“God, I need a miracle.”
Have you ever prayed that prayer? Things were so bad that a miracle from God seemed to be the only possible solution. Maybe you got it; God heard your prayer of faith and answered in a powerful way. Maybe you didn’t; God’s answer was “No” or perhaps “I’m taking care of it another way this time.”
For years I believed that seeing something truly miraculous and amazing would surely make my faith so strong that I would never again struggle to follow God. Guess what: it doesn’t work that way.
In Exodus, God’s people marched out of Egypt after the longest series of miracles in the Bible. Trapped between the Egyptians and the sea they cried out to God and he delivered: the water piled up and they walked across on dry land while their pursuers drowned. An incredible faith-building experience, right?
Wrong. Just weeks later the Israelites were so afraid of starving that they longed for the “good old days” of slavery in Egypt when food was plentiful. The entire nation grumbled against Moses for freeing them.
Or consider Elijah the prophet, who challenged 450 prophets of Baal to a showdown. God rained down fire from heaven, proving His power, validating Elijah’s ministry, and motivating the Israelites to kill the prophets of Baal. An incredible faith-building experience, right?
Wrong. Just hours later, after standing his ground against 450 evil men, Elijah was threatened by a lone woman, Jezebel. Elijah was so frightened that he ran into the desert and kept running until he wound up 200 miles away. So much for great faith.
The link between witnessing miracles and developing a dynamic faith is tenuous at best, for one simple reason: faith is not about what you see with your eyes. Faith is about what you see with your heart. If my faith today is based on an amazing performance by God, where will I base it if God chooses not to perform tomorrow? Faith must exist in spite of God’s sometimes miraculous answers, not because of them.
If you are waiting for a miracle on which to build your faith, don’t bother. Real faith, by definition, must be based on what we cannot see. In fact, without faith already in place, you may miss the miracle altogether.
Faith may bring about miracles, but miracles rarely bring
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