Each of us can remember a time of great trial, either in our own life or that of a family member or friend, when we have suffered a lapse in faith. Those lapses can be a minor or total lapse; it can be short-lived or it can go on for some time. The Bible is a source of comfort for God-fearing men and women in many ways, including this area. As we have been re-telling the story of Jesus, we have been looking at His forerunner, John the Baptist. Nearing the end of his life, John questioned whether or not Jesus was the Promised One of God or was there someone else. This happened in spite of John’s privilege of seeing God’s anointing of Jesus with the Spirit at His baptism and thus having cause to declare to all present, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!”
John’s lapse in faith isn’t an isolated case with Godly people and we see throughout scripture evidence of this. Jesus’ disciples found themselves at various times failing to trust Him implicitly. Take for example their response during the storm on the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus slept (Mk 4:35-40), or even their response in failing to bring bread with them on a journey, even after seeing Jesus feed two separate multitudes with mere scraps (Matthew 16:1-12). Even the rock, Peter, was afflicted with a lapse in faith when Jesus called him out of the boat onto the water with Him. (Matthew 14:31) If these were not immune, we must realize that we too can suffer this as well.
In considering these events let us not overlook what response these men took, and that is they knew to turn to Jesus. In the case of John the Baptist, Jesus’ instruction to his disciples was to go back to John and to tell him what they see and hear. He then goes on to list several actions that constitute a fulfilling of prophesy that Jesus is doing. In His response, Jesus gives us the answer to a lack of or a lapse in faith. Concentrate on those things Jesus spoke or did. Did not Paul say “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God?” Jesus is that word and if we will only “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith (Hebrews 12:2), we will have fewer lapses and shorter in faith!
Copyright © 2005, Nolan P. Rutter