Matthew 11:4-5 – Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 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." (NIV)
Are you discouraged, or have you ever been? I like the way that Jesus encourages John the Baptist, who is languishing in a dungeon beneath King Herod's palace. He gives a message to John's disciples which will restore John's confidence and strengthen his faith. In the darkness and isolation of his bleak cell, John must have been tortured by self-doubt and misery. He had staked his reputation on pointing out to people that Jesus was the Messiah that they were looking for. He asked Jesus to confirm this, because he feared that he may have been mistaken.
John's situation would have reduced anyone to this level. When he was outside his cell, proclaiming God's message to his people, he was fearless and courageous. Now, he was trapped in a dark, dank, miserable cell where his mind was overloaded with anxiety, and his spirit was downcast with depression. No wonder, then, that John began to lose some sort of grip on reality. So, like many of the people at that time, he turned to Jesus to ask for help and healing.
Christ did not disappoint him. He told John's messengers to report all the wonderful miracles that were taking place and the good news of salvation that was being proclaimed, especially to the poor. Undoubtedly, this was all that John needed to hear to reactivate his faith and restore his confidence. Jesus was doing all of the things that had been prophesied, so John could accept this news with a grateful heart.
Perhaps you are experiencing some trouble in your life or are feeling isolated and disillusioned. Maybe you feel trapped in a situation which seems hopeless because you are powerless to change things. Let Christ's Spirit enter into you. Let His words of faith calm your fears and settle your soul. Let His love embrace, energize, and encourage you. We are not alone — Christ is with us, ready to help and heal us, and to sustain us to the very end of our earthly journey and beyond.
Points to ponder: What things negatively impact my faith in God? How can Christ restore me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely and are perfectly aware of our present circumstances. Come to us and lift us up. Heal and restore us; embrace and encourage us. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Seeking The Lost" (Lyrics)