Thursday, 14 April 2016

What do we need to be able to believe?        That's a really good question. Some people think, If I was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, I wouldn't struggle with doubt, If I could see a vision, If I had a tangible tingling in my hands, If I could hear an audible voice from God- then I would believe. John had everyone of those things and yet, here he was doubting.
      It doesn't matter who you are or how strong your faith has been, every one of us is capable of doubt. When you get put in a negative situation over a long period of time, the tendency is to doubt. Negative circumstances tend to just beat faith out of you and cause doubt to come.
      That's exactly what happened with John the Baptist. He had been in prison for at least six months, possibly as long as two years as this time. John had been a stark raving mad fanatic of God. He was bold, wild and fearless. John pronounced judgement against Herod because he had taken his brother's wife while his brother was still alive and made her his wife (see Matthew 14:3-4). It was an ungodly alliance and John risked everything, speaking the truth about it. In time, his boldness cost him his life. He was imprisoned because of it, and then killed.
         John was fearless in proclaiming what was right and wrong. He lived to speak God's truth and see people change. Once he came on the scene, his preaching changed an entire nation in six months' time. John was a high-energy guy who just loved to be in the centre of it all speaking forth God's Word. He was a bony-fingered prophet. That's the way John was. And yet now, we see him silenced and put in prison. Sure, he probably talked to the prison guards about God, but he was kept physically restrained from being able to continue to fulfil his ministry.
        Proverbs 13:12 reveals that:
   Hope deferred maketh the heart sick
 John the Baptist's hope was to be out there preaching the Gospel, preparing the way for the Lord and turning people to him. Yet, it just wasn't coming to pass. So this began to wear on him.
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