“Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief.” Believers and followers of Jesus have great moments of strong faith “up on the mountain” in the presence of God, and also times of “walking through the valley of the shadow of death,” when life isn’t so great and questions of doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, and faith overwhelm. What is a Christian to do in such times of doubt and fear? How does Jesus respond?
John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin. He had baptized Him and seen the Holy Spirit descend on Him and heard the Father’s voice, “This is my Son with whom I am well-pleased.” Now he was in prison and had an important question of Jesus: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” He sent messengers to ask his question as fear and doubt, confusion and puzzlement were thick and weighty on his heart. I have been a believer and follower of Jesus for 20 years and have had similar times of doubt in my walk, as well. “Lord, are you there? Lord, do you hear me? Lord, is this going to work out? Lord, when? Why? What? How?” We are weak and prone to wander, especially in times of pressure and stress. We are in need of encouragement and strength in these difficult times; where will my help come from?
Jesus is God, our Lord and Savior, and a friend in times of trouble. He is personal, caring and compassionate, shining light into the darkness of our souls. In that very hour that John faltered, Jesus healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and to many who were blind he gave sight. And He said to John’s messengers, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.” Jesus’ work is the proof He is the one to come, the Christ, the long-expected Messiah, “my Lord and my God.” John could be assured and have his faith restored by Christ’s hand.
The messengers of John returned and reported what they had seen and heard. We don’t know John’s reaction or response. He was killed shortly after. I imagine, though, he grew in faith, and faced death well. He was blessed by Jesus for not being offended by Him. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and is a gift of God that He grows in us. Faith grows in trials. As we face trials, when life isn’t so great and questions of doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, and faith overwhelm, we can turn to Jesus. Jesus is caring and compassionate and provides strength, hope, and encouragement. He helps us in our unbelief.