ODJ: When Faith Falters

May 12, 2018 

READ: Luke 7:18-28 

You must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering (Jude 1:22).

A man had served as a leader within his local church for many years. But then he stopped his involvement altogether. He’d prayed for God to heal his cancer-stricken wife, but her condition had only got worse. In the mysterious absence of healing, this man concluded that God didn’t care. These painful circumstances caused him to doubt God’s love itself.

John the Baptist had proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah (John 3:26-36). But now John, the greatest man who ever lived (Luke 7:28), was having doubts. “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (v.19), he asked. It seems even the faith of strong believers can waver.

John had expected Jesus to punish the wicked and set prisoners free (Luke 3:9, 4:18-21). But now he was in prison unjustly, while wicked Herod, who’d put him there, remained unpunished (3:19-20).

John sent two of his disciples to Jesus looking for answers (7:18-19). And the Saviour tenderly responded to the prophet’s doubts. Without giving an explanation for John’s situation, Jesus performed miracles for his disciples to see (v.21)—confirming that He was indeed the Messiah bringing good news and restoration. Then Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard” (v.22). He never reprimanded John for wavering. Instead, He commended him for his faithfulness! (vv.24-28).

When struggling with doubt, we need to see and hear Jesus afresh. Our doubts can drive us to seek Him in prayer and the pages of the Bible, to be comforted by His words and awed by His greatness. In your times of doubt, allow Jesus to reveal Himself to you more deeply.

—K.T. Sim

365-day plan: Psalm 1:1-6

Read Luke 24:13-34 to see how Jesus restored the faith of two discouraged disciples. 
What has caused your faith to falter? How can your faith grow even when you’re facing difficult circumstances?