Sometimes life can be overwhelming. During those times we may doubt God’s care for us. When John the Baptist was thrown in jail, he had a moment of doubt about Jesus really being the Christ.
“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?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.” (Matt. 11:2–5, ESV)
John found himself imprisoned. The first thing that may confound us as believers is crushing circumstances. Crushing circumstances may cause us to ask, “God, what are You doing to me?” Life can be hard. Jesus never promised us different (John 16:33, 2Tim. 3:12).
John was only hearing about things Jesus was doing, not seeing them first hand. Incomplete information may cause us to say, “God, I’m not sure what You are doing.” This is an acknowledgment of our life as humans. It has been said, “Every moment God is doing 15,000,000 things, 3 of which you might be aware of.” God is working. We simply cannot fathom all that He is doing (Isa 55:8-9).
John asked, “Are you the one?” As John tried to evaluate what God was doing, he did so according to his expectations of how Jesus should conduct Himself. Erroneous expectations may cause us to say, “God, you are not doing what I expected.” When we place expectations upon how God should work in our lives, we will be disappointed.
When we focus on our circumstances, with our incomplete information, we begin to place wrong expectations upon God. Jesus answered John by pointing out that He was meeting the expectations of the Father as outlined in the Old Testament (Isa. 61.1-2). God is who He said He is and acts based upon His holiness. He is what this life is supposed to be about. Not us. Jesus tells us very plainly that He is at work. We have every reason to believe that He will continue to work for all eternity. No matter our circumstances or expectations, know that God is at work.
When we focus on ourselves, we lose sight of the God who has brought us to difficult circumstances. Focus on God using you in and through your circumstances to accomplish His will.
Don’t focus on yourself. Life is better lived when it is lived for God instead of yourself.
David Harris is the Senior Pastor at Faith Baptist Church. A former programmer, in his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife Kim and trying his hand at the illusive craft of smoking meat.