When Doubts Arise

Written on 01/12/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: 2 Peter 1:19-21

19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it all seems to fantastic. Too unbelievable even. God becomes man and dies for our sins? Jesus, fully human and fully God dies and raises from the dead? No one does that. Sometimes I have doubts about all of it. Do you ever? 

The people Peter was writing to apparently did too. The early disciples were telling people a fantastic story, and calling them to a radical life change. If you read these three verses in context they make more sense. In this chapter he is calling us to live a radical life of transformation and discipleship based on the power of God:

vs1: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life" 

vs5: "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness;..etc"

Then he says, in verse 15: "I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things." In other words, he knows he is going to die soon and he wants to make sure the true message of the Gospel outlasts him. To make his argument, that they should live these radically transformed lives, he reassures their faith by saying:

vs16: "For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." 

What they are telling them about Jesus, that requires this life change, is based on THEIR EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY. Specifically in this verse the eyewitness testimony of the transfiguration (Matthew 17). But if that's not enough (now we get to our verses for today), he then appeals to the hundreds of prophecies of the Old Testament (their Scriptures at that time) that Jesus fulfilled:

vs19: "We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable"

One commentator I read said that over 300 prophecies were perfectly fulfilled by Jesus in his life, ministry, death, and resurrection. Peter says when we are in a dark place, the Word of God fulfilled in Christ can be a light that shines "until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." In other words, until faith rises in our hearts again.

So when we struggle with faith, when we wrestle with doubts, when we wonder if it is all just too fantastic to believe...we can be reminded by Peter of these same truths. We are left with eye witness testimony, with miracles, with the Holy Spirit, and with the Scriptures that are fulfilled not once, but hundreds of times over again. 

In the end of the day, we can take all that and hold onto faith, as the morning star rises in our hearts again, and be encouraged by the loving words of Jesus: "blessed are those who have not seen [me] and yet have believed." (John 20:29)