I’m wondering lately what might happen if we dare to believe – to really, truly believe that God will do what He promises and to trust Him through even the most challenging circumstances when it seems that you might be nothing more than a failure – or possibly even insane. What might happen if we dare to believe, if we dare to tell others what we believe for, and ask them to believe with us? Is it possible that if we hold on to that belief even through the fear that God will miraculously intervene on our behalf and rescue us?
Noah looked like a fool to those around him. He built an ark in a time when no one had ever seen rain. He built an ark that took him hundreds of years to build, following God’s specific instructions, and loaded animals on to it. Then the door closed and he waited. Only then did God send the rain.
Nancy Alcorn, who started Mercy Ministries, gave away the first $15,000 donated to her ministry. She felt God told her to do it. She felt God told her that in giving, her ministry would be blessed. A short time later she received $150,000. God has continued to bless her ministry as she has repeatedly been challenged to trust Him, has believed and been faithful, and is now reaping great rewards. Precious girl’s lives change, she is the head of a well-known and respected international ministry, and is a successful author and speaker.
During Jesus’ three years of ministry, He did miraculous things every day. Through Him the sick were healed instantly, the dead came back to life, demons were cast out, mental illness was healed, money appeared in a fish’s mouth, and thousands were fed with five loaves of bread and two fish. Before all these miracles were recorded, Jesus went into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days and was tempted by Satan. His ministry began after He had endured the mighty struggle.
How many of us are willing to endure the mighty struggle? How many of us are so determined to be found faithful that we wait through our fear and confusion, we wait through our loneliness, hunger, and pain? Jesus was hungry and alone for 40 days. Nancy gave away the money she desperately needed to start the ministry she felt called to do. Noah faced hundreds of years of ridicule and misunderstanding. What are we willing to endure?
There’s a moment when we are willing to wait it out and endure the hardship – a moment when the pain becomes worth it. And in the days that follow that moment, it becomes more and more clear that it was worth it.
Last week I lost my job. I have felt change coming for a while now, but thought it would be something miraculous and wonderful. I thought God would open the windows of heaven and bless me with some amazing thing I couldn’t see yet. I didn’t think part of my journey would include the fear, disappointment, and hurt of getting laid off. But does the financial difficulty of my church and need to downsize the staff by 25% sway my belief that God has something good for me ahead? Am I really willing to endure the mighty struggle to see the truth of God’s plan for my life? This moment is my moment.
I choose to believe.