This post is part of my book launch, Meeting God at Wits’ End: Hope for the Weary …
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?”
John the Baptist was a godly man. The angel had foretold the following about him: “For he will be great before the Lord. . . . and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared” (Luke 1:15-17).
God had ordained that he would have a great ministry, leading people to a saving knowledge of Him. Jesus even stated: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11).
Now, though, he was in prison and, little did he know, about to be beheaded. Was this God’s plan for his life? Granted, he had fulfilled God’s call for some time, but it seemed abruptly ended. As a result, he began to question whether or not Jesus was the Messiah.
His perception of God’s plan and will was one of the reasons he began to doubt. The Jews had been raised with the concept of a conquering Messiah, overcoming the enemy and setting up His glorious kingdom. However, the Romans were still in charge and he was imprisoned. Where was God in all of this? Is Jesus truly the Christ?
Can you relate? Have things not turned out the way you anticipated? Does that mean God has failed you? Or, does it mean that God’s plan doesn’t necessarily coincide with your thoughts on how things should’ve gone? Obviously, God doesn’t fail in His sovereign will, including for our lives. Yet, how do we relate when things don’t go as we anticipated?
Even when we’ve sinned and seemingly ruined God’s plan for our lives, He’s still in charge. For example, David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband. Nevertheless, Jesus came through Solomon’s lineage: “And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah” (Matt. 1:6). Isn’t that amazing? He’s able to redeem anyone and anything!
When things don’t go well, either through the circumstances of life or our own sins, Jesus is still in charge. Nothing is beyond His control—beyond His grace and power. That’s our only hope, especially at wits’ end.
Jesus, help me to trust in You when I’m imprisoned in the circumstances of life.
The Devotional Writer
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