John the Baptist was languishing in prison and questioning his faith. He may well have wondered: Is Jesus the Messiah? Is His word true? Have I believed and labored in vain for my Master? Is this dark place my final reward for answering God’s call?
Perhaps countless questions make their way through your mind as well: Is Jesus really the Savior? Have my sins been forgiven? Can I trust the Bible? Will I be raised from the dead? Does heaven lie ahead? Is all that I believe a cruel illusion?
Most of us ask questions like these from time to time. I do—especially on those dark days when circumstances bring sorrow and bitter disappointment, when it seems there’s no storybook ending to our lives.
These questionings are not failures of faith but tests of faith and can be answered in John the Baptist’s way: We must take our doubts to Jesus. In His time and in His own wise way He will restore the confidence our hearts desire.
Jesus didn’t abandon John to his doubt. He sent word of the miracles He performed and the hope He preached (Matt. 11:4-6). As George MacDonald said of God’s faithfulness: “You might as well say that a mother would go away from her little child lying moaning in the dark.”
But in the dark my heart is strangely blest;
Yea, in the gloom my soul obtains its rest;
For, spite of night, I find that God on high
Is near the anguished soul, where'er it lie. —H. Frost
Never doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.