IS IT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE AND DOUBT AT THE SAME TIME?

Shared by:  Jeff Rowland

John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  Very often we find ourselves talking to a friend who is going through a difficult time in their life and can only say one thing.  “Well just trust the Lord.”  Sometimes there is nothing else you can say.  Even though we know from the Word of God that every trial has purpose which is to bring us more into the image of God’s Son, we still don’t have answers that can bring comfort.

In Mark chapter 9 Jesus said to the father of a demon possessed boy, “If thou wilt believe, all things are possible.”  The father said to Christ, “I believe, help thou mine unbelief.”  The man was saying, “I have faith, but my faith is weak.”  How many can relate to this time in our lives?  How many times have we all felt this way?  How often does are faith weaken in a situation that last for a long period of time?  The bottom line to this thought is that it is possible to believe and doubt at the same time.

Consider for a moment the man John the Baptist.  The courage of this man is recorded in the Bible in many different ways.  In Matthew 3:2 we hear the message of John ring out with passion and conviction saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  This was the message that was to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.

In Matthew 3:7 it is recorded who this message is going out too.  “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”  We find John calling the religious leaders of that day a generation of snakes.  Later in Matthew’s account of the life of John the Baptist we find John calling out the sins of the political leader of that day.  John had declared that Herod the governor was in adultery with his brother Phillips wife.  This kind of bold courageous preaching is what we need in our day today.
In John 1:29 we have John’s confession of who Jesus was.  By his confession John is embracing his calling and purpose in ministry.  John was sent to prepare the way.  John was to bear witness of the light, he was not the light.  In John’s confession he declares 3 things;

  • Who Jesus was- He said, “Behold the lamb of God.”  John gave understanding beyond what he even knew.  He signifies that this Jesus was the God’s lamb of sacrifice.
  • What he came to do- He said, “Which taketh away the sin.”  John was looking forward to the ultimate aim of God which was to remove man from his sin.
  • Who it would involve-  He said, “Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”  John is inferring that Jesus was the Savior not just of the Jews, but also to the world.  This philosophy was not even heard of at that time, however John was speaking it forth.  Johns commitment to Jesus was seen when his crowds were going away and following Jesus.  John responded to this by saying, “He must increase but I must decrease.” 

This leads us to consider the account of John’s prison time.  In Matthew 11:2-3 it says, “Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another.”  Here we see this courageous preacher who declared who Jesus was, what He came to do, preached to the political and religious leaders of their own sin is now struggling with doubt because of the situation he finds himself in.  Most of us begin to analyze our own beliefs when we find ourselves in a situation not convenient to our belief structure.  What principles does this teach us?  And how can we find faith building lessons from this truth

1.     EVEN THE STRONG ARE NOT STRONG ENOUGH.

It doesn’t matter how strong you are or how committed you are there will be times when your faith will weaken.  Learn that your strength is not good enough.  John when feeling his faith growing weak, did what we are suppose to do.  He sent after word from Jesus.  If in our weakest times we would simply go to Jesus we would find an increase of faith.

2.     Circumstance often dictates our level of faith.

I have heard people say, “I don’t know how you handle what you’re dealing with.”  I have heard, “there is no way I could do what you do.”  The truth is you never know how you will respond or react until you’re in that situation.  Faith grows according to the word of God growing in us.  When faced with a situation that looks beyond what we can control, the proper response is to get in the Word of God to build your faith to meet your circumstance.

3.     Reassurance comes only from the word of his works.

Matthew 11:4-5 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”  Anytime you hear how God has worked your faith begins to rise.  When God works a work of His grace in your life it is important to declare it to as many as will hear it.  This builds our faith.

Conclusion: Faith is the essence of Christianity and must be built daily.  Four times the scripture declares that the Just shall live by faith.  The testimony of faith pleases the Father and to this end we must remain strong.  Lord, we believe, help our unbelief.

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