Departing Discouragement

John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” – Matthew 11:2-3

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In some ways, I am comforted by the fact that John the Baptist (for at least one moment in his life) was discouraged and harbored doubt. This bold prophet of God, after sitting for some time in Herod’s jail, once asked Jesus (the One of whom he had once said, “This is the Lamb of God.”), “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”

John, Jesus’s close relative who baptized the Messiah, heard the audible affirmation of the Father, and saw the visible anointing of the Holy Spirit, doubted his own experience. Oh, the power of discouragement! If John the Baptist was able to feel such despair, then why not me!

While discouragement may be ordinary fare for the Christ-follower, there is no reason to dwell in it. Just follow John’s example for a hasty exit. Call on Jesus. One word from the King of kings and discouragement departs. He is and will always be the all-encouraging Lord

The Christian’s chief occupational hazards are depression and discouragement. – John R. Stott

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