For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
(Romans 8:24-25 NKJV)
Do you ever wonder what can get in the way of miracles?
Sometimes, we can rely on rituals to “make sure” that God answers our prayers. Maybe this can look like feeling you need to pray the exact prayer you did the last time God blessed you…or making sure you wear the same shirt you were wearing when God helped you ace that test…or worrying that God won’t protect you today because you didn’t get up at 5:00 am to pray.
This is tiring! I believe that we should be disciplined in seeking God, but we’ve taken up a wrong mindset if we start to get paranoid that God won’t be there for us if we “mess up” on a made-up routine in our heads. The sacrifices we make to seek Christ, based on His Word, should bring peace in our hearts.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30 KJV).
Acts 16:31 reminds us that the foundation of our faith is believing God for who He is: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” However, the miracle of salvation is just the beginning. Believe that if God has the power to save you from sin through Jesus Christ, He has the power to provide for you in everyday life. And as Romans 8:25 encourages us, we can wait in expectancy for what He will do.
There’s a reason why we’re called to have childlike faith (see Matthew 18:2-4). Don’t you know that your Heavenly Father wants to provide for you? What if all you had to do was believe God in order to receive?
Matthew 9 depicts many of the miracles Jesus worked out as He encountered several people who were suffering. As we follow His ministry, we see a pattern of faith from those who are healed:
- The Paralyzed Man
“And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” (Matthew 9:2 KJV).
- The Sick Woman
“And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour (v. 20-22).
- Two Blind Men
“And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it” (v.28-30).
In all three examples, Jesus recognized these people’s faith, and He gave them according to what they believed. It didn’t matter what their background was or who they were. It didn’t even matter what they necessarily said. The paralyzed man didn’t say a word–He was brought to Jesus. The sick woman grabbed onto Jesus’ clothing as He was passing through a crowd. The two blind men came to Jesus and simply confirmed they believed that Jesus was able!
Each of these people came in faith BELIEVING BEFORE THE MIRACLE, and then they RECEIVED according to their FAITH.
Satan knows how important faith is, so his common tactic is to make you doubt God’s Word. Think about the Garden of Eden. God gave Adam and Eve a simple instruction: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17 KJV).
Satan, disguised as a serpent in Genesis 3, is known as the most “subtle” creature in the Garden, and we quickly see how true this is (see verse 1). He uses his simple tactic of deception to prompt Eve to question what God has already said. When he asks Eve about the fruit, she claims God said, “Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die” (Gen. 3:3 KJV). Notice that while this is subtle, Eve changes God’s words by adding the extra command that they could not touch the fruit. And now Satan has a way to deceive Eve. He then twists God’s words to tempt her to disobey: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:” (v. 4).
We must recognize how the enemy tries to deceive us today. Whenever God puts a command or promise in your heart, the enemy will try to attack it, because He does not want God’s purpose to come to pass. So, if you find yourself in fear, doubt, or discouragement, know that this is Satan’s subtle way of trying to stop your obedience–because people stop pursuing what they stop believing in. Immediately reject any negative thinking, and don’t give it the time of day. Choose to cling to the Word of God even if you don’t see the fruit of your obedience.
It all starts with faith. Obedience is the result of faith, and obedience is key to your breakthrough. What you say about God, yourself, or your life can impact you. You act according to your mindset, so if you want to best, it’s better to believe the best. Don’t worry about what you can or cannot see. No matter what your situation looks like, God can still heal, restore, and fight for you.
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
(Hebrews 10:35 NKJV)