Years ago I found myself in a place in my life that felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. Everything was going as planned as far as I thought and BOOM! ROAD BLOCK! No explanation, no answers why, and nowhere to turn it seemed. Tough place to be in. Is there anybody out there that can relate? If so, can I ask you a question or two? Wether you have just come out of, are in, or are headed into a season like this what were/are you waiting for, hoping for, or praying for?
John the Baptist found himself in prison in the text in Luke 7:18-28 and in verse 19 the Bible says, “Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus saying, ‘are You the coming one, or do we look for another?'”
This point was the second interruption in John’s life. The first was finding out that Jesus, his second cousin and childhood pal, was the Messiah! But now John finds himself in a place of “doubt meets Jesus”. John knew what was going on outside of his four walls and that his time was short. Funny how our thinking becomes concentrated when we know the end is near, or at least we think it is. Back, for a moment, to the situation I briefly referenced at the beginning of the blog: I was at one of the lowest places in my life, and then we had the 9/11 terror attacks. I thought the end was near! Believe me, I was doing some concentrated thinking! Back to John, he begins to wonder/doubt, “is He the one, or should I look for another?” He sends two of his disciples out to ask Jesus that very question and as soon as they get to Him they find Him curing the afflicted, healing those with infirmities, casting out demons, and giving sight to the blind! Jesus then tells the two, “go and tell John what you ave seen and heard.”
Jesus knew John’s heart, and knew this report would give him what he needed in the midst of this doubt. But you don’t have to be in prison to question what you believe. You don’t have to be facing death to have doubts. We live in a world that does not have easy answers to our questions. I believe Jesus, in His love for us, and with His compassion towards us, would tell us just as He told the disciples of John: “look around at what you see”.
Even if we don’t see miracles happening all around us we can be encouraged because Jesus wants to develop our faith. Faith is not developed when evidence for belief is obvious! Miracles may build the quantity of a church but they do not build the quality. Not that we shouldn’t pray for the miraculous, we should, but a steady diet of miracles will not build the faith God wants to see in us.
I know those who have had a healing and/or miracle in their life but now are not even living for God. I wonder if all the people who were healed by Jesus continued to follow Him through the rest of their lives? Miracles may draw us to Jesus but they do not grow our faith. It is not the goal of God to impress us with His power. It is His goal to develop our faith which is the wealth we will carry with us into heaven.
When we believe without the obvious miracles, and when we stand and obey despite the hard circumstances of our lives, we grow in faith. Satan is defeated, and Gods kingdom is advanced! When I see someone continue to follow Christ through thick and thin that is when I am amazed. THAT is really miraculous. That is God’s power at work in us!