him and calls him the greatest man born of a woman and one who fulfilled what was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. Through our faith, we are declared 100% absolutely righteous before God. Justified, meaning just as if we never sinned.
Jon Bloom of Desiring God wrote this concerning John, "The Savior does not break the bruised reed. He hears our pleas for help and is patient with our doubts. He does not condemn us. He has paid completely for any sin that is exposed in our pain.
He does not always answer with the speed we desire, nor is his answer always the deliverance we hope for. But he will always send the help that is needed. His grace will always be sufficient for those who trust him. The hope we taste in the promises we trust will often be the sweetest thing we experience in this age. And his reward will be beyond our imagination.
In John’s darkness and pain Jesus sent a promise to sustain John’s faith. He will do the same for you."