When Your Hope and Faith are Shaken
Digging Deeper: Luke 7:18-23
Key Verse: 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?” Luke 7:19
Sometimes my faith is shaken when my hope gives way to the storms of life.
Has your faith ever been shaken to the point that your hope gives way? When you no longer feel God’s presence in the storm? I wonder where God is when I am shaken by a storm.
With fires raging out-of-control and hurricanes blasting the shores of the Gulf and the entire state of Florida, many people are experiencing the tragic loss of their homes and belongings. They are devastated.
For those who have never experienced such devastating loss, it is easy to ask why these people still do not seek God.
Even Believers who love God can find it difficult to keep their faith strong and fixing their eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1).
Has your faith been shaken by the storms of life?
When your hope does not match up with your faith, it can crumble even though you have walked closely with God and known His presence.
This is what happened with John the Baptist in Luke 7:18-23.
John was the one who leaped within his mother’s womb when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. He was the one who was preparing the way for the ministry that Jesus would have on earth.
John was a pillar of unshakeable faith.
YET when he was sitting in Antipas’ filthy prison because Herodias wanted him dead, his hope and faith were shaken! There was no reason her request would not be granted.
John had baptized Jesus and had preached about the Kingdom that was to come. He would not have known that this Kingdom would not come for years and years. He most likely hoped that he would link arms with Jesus in ministry to usher in this Kingdom.
Instead, his life and ministry looked like they were over.
As John sat in prison, you would think the filth would bother him most. Instead and unexpectedly he started to wonder if Jesus was really the prophet who had come as the Messiah.
He doubted Jesus was the Christ.
He was attacked by accusing thoughts that he had been wrong in thinking Jesus was the long awaited Messiah.
John couldn’t go and ask Jesus himself because he was stuck in a prison cell.
His disciples had just told him all about the centurion’s faith when he was sick and about how Jesus had raised a dead man to life.
Yet John doubted and asked these two disciples to go to Jesus.
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?” Luke 7:19
Why Are You Affected when Friends’ Lives are Shaken?
Why didn’t John’s disciples encourage him to not lose faith in Jesus?
Sometimes when friend’s lives are devastated I am clueless of what to say. More often I say something that is not comforting to my friend at all. Kind of like Job’s friends who gave bad advice!
Maybe that is what these two disciples were feeling or maybe John’s wavering also caused them to doubt.
Whatever the case, they went to Jesus and asked:
“John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’” Luke 7:20
What amazed me was that Jesus did not immediately answer them. In that same hour, he cured many people of their infirmities, afflictions, evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind (Luke 7:21)
His actions demonstrated Who He was.
At that time Jesus healed many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and He granted sight to many blind people. 22 He replied to them, “Go and report to John the things you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. 23 And anyone who is not offended because of Me is blessed.” Luke 7:21-23
When Your Hope Crumbles
Having dreams, expectations, and hopes are a normal part of life. It keeps us going and helps us to reach and stretch for something better. BUT . . .
Sometimes our hope crumbles. AND . . .
The unexpected happens.
When that happens our faith can be shaken.
It is then that we must trust in God’s infinite wisdom and unfailing love despite how the circumstances appear. Even when it seems that all hope is gone, God has a plan and His love and grace for us is unmeasurable.
I may not understand the “why” in what is happening and it is not mine to ask. Trust may seem hard but it is the only thing to do. God is Sovereign. He is to be trusted.
Even though I cannot see in the dark. I must trust.
It all comes down to trust because I know He cares!!
Will you trust in the circumstances that will surely change or will you trust in your unchanging Savior with unshakeable faith?
On Christ the solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand!