When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.
Most of us at some point in life have times of great doubt. In fact, I have come to believe that Christians who never doubt are usually those who never think much about their faith. If I were to ask you, “Have you ever had a time in your Christian life when you questioned your faith?” I imagine you would say yes. Doubt happens to most of us at some point in life. Maybe you grew up in a Christian home and in a Bible-believing church, but you went off to college and heard the so-called facts of evolution and thought, “If the Bible is wrong about that, then what else is it wrong about?” Or maybe you have loved ones who are rebelling against God, and you pray continually for them to return to God, yet they move further and further away from God. And you think, “If God can’t be counted on to answer a prayer like that, then what good is He?” Or perhaps your mate, a strong follower of Christ, has been struck with a debilitating illness that has left that mate in a terrible, painful existence. And you begin to question, “If God deals with His followers like that, then why would I want to trust in Him?”
Most of us at some point in life will question either the love, the wisdom, or even the existence of God. If that is true of you, then you are in good company. It may surprise you to know that some of the greatest Christians in history who have been used by God have had times of great doubt. Martin Luther said at one point in his life, “Christ was wholly lost. I was shaken by desperation and blasphemy against God.” The Puritan preacher Richard Baxter once said that his faith rested on “probabilities instead of full, undoubted certainties.” Another Puritan leader named Increase Mather wrote in his diary, “I have been greatly molested with temptations to atheism.” A church in Chicago delayed evangelist D. L. Moody’s membership because his beliefs seemed so uncertain. And you can go back further in history than that. People in the Bible like Moses, Jeremiah, Elijah, and even the apostle Paul had moments of doubt.
This week we are going to look at an individual whom Jesus said was the greatest person in human history–yet even though Jesus said that about him, this person experienced a time when his faith was shaken to its foundation. Even though he spent his entire life proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, this person began to doubt that because of unanswered prayer and undeserved suffering. Of course, we are talking about John the Baptist. This week you are going to be very encouraged if you have ever had periods of doubt in your life or in the life of somebody you care about deeply.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “For Those Who Doubt” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.