My friend Laurie Driesen shares a wonderful post about not stumbling in our faith when times are tough. Thank you, Laurie! I was blessed by it. I hope you will be too!
Does your faith waver when you don’t understand what God is doing? Instead of walking on a smooth, solid path of faith, do you start tripping and stumbling over what you thought to be true?
Stumbling on a path causes us to fall. Stumbling in our faith can cause us to fall away from the Lord. But why would a Christian allow that to happen? Very simply, when God doesn’t meet our expectations or answer our prayers the way we had hoped, we can begin to stumble over our lack of understanding.
John the Baptist had a brief stumble
John the Baptist was called by God to preach and prepare the way for Jesus. He had a solid faith and understanding that Jesus was the Messiah. He even baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. Then John was thrown into prison and while there, he heard about all of the miracles that Jesus was doing, including raising people from the dead. He may have formed expectations of the type of Messiah Jesus would be. Would Jesus overthrow the Roman government? Jesus was doing miracles, why wasn’t He coming to John’s rescue?
So John sent messengers to ask Jesus if He was the promised Messiah or should they expect someone else? (Matthew 11:3) John began to question whether Jesus was really who he thought He was. Jesus instructed the messengers to return to John and tell him about the miracles they had seen. In Matthew 11:6 Jesus told them to tell John, “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me.” Jesus was essentially saying that John should not allow what Jesus says or does to be the reason for his faith to waver.
Jesus encouraged John the Baptist by reminding him he was God’s chosen messenger that would prepare the way for the Messiah. Jesus even went as far as to say that because of John’s role he was more than a prophet and therefore he was the greatest of prophets. John’s disciples went back to John and relayed those words to him. We don’t know why Jesus didn’t rescue John from prison but we do know that Jesus told John to stand firm and not to stumble over his doubt and misunderstanding of what Jesus was doing.
Jesus’s answer to John the Baptist is the same message to us today. He tells us to stand firm when we don’t understand for example, why He heals one person and not another. Or why He doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we expect. In spite of our unanswered questions, we need to trust in the truth of God’s Word, pray and cling to God. Our human understanding is so limited and God’s plan is so much greater than what we can comprehend. We should not allow our limited understanding to cause us to doubt and falter in our faith.
We are truly blessed if we choose to trust the Lord and do not stumble on account of what Jesus chooses to do.
Laurie Driesen is a writer and entrepreneur. She is the author of Beyond Regret – Living Your Life Purpose in Spite of Past Choices. The book discusses missed opportunities, the “why” behind our mistakes, how regret can help us, and preventing future regret. Beyond Regret sheds light on God’s true will and purpose for us and how we can live it out no matter where we are today.
Through her writing, she seeks to share the truth of God’s Word and help others grow spiritually. Laurie’s blog can be found on her website: www.lauriedriesen.com