Monday, January 21, 2019

Are You Disappointed in Jesus?

“Go to Jesus and ask him, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we
expect someone else?’” – John 7:19

In July 1999, I began serving as the pastor at First Christian Church of Victorville. And my faith was really tested early on. About four months after I came on staff, our church secretary, Dorothy Love, was hospitalized with major medical issues. By December it didn’t look like she was going to make it. I remember walking into my bedroom in the apartment where my wife and I lived at the time. I knelt beside my bed and begged God to heal Dorothy. I prayed. I cried. I did everything I could think of to do to make sure that God heard and answered that prayer. And guess what happened? Within twenty-four hours, Dorothy breathed her last, and she was gone.

I’ve got to tell you, I really felt let down by God. He had the power to heal Dorothy, and He didn’t do it. He said He would answer the prayer of faith lifted up by one of His followers, but He didn’t do it. I was disappointed with God. Have you ever been there? I’m sure you have. But you and I are not alone. In Luke chapter 7, John the Baptist—the man who hailed Jesus as the Savior—went through a dark night of doubt while he was being held in prison.

John had been imprisoned for speaking out against King Herod’s warped marriage to his brother’s former wife, who also happened to be Herod’s niece. Put yourself in John the Baptist’s shoes: an innocent man, sitting in a dirty, smelly jail cell for months. You’ve gone over in your mind the events that led to your arrest, and you’ve concluded that you did nothing to deserve the punishment you’re experiencing. You simply did what God put you on this earth to do: to plead with people to wake up and point them to Jesus Christ.

In Luke 7:18, some of John’s followers visited him in prison and gave him a full report on Jesus’ teaching and miraculous healings. You would think that John would have been blown away. But he didn’t seem blown away at all. In fact, he seemed a bit confused—even disappointed. In response, John sent two of his disciples on an errand: “Go to Jesus and ask him, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’” (vs. 19).

Baffling! Think about it: Yet John was the man who had pointed to Jesus and proclaimed, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” It was John who baptized Jesus and saw the Holy Spirit descend on him in the form of a dove. And it was John who heard the voice from God the Father that said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” But as he sat in that prison cell, John had doubts.

But when John’s followers delivered his message to Jesus, notice that Jesus DIDN’T shake his fist and say, “That no-good locust eater! How dare he question me!” Jesus didn’t condemn John’s doubt. He embraced it. Jesus didn’t complain about John’s disappointment with him. Instead, he responded with compassion. Jesus kept preaching the good news and healing the sick in view of John’s disciples. Then Jesus told them: “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me” (vs. 22-23).

John’s disciples returned to John and relayed Jesus’ message to them. And as best as we can tell, John’s faith in Jesus was restored, and he served him faithfully until his dying day.

As we follow Christ, we all deal with some doubt and disappointment. I know in my heart that Jesus is good, but at times it doesn’t feel like He’s good to ME. I know in my heart that Jesus’ plans are better than my plans and his timing is better than my timing, but at the same time … it feels like Jesus has let me down. With that in mind, here are three important lessons on doubt and disappointment:

1: If you are a true follower of Christ, doubt may temporarily disturb your relationship with Jesus, but it won’t destroy it. It’s okay to have some doubts about God’s plan and His goodness in your life. It’s okay to feel at times like he’s let you down. And truth be told: When we go through a period of doubt and disappointment, it can actually make our faith in God even stronger. Chuck Swindoll makes this great point: “Some doubting is healthy. Doubt can force us to pursue the truth rather than just being gullible and believing whatever we are told…. Doubts fuel the believer’s pursuit of real answers to life’s most troubling questions.”

2: When you are doubting Jesus and feel like he has let you down, take your doubt and disappointment to Him. He’s a big God. He can handle it. John the Baptist had overwhelming evidence that Jesus was the promised Christ. But when John was down in the dumps, he had doubts and disappointment anyway. And when John brought his doubt and disappointment to him, Jesus was perfectly fine with it. In fact, he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The same goes for you.

3: Special blessings await those who endure earthly disappointments and inequalities believing there are heavenly rewards. John’s imprisonment never seemed fair to him, because it wasn’t fair. His imprisonment never seemed just, because it wasn’t just. But John the Baptist endured, knowing that God would reward him in heaven. And that’s exactly what God did …and He will do the same for you. 

Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit  and join us for church Sundays at 10 a.m.

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