“Therefore, make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me.” – Ezra 4:21 (ESV)
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” – John 20:29 (ESV)
Isn’t it just like the enemy to wiggle his way into our minds as soon as we plant a seed of doubt? We have momentary lapses of faith when life overwhelms us (myself being the worst offender) and as soon as we start to doubt, the enemy grabs a hold of that and uses it against us. It almost goes against our human nature to believe first, then see. It takes a strong foundation of faith for that.
In Ezra chapters 3 through 5, we see the rebuilding of the temple that the Babylonians destroyed in Jerusalem. After the foundation was finally laid, great rejoicing took place all over the land. It was the beginning of restoration and hope for the Israelites. But in chapter 4, the enemies of Judah and Benjamin step into the scene and convince King Atraxerses to command them to cease their rebuilding. I think it’s safe to say we would expect that the Israelites automatically felt so much frustration, discouragement, and doubt. But instead, they are obedient to the king’s decree and wait to begin rebuilding again. We also see God’s favor in the situation and what may be assumed to be God’s perfect timing.
And who can forget about doubting Thomas? In John 20, Jesus resurrects and appears to various disciples and friends. The Messiah has risen; their Lord is walking among them. I’m sure by the eighth day, Thomas heard multiple stories from multiple sources. But he refuses to believe. And honestly, who could blame him? How can something that seems so impossible, too goo to be true, be real? Many times I catch myself doubting and full of disbelief just like Thomas.
God comes through for the Israelites. They were patient and trusted in Him. And even though Thomas wasn’t as full of faith, Jesus is still full of grace and offers him an opportunity to believe that he is the risen King. And not only does he extend his wonderful grace, but he also blesses us when we believe without seeing – just like God blessed the Israelites with His favor.
Imagine what kind of blessings we could receive if we decide to give God “that problem” or “that concern” first instead of making Him prove it to us that He will take care of it!
Let’s rebuke the enemy’s lies that God isn’t a faithful God. Don’t let him fool you that our God isn’t trustworthy enough to help us through our struggles even before we know what they are. Because He is and He does! And when we decide to trust God with our situations and problems before knowing the outcomes, we are blessed. It’s His promise to us.