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When Disappointment Leads to Doubt, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2021 7:05 am

When Disappointment Leads to Doubt, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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Sometimes when we're disappointed with the path our lives begin to ponder the unrealized dream passersby. It culminates in a season of doubt we question whether or not God knows or even care about our plight today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll begins a two day message on this topic is application is squarely founded on Matthew 11 and a snapshot of Jesus public ministry.

This passage contains a sequence of encounters that expose a pattern of second-guessing God.

Chuck titled today's message when disappointment leads down what you do with your doubts. Most people want to run and hide. Ashamed of them, afraid to admit them thinking that somehow it'll demote us and shove us out of the acceptance of our God really learned today from this passage in Matthew 11 truth through 11 something interesting because the doubt comes from one you and I would never have expected, and he expressed his doubt openly and with a lot of emotion and frankly I find it gives us a lot of hope to see this. We've always carried the idea that lot like Thomas off what is given the title doubting Thomas and we think of him in a negative way.

I'm not sure we should think he is and he is what I would call a reflective Christian like some of you, and you feel somehow another part of the of the group because you wrestle with things that take you time to think through and accept some time to dip in doubt, as will see in Matthew chapter 11 to exactly where John was. So we want to be kind with John at the same time we want to be realistic as we think about Matthew 11 two through 11 John the baptizer who was in prison.

Heard about all the things the Messiah was doing so.

He said his disciples to ask Jesus. Are you the Messiah.

We been expecting or should we keep looking for someone else. Jesus told them go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life in the good news is being preached to the poor and tell him God blesses those who do not turn away because of me as John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began talking about him to the crowds or what kind of man did you go to the wilderness to see was he a week. Read swayed by every breath of wind or were you expecting to see a man dressed in expensive clothing. No people with expensive clothes live in palaces, were you looking for profit. Yes and he is more than a prophet. John is a man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you and he will prepare your way before you. I tell you the truth, of all who ever lived. None is greater that John the baptizer. Yet even the least person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight another message from Chuck about when disappointment leads to doubt there were times our lives are like a row of dominoes standing on end one bumps the second and then the second nudges the third and then the third does the same right on down the line. I'm referring to the way doubt creeps in and dismantles our faith never suddenly never out of context but a series of things unfold in kind of a loving emotional syndrome, for lack of a better way to put it. Everything starts with a thought really think something is going to occur and that thought leads us to anticipation. We now anticipate it occurring and that builds us with a little imagination to an expectation that expectation becomes so real to us that we are not convinced it's going to occur, but it doesn't end in a vulnerable state of expectation. That isn't reality. We swap into disillusionment disillusionment soon turns to disappointment and finally the land hard on this cold stone floor down. It didn't happen suddenly, but over the passing sometime a few days. Sometime a few months and time of just a few minutes, one man describes it in these very practical terms for many of us found ourselves. The details are different, but we been in situations like this. He writes I remember one night last winter. A cold real Chicago night. The wind was howling and sleep slanted out of the sky coating the streets with darkly shining ice that night my car stalled in a rather ominous neighborhood as a raise the hood and hunched over the engine praying the sweet, stinging my back like tiny pebbles. I prayed over and over. Please help me get this car started. No amount of fiddling with wires and tubes and cables would start that car and so I spent the next hour in a dilapidated diner waiting for a tow truck sitting on a plastic chair my drenched close forming a widening pool of water around my feet. I wondered what God thought about my plight progressing. I would miss a scheduled meeting that night and would probably waste many hours over the next few days trying to wring fair, honest work out of the service station set up to pray on stranded motorists did not even care about my frustration or the waste of energy and money he adds.

I found that I have found that petty disappointments tend to accumulate over time. Miss this disappointments accumulate over time undermining my faith with a lava flow of doubt my emotions and my faith waiver. Once those doubts CPN I'm even less prepared for times of major crisis a neighborly dying of cancer.

I pray diligently for but even as I pray I wonder can God be trusted if small prayers go unanswered. What about the big ones, but a person hearing me right now is unable to identify with a situation like that, but you have your own details in life you have your own circle of people you love one or more of them is dying, or they've gotten a report from the physician that looks ominous sounds treacherous you maybe caring for someone that you thought sure would soon be well and their worse and you have prayed and you have trusted in the God of the Bible because through your life you have built that kind of confidence but there's been no breakthrough in fact it's only gotten worse as I said earlier they don't come suddenly, often small frustrations lead later to disappointments and then we feel like Job or Elijah under the tree or Peter about a fire or Paul despairing of life in our loneliness and disillusionment. Are you ready for this. Even the cousin of Jesus doubted his name is John the baptizer the honor of the Messiah, the only one free appointed profit asks are you are you really the Messiah that we been looking for.

Or should we keep looking for one you read it correctly exactly what he said he has now succumbed to doubt my think is genuine.

Let me say no one is immune to this malady. No one knows from earth to heaven sailing on calm seas, never knowing storm or the feeling of sinking. No one goes from earth to heaven without stopping off in carnality corral or worse full and failure of fall, but doubts never occur all alone is always reason for the take John for example verse two introduces him in a Simple Way, John. The baptizer was in prison. Stop there ever been in prison don't answer out loud.

Maybe you have for whatever reason behind bars. Freedom taken away, surrounded by those who are not good for you feeling uneasy during the day and threatened night. John is in prison. His career has come to a disaster risk and sudden ending before too long. He will be beheaded. What on earth had he done what you won't believe it little background will help parent Oedipus of Galilee, visited his brother in Rome and while there, he was taken by his brothers wife whom he seduced Herod then summarily went back home. Got rid of his wife brought his brothers wife in grabbed her for his married partner and lived in adultery.

John said I will not take this and stay silent.

John had very few unspoken convictions and this is one of those that resulted in his landing in a dungeon. Not just any prison, but a dungeon not far from the Dead Sea. And if you've ever been to Israel. That is the one place you don't want to be put in the dungeon. One man writes for any man that would've been a terrible fate, but for the baptizer. It was worse than for most.

He was a child of the desert all his life he had lived in the wide open spaces with clean wind on his face in the spaces vault of the sky for his roof and now he is confined within the four narrow walls of an underground dungeon for a man like John who would never perhaps ever lived in a house as an adult.

This mustard and agony is not just any prison if the dungeon you ever been on the dungeon. Probably not, when you go to Rome and you have a guide someone to escort you to the member, time prison take him up on it and go walk down the spiral staircase is dark is damp and is frightening for Paul most likely spent his last hours before he was a beheaded outside Rome. That dungeon dungeon what John Dunn told the truth wasn't very tactful. Certainly wasn't politically correct in those days when you spoke against the king you paid for it dearly, but here he is, however, he is been the forerunner of the Messiah who will not only heal the sick and give sight to the blind and cleanse the leper, he will set the prisoner free where is a Jesus doesn't even come for a visit. Are you the Messiah, or should we be looking for another you guys go asking. These are reasons that have built up into "remember the dominoes first thought, I will be here long Messiah will know I'm here is anticipation built to where it became through the help of the imagination a reality and that vulnerable place of reality thinking that what he had been anticipating what happened did not happen in time. Continued a long time now there's disillusionment followed by disappointment and finally are you really Messiah before I go any further I want to speak to you today who would be afraid to be that open but you understand John you were there you sit in the hospital room and you hear all of that machinery. All of those instruments going on and you wonder why there hasn't been healing as a good person lying there with all those tubes in you you you thought it would be different. Not when Cynthia had her spinal surgery. You heard me tell you that her surgeon said to us, but you need to know that the recovery will be slow.

He should have said the recovery will be the in words. This high because when you tell us what all it's going to be slow. It may be a day and 1/2 could be a few weeks were set new records this recovery is oh so you know what in the middle the night in an unguarded moment. I did wonder how long I wondered which she ever be better. See I'm not the kind of believer that just spouts versus an plasters a smile on acts like everything's fabulous. When it isn't. I'm glad we didn't talk in the middle of that night because out of my mouth with calm very uneasy words that would've probably disappointed so I understand understand I think is very significant. There is not one word of shame that falls from the lips against John well you talk like that, not only my Messiah were cousins, will it probably wouldn't be a good basis saying, but he doesn't do that. But what Jesus does. Since it was the disciples of John who brought the message John is in prison. Verse four. Jesus talked to them. He told them this you go back to John and you tell them that all you know what this is time for little correlation because Luke says things that John that Matthew doesn't mention so let's turn to Luke chapter 7 Luke seven is the same story told through the pan of a physician named Luke look at this 718 the disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing so. John called for the two of his disciples and he said to them, he sent them to the Lord and ask him or even Messiah. We been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else. Just what Matthew wrote. But there's more here.

John's two disciples found Jesus and said to him, the baptizer sent us to ask are you the Messiah.

We been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else. At that very moment at that very moment when the question had just fallen from their lips right then. Notice what it says right then Jesus cured many people of their diseases and illnesses.

Evil spirits restore the site to many who were blind then notice right then he did that and then on the heels of it. He told them go back to John telling what you've seen and heard the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear the dinner race to life. Good news being preached to the poor is a really question on Messiah exactly as Isaiah prophesied when the Messiah would come. You've seen it with your own eyes. You've heard their words of gratitude having been healed back to Matthew 11 look at this Jesus does all these things and then he adds a beatitude when you've never seen this as a beatitude before but remember the Beatitudes.

Blessed is he blessed is he. But in Matthew five the beginning of the sermon on the Mount look at this one and tell him at this. Blessed are those who were not scandalized because of me literally the word we have for scandal comes from the Greek word that sounds just like MS the word year, God blesses those who were not offended because of me. Take heart, John, take heart splices special blessings await those who were not offended because an answer hasn't come as they expect, may I Blessed are the Job's who were in their marital partner says curse God and die refused to do so, but continue to trust me, Blessed are the Joseph's, who even though they are falsely accused and unjustly thrown into prison refused to become better and keep trusting me, Blessed are the Hosea's who are faithful in their marriage but their partner was not and they keep walking with me and obeying my word. Blessed are the Paul's, who pray again and again and again for the form to be removed and here again again again no no no and grow in grace rather than doubt.

Blessed are you, John for staying right there and knowing that I am Messiah and God's sovereign plan is unfolding. Note the words not what you anticipated. Not what you expected, not what you became assured of in your own mind, but exactly as God has planned it you answer as you sit and hear these words. Why in the world is that God's plan. My answer is to introduce you to the mystery of God's will. It has mysterious nests about it from our perspective, we cannot we cannot fully explain and that is why the sending feels he has fuel for his Dell's see their that's the way your good God deals with you. So John don't go there. Don't go there. John Blessed are those who are not scandalized or ended because of me I can't think of a more relevant topic during these challenging days in our country in the world today again tomorrow.

Chuck Swindoll is talking about what to do when disappointment leads to doubt your listening to Insight for living. To learn more about this ministry. Please visit us We understand many in our listening family are in the throes of a disappointing season. Perhaps your circumstances have caused you to doubt God's presence. You're certainly not alone. We often hear from listeners who tell us their heartrending stories and the way God has used his word to bring them to a better place. For instance, not long ago a grieving widower left a comment that said Chuck I can't tell you how much your messages have helped me through the storms.

I've been through starting in September. With the passing of my sister then my wife's daughter in November. Then, with the passing of my wife in December, Jesus used your messages to comfort me and love me and give me a piece that words can't explain. Thank you.

Well let me pass this thank you note to anyone who supports Insight for living because you're the channel God uses to bring this Bible teaching to your hometown and the places beyond our borders. You may never know the impact of your generosity on the life of someone who feels beyond hope. We are deeply grateful for your support. As God prompted a support Insight for living.

Please give a donation today.

Call us listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 or give it chucks brand-new teaching series on the book of Matthew has ignited your curiosity and you're ready to learn more. Then I'll encourage it and swindles living insights commentary personal collection of study to the comes into large volumes purchase swindles living insights commentary on Matthew, if you're listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8880 or go directly to the preceding message when disappointment leads to death was copyrighted in 2016 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll. All rights are reserved worldwide.

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