If you are visiting me today from Proverbs 31 Encouragement Today Devotions, welcome!
John the Baptist was a burning and shining lamp; inwardly burning with love and zeal, outwardly shining in all holiness.
~Jesus said, “Among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.”
~ The angel told his father, Zacharias, that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb and that he would go in the spirit and power of Elijah.
~The Holy Spirit revealed to John the Baptist that the One whom He descended upon would be the Messiah. John witnessed this with his own eyes at Jesus’ baptism. (John 1:32-34)
Yet, when Herod imprisoned him in the awful, putrid dungeon for days upon end with no relief, we read in Luke 7:18-28 that John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was indeed the Coming One or if they should look for another? Can you imagine?… Oh my goodness, I can’t! John the Baptizer, who was called the forerunner to Jesus, who was filled from the womb with the Holy Spirit, the burning and shining lamp- falling prey to doubt and despair!!
To answer John’s questions… Jesus told his disciples, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
John’s entire life was lived to foretell the coming of the Messiah. And he lived his calling to the fullest. He lived his life as a burning and shining lamp… But his current circumstances made him tremble. I LOVE what he did! When in doubt- he sought Truth. Truth always frees us. You can imprison a body but not the spirit. As long as we know the truth- the truth will set us free.
Jesus says to us all, “Blessed is he who is not offended” when circumstances are hard and answers are not in sight. He loves us. He loved John the Baptist. Many times we’ll never know the answers to why things happen.
John the Baptist lives on as a memorial and example for other burning and shining lamps- to seek Truth when circumstances make us doubt.
How we respond in those times are of the highest importance to God. He watches to see whether in our darkest hour, if we will respond to Him who is invisible- more than to the visible around us. For faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward! For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise!
When a trial comes, confront it with truth like John the Baptist did and it will free you. When this life is over we want Jesus to say that we were a burning and shining lamp; inwardly burning with love and zeal and outwardly shining in all holiness-who sought TRUTH at all cost.
Here are a few things I do when I’m faced with a trial:
- Pray and believe that you will be triumphant. “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.“(Phil 4:13)And yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.”(Romans 8:37) Declare these truths with determination and confidence as you petition the Lord!
- Quickly access your dilemma. Is it life threatening physically or spiritually? If the answer is no, then take a deep breath and say, thank you Lord. You can do this, even if it’s brutal! If it is life threatening you can do it to- it’ll take more prayer!
- Focus on one problem at a time. Example: Our daughter was scheduled to have her tonsils taken out at the same time our car was broken down through vandalism. We got a call from the hospital on the same day that the glass company called to say the car windows kept coming in broken. The hospital said that our insurance company had decided 4 days before surgery that her tonsils were a preexisting condition and would not cover the procedure even though it had been previously approved. I decided to not focus on that issue, instead I asked my friends to pray.
- Ask for help. Do you know what gets in the way of us asking for help? Pride. “His pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God.” 2 Chronicles 26:16 We need to ask God for help and help from others when we have needs. It’s humbling to ask for help depending on what kind of help you need. If you can’t ask, pride is in the way and God hates pride.
- Read the Word. This is where you find TRUTH. In any trial Dale and I are facing, we read the Word. It is our faithful road map. Holy Spirit ALWAYS gives hope and answers through His Word. The more problems we have- the more we choose to read it. Does God Still work Miracles?
What do you need help with to get through your trial today? Prayer. . .do you need to ask for help…time in the Word? Write what you need in the comment section. We’ll pray for you. The comment enters you to win two books, Jesus Calling, The Prisoner in the Third Cell(this is a MUST read) and a TARGET GIFT CARD!Winner drawn next week.