How Should We Doubt God?

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”(Matthew 11:2-3 ESV)

Despite all of John's history, he obviously had his doubts about whether or not Jesus was the messiah. Proclaiming his message landed John in prison. Jesus was teaching grace not bringing the judgment John had predicted. Intellectually and emotionally, John suffered disappointment. What did he do?

First he went TO Jesus with his questions. He did not run away and look for some new religion. He did not take the cynics way out and give up on all truth. He did not beat himself up for having questions. He did not suffer quietly in guilt wondering how he could even ask. He simply sent messengers to Jesus.

We need to follow that example, when you are disappointed or have questions go to Jesus and ask. You can push hard on him about your past, about the suffering in the world, and about what he plans to do.

Jesus did not rebuke John for asking, he gave him an answer. Later, after the resurrection, Jesus did not scold Thomas for being slow to believe. He graciously said, here I am, touch me and believe.

Second, John waited on a response. There is a vast difference between venting and asking. Venting is pouring forth self-righteous scorn. When we vent, we tell God how he should run his business. Asking is humble. Asking is saying, "Sir, I just don't understand how you can be powerful and good and still let little children be shot." When we ask, we patiently wait for an answer.

Jesus gave John an answer: I am at work, I am rolling back the effects of sin and death. "Blessed is the one who is not offended by me."

I feel offended when I believe I did not get what I deserve. I feel offended when my higher intelligence or my higher sensibilities are assaulted by those of a lower class. What does Jesus say to John? If you want to be blessed, to be happy, then submit to my wisdom. John trust me, I know what I am doing.

Jesus still gives us those answers. "I am at work, by my death, resurrection and the work of my Spirit I am making all things new. This process is long, and it will not look like you expect it to look. But I am at work in it. Trust me in the pain. Look for me and you will find me. And you will be happy if you can submit to my wisdom. Trust me, I know more than you, and you will only find happiness if you are not offended by me.