Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Mar. 20, 2008

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

When Jesus had finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he went out to teach and preach in towns throughout the region. John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Matthew 11:1-3 (NLT)

We had prayed that God would bless us with a child for two years struggling to get pregnant.  Finally the happy day had arrived and we were admitted to the hospital to give birth to our son.  Partway through labor, the nurse notified us that the baby was not responding as he should be.  They were concerned.

Doubt crept into my mind. I had felt like the Lord had His hand on this child, now he would not be healthy?  Would our baby be okay?  Doubt sneaks in when we need hope the most.  It enters when we face the unexpected or are in difficult circumstances.  At these times doubt speaks loudly, Where are you, God?  Aren’t you listening?  Are you there?

The Bible is filled with doubters.  John the Baptist was one of them.  When he was in jail, the same man who said “Behold, the Messiah…” suddenly wanted to know, “Are you really Him?” When trials come and there are unmet expectations, the voice of doubt creeps in and says God doesn’t care…He doesn’t listen…There is no hope…

When I start having those feelings, sometimes the easiest thing to do is wonder, what have I done wrong?  Have I not prayed enough?  As my husband and I sat waiting to hear from the doctor, wondering if our baby would be okay, he leaned over to me through my doubt and fear and reminded me, that God had this all in His hands.  It’s okay to be afraid, but he reminded me to trust that God protects us, hears our prayers, and that He has not abandoned us. 

Four hours later, we had a healthy little boy in our arms.  God answered our prayers once again.  As a friend reminded me recently how to live with doubt, “I live as if God will come through, but I am not defeated when He doesn’t, and honest enough to say, I sure wish He had.”

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1. What causes you to doubt in God?

2. What can you learn from John the Baptist and others in the Bible about how they dealt with their doubt yet still are considered some of the most faithful followers of Jesus?

Deuteronomy 32:48-52; Matthew 28:16-20; Matthew 11:16

Kelly McFadden currently works at Mariners Church Southern California. She and her husband Michael are the new parents of Campbell McFadden.

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