Even Prophets Have Doubts

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.

I once had a young man say to me that he told a person at Bible camp that he sometimes felt doubt. The person responded to him, “Christians aren’t supposed to doubt.”

But the reality is, even if we are walking faithfully, following Jesus, and guided by the Holy Spirit and God’s word, we are still living in an imperfect world. We are on a journey with the finish line being the start of our eternity with Christ. It is then, Paul wrote, we will know fully just as we are fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12). For now, though, we are still works in progress, those who will arrive but have not yet done so.

That means that even for the most faithful follower of Jesus, doubt still sometimes happens.

Think of the life of John the Baptist. Luke’s gospel tells us that from the womb he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then, shortly before Jesus arrived on the scene, he preached the gospel in the wilderness as crowds came to him to be baptized. He even baptized Jesus and in that moment witnessed the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus and the Father’s voice boom from heaven, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”

John was a prophet, messianic forerunner, and great man of faith. Jesus even praised John, saying, “I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John” (Luke 7:28).

Yet, in Matthew 11 we read:

Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?” (11:2-3)

With everything John had experienced, you would think if anyone wouldn’t doubt it would be him. Yet, confined to prison and unsure about his own future, John had a moment of doubt. Jesus replied back with a gentle correction, because that is the grace that he gives in the face of doubt.

So, when doubt arises, we should not think that our faith is poor or that we’re failing Jesus. Even the most devout Christians experience times of doubt. Instead, let us through prayer cast our doubts upon the God who cares for us. Let us through God’s word hear the voice and feel the presence of our loving Father. Let us through other followers of Jesus bear one another’s burdens and help each other carry those moments of doubt. Let us experience the wonder of God’s grace.

All scripture quotes are taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

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