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Doubt

Did you know that C.S Lewis, who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia, struggled with doubt? So did Charles Spurgeon, Martin Luther and even Mother Teresa of Calcutta. After her death, several letters were discovered where she wrote of loneliness, emptiness, a void of God. She frequently asked privately for prayers, writing “Such deep longing for God—and … repulsed—empty—no faith—no love—no zeal. (Saving) souls holds no attraction—Heaven means nothing—pray for me please that I keep smiling at Him in spite of everything." She wrote to a friend, “I spoke as if my very heart was in love with God—tender, personal love. If you were (there), you would have said, 'What hypocrisy.'"



I have come to realize that at some point we will all deal with doubt. Charles Spurgeon said "I think, when a man says, ‘I never doubt,’ it is quite time for us to doubt him, it is quite time for us to begin to say, ‘Ah, poor soul, I am afraid you are not on the road at all, for if you were, you would see so many things in yourself, and so much glory in Christ more than you deserve, that you would be so much ashamed of yourself, as even to say, 'It is too good to be true.'
John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17) and visibly saw the Holy Spirit descend upon him (John 1:32), and confessed his deity, in fact, struggled with doubt in Matthew 11:1-6.



According to scripture, John was able to preach his message of repentance as an outcast of society. As people begin to flock to John the religious leaders of the day began to get nervous. You see, Rome only approved their authority if they could keep peace among their people (John 11:48), and submit to Roman rule. So when this mad man, dressed in camels hair, begin gaining the attention of the people the Jewish leaders came to see what all the ruckus was about.



John's identity was questioned yet he stood firm not to take any glory or bring any credit to himself, but focused on the power of the coming messiah who "already stood among them". At this point, no one laid a hand on John. He was free to share his beliefs without harm or threat. But in Matthew 11:1-6 John is thrown into prison for condemning the affair of Herod Antipas. John, knowing that Herod was a cruel man, knew that death was imminent and he began to doubt and questioned if Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah.



“When Jesus had finished giving orders to His 12 disciples, He moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns. When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent a message by his disciples and asked Him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else? ”



The Jews had an expectation that the coming messiah was coming as a warrior to expel the heathen from their land (Acts 1:6). So, when John heard that Jesus was “teaching and preaching “he begin to doubt because Jesus actions were not aligning with what he thought the messiah should be doing.



Doubt should push you to seek out truth!



John could have very well balled up in his cell and cried “No, No, No he’s teaching and preaching? He should be fighting and slaying.” But instead John called his brothers and sent them to seek out the truth, “Asked Him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else? ”



Listen, doubt cannot make you stop living out your faith. Christianity is not about how you feel in your flesh; it’s not about feeling saved. Despite Mother Teresa feeling empty, lonely, a void from God she carried out God’s will in His written word. How she felt could not take precedence over what she knew.



“Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.”



To the Jew, everything that Jesus was doing: healing leprosy and raising the dead were things that only God could do. Jesus commanded John’s disciples to go back to John and report to their teacher what they see and hear. It would be their testimony that would aid their teacher in finding the strength to continue on.



It’s important to know that we will all deal with doubt at times, but it’s how you respond to doubt that will strengthen or weaken your walk. It’s important to surround yourself with other believers who can encourage you with their prayers and testimonies of God’s strength and loving-kindness.



And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrew 10:24-25



They conquered him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death. Rev. 12:11


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