Russell Black

Russell Black

I was recently reading in Luke 7:19-22 where John the Baptist is found awaiting his execution in Herod’s prison. He sends two of his disciples to Jesus to clarify some doubts he was experiencing. His disciples convey the message, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?”

John’s doubt is surprising in a way since John, leaped in his mother’s womb when she came near to Mary, pregnant with Jesus. Even in the womb, John knew Jesus, was the “Expected One”. Later at the River Jordan, again John recognized Jesus, saying “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Now in John’s last days, languishing in Herod’s prison, awaiting his death, he had some serious doubts. This great giant of faith and commitment was wavering in disbelief about someone of whom he was so sure his entire life. Misguided expectations and severe circumstances can do that even to the strongest amongst us.

I know many people who earlier in their lives had strong faith and commitment to God. Later, little by little, doubt began to creep in causing them to have questions of which earlier they had been so certain. Many of these abandon their faith in later years due to these unfounded doubts.

Disappointments, unmet expectations, traumatic events, and hardships have a way of challenging deep, core beliefs. Even seemingly weak doubts that come in moments of pain or weariness can become seeds sown, growing roots, becoming firmly planted.

Even after almost 50 years in my faith journey and 29 years in full time ministry, there are moments when a small seed of doubt drops into my life.

It usually appears when I am experiencing stress and exhaustion or facing seemingly relentless challenges. That of which I was so sure only a short time ago, suddenly becomes questionable in the light of present circumstances. God and His truth don’t change but my situations may cloud my way of thinking, causing me to see things the wrong way.

In this story of John the Baptist, Jesus gives a remedy for doubt. He says in Luke 7:22, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard; the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Jesus is saying to them and to us today, don’t let your present circumstances determine what you have seen, heard and know to be true. The evidence is there if you don’t ignore it. Remember all the amazing things God has done time and time again in your life.

Whenever I find myself weary, frustrated, confused or doubtful, I purposefully begin to recall the actual testimonies of God’s faithfulness and miraculous works. I remember the supernaturally answered prayers, physical healings, financial provision, undeserved mercy, and loving friendships. I remember what I have seen and heard instead of what I may be feeling at that time, snatching these weedy seeds out of my soil before they can germinate roots and become firmly planted.

If you have lost the faith in which you once lived or you have never experienced a solid faith in God, turn to Him today and you will not be disappointed in Whom you find. Ask Him to open your eyes and ears to see Him and hear Him. He will show you that He is absolutely wonderful, powerful, loving, forgiving, empowering, faithful and beautiful! Don’t give up in your “good fight of faith”.

It can seem like a battle at times but if you pursue Him, He will find you!

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