Matthew 11:2-3, “2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”
In today’s passage we learn that after John the Baptist was arrested and put into prison he had some doubts about Jesus. He, like most Jewish people, thought once the Messiah came all the enemies of Israel would be defeated and God’s Kingdom would be established on earth. Yet now John was facing certain death and his hopes were hanging by a thread.
Have you ever been there before? You feel like God’s plans didn’t go the way you intended them to and felt hopeless. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Sometimes when our hopes are deferred by God’s plans we face heartache. It’s not that we totally disbelieve in God, it’s just our heart is sick because our life feels upside down.
The good news about our doubts is that Jesus understands them better than we do. He knows how to align our hopes to the plan of God for our lives.
So when John sent his disciples to Jesus with his doubtful question, Jesus didn’t hesitate to clear up all his misunderstandings. Jesus said in Matthew 11:4-6, “4 Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 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. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” In other words, Jesus said to John, “Everything is happening perfectly according to God’s plan!”
Shortly after John received the confirmation of Jesus being the Messiah he was beheaded by King Herod (Mark 6:27). However, he could die knowing that his hopes weren’t misplaced. All that God had promised was coming to pass, but God was doing it in a different way than he expected. One day, when Jesus returns as a conquering King, John the Baptist will rule and reign with Him upon the earth- just like he hoped to. John’s faithfulness in his time of hardship will be rewarded.
Are you willing to trust God when His plans are different than yours? Often times we doubt God because we don’t see Him do what we want Him to do. However, life is not about our plans, it’s about His glory. The bottom line is; doubt is not of God, faith is- so trust God over your doubts. Learn to doubt your doubts! If you ever feel hopeless because you lack faith, read God’s Word and let faith arise in your heart because nothing is impossible for those who believe (Matthew 17:20). Jesus loves to reinforce His plans and promises for your life in His Word. Take time to listen to His heart.
If you are doubting God’s plans in your life pray this out loud, “Father, please forgive me for my unbelief and doubts. I humbly ask you to teach me in your Word to have faith in what you say and promise. I declare today is a new day of amazing faith and I choose to place all my hopes in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
What are your doubts concerning God’s will for your life?
- Repent if you have allowed doubts to stay in your heart.
- Pray and meditate on God’s Word to grow and develop your faith. F. Bosworth said, “Believe your beliefs and doubt your doubts.”
- Whenever life doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, trust God, because He will never disappoint you (either in this life or in the age to come).