Shall we look for another?

Written by On Monday, 29 May 2017 04:15
Shall we look for another?
The past couple of months I have been grappling with how to handle my disappointment with God. Many atheists talk about getting to the place of unbelief because a certain expectation of God did not pan out exactly how they thought it should have. Our nature as human beings is that we often experience that failure of faith and failure of spirit; our fallibility causes us to ask the kind of question that John the Baptist asked when he was at his weakest point, when his expectations of the messiah were not being met, a time when he was disappointed with God.
Are you the one that was to come or shall we look for another? Luke 7:19
In this scripture we see John’s faith failing him, we see him filled with despair, doubt and defeat. He was in prison waiting a probable death and his messiah was not coming to his rescue as he had hoped or had come to expect.
More than a prophet but still a man
John’s doubt comes a bit as a surprise given his previous confidence in who Jesus was, his unapologetic call to repentance and the awareness he had of his role and his place as a forerunner. Take a look at these scriptures
He did not fail to confess but confessed freely ‘’I am not the Christ’’ John 1:20
I baptize with water but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me…
When he saw Jesus pass by he said, ‘’Look the Lamb of God.’’
And to all of these he added his running message of repentance and as soon as Jesus came into the picture he constantly redirected people away from himself and towards Jesus. His very testimony of who Jesus was came from God himself according to John 1:33
So it’s easy to think that his doubts came as a surprise, but was it really?Jesus had great things to say about John the Baptist …not just a prophet but more than a prophet…the greatest of all men that had walked on the earth to date. (1st century)
However, even in being much more than a prophet, he was very much still a man like you and me and he was hit with episodes of doubt ,despair, disappointment and general failure of faith.
The unexpected God
Jon Courson in discussing this period of John’s life opines that the reason John doubted was because his expectations of the messiah was not what was playing out before his eyes. John had spent his entire life preaching about a new Kingdom that would be under the authority of the messiah. His expectation of this messiah together with many other Jews at that time, was someone who was coming to overthrow the Roman authoritarian leadership and bring freedom back to the Jews… and here he was in prison waiting for his death. He was expecting Jesus to come and bust him out of prison and yet He was busy making the lame walk and giving sight to the blind…if I was John, I’d also have my doubts.
But I really don’t have to be John…today you and I have had the same doubts in our dark and difficult seasons.
Perhaps you have recently lost a job and you have no idea what to do next with a family to feed and bills to pay…
You have just lost a loved one after a long period sickness and hospitalization…you are tired and drained and pained.
You have been betrayed by a friend or family, brought to tears by the very people you expected would be covering you…
Where is the messiah?
Should we look for another way to get through these dark days?
This article suggests that many times we are quick to expect the wrong things from God, or the wrong things at the right time. Whereas God does heal, provide and protect…this was not his primal concern when He sent his son Jesus Christ. Just like in the time of John the Baptist when Jesus was catering to a different kind of Kingdom than what John had in mind, it’s very much possible that His concern is somewhere other than the expectation we have in our minds. So instead of wallowing in despair we ought to fix our eyes on the unexpectedness of God. What is he doing that we are blind to?
We could very well be missing God’s bigger plan by focusing on our own little cocoon. 
He will deliver
In the midst of writing this article I was unexpectedly led to Selah; a gospel group that many say have ministered to the most difficult of times because of the depth of their music …what most people might not know is that their ministry comes from their own tough experiences of loss and grief. Their music has reached millions across the globe and we can only imagine how many people have been ministered to and drawn to God because of it. They testify that the presence of God has kept them through these seasons and given them a message for the world.
For John the Baptist, Jesus sent him a word that encouraged his heart while he was in prison and saw him sail through. For Selah, the power and presence of God has enabled them to soldier through life’s toughest moments and still minister in spite of and I dare say because of their pain.
Whatever your situation is too…God will not leave you empty, he will answer you; maybe not the way you expect but in a way that will bring you healing while still serving His greater purposes. Let us pray that when sorrow dims the light along our way, the Lord will help us to see each moment of darkness through eyes of faith.

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