“We’re trusting God for a miracle.” Have you ever made that statement? I have…many times. I have heard so many people make that statement in the last year as we have rubbed shoulders with those parents in the children’s cancer world where miracles seem to be the only hope.
As I myself have been one of those parents who had hoped for the miracle, but did not see it, I am coming to understand more and more that a true trust or faith in God is one that goes far beyond the hope of seeing the miraculous.
I am just amazed at how much I am seeing in the Scriptures that depict what true, saving, God pleasing faith really is – and it is NOT the kind that rests solely on believing God to do the miraculous. Many would think that those who believe in a God who can do miracles are those that possess great faith, right? It is true that it takes faith to trust in God to do a miracle, but what I am realizing so much more is how much greater faith it takes to trust God without seeing the miracle. And that is the true faith that the Scriptures commend. Hebrews 11:1 states that “faith is to be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” It refers to a certainty and a hope without necessarily seeing anything. That is what truly pleases God.
The whole chapter of Hebrews 11, which is known as the great hall of faith, is all about those who followed God and trusted in Him even when they did not see the results in front of them. In that one chapter, the words or phrases that depict something not yet seen occurs 12 times. These great men and women, who were commended by God for their faith, lived their lives on earth waiting, hoping, trusting, and looking ahead for their great reward. They saw the promises and welcomed them from a distance. They were looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God. They were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. They did not see their rewards in their lives on earth. And in their suffering they persevered because they saw Him who is invisible. And the bible says that these “ancients” were commended for such faith.
This was not a faith that was simply believing God for a miracle or for their deliverance, but rather a faith that was so much greater. Theirs was a faith that said, “Even if I am tortured, flogged, jeered, or sawed in two, I will believe and trust in God who has a greater plan.” These were those who were commended for their faith, yet none of them received what was promised. God had something better planned for them. And God has something better planned for us who believe.
This is all taken from Hebrews 11, but it applies to any one of us who are suffering and trusting the Lord. I can easily say, “Lord, I too did not received what was “promised.” I mean, isn’t a child supposed to not die of cancer at age 4? Isn’t a parent usually “promised” to be able to see their children grow up and have an enjoyable life? Aren’t kids usually “promised” to grow up on the playground and in lovely homes rather than the playroom on the cancer ward? Yet, the ancients, who also did not receive that which was “promised”, held onto their faith because they saw ahead that God had planned something better. And so, we too who are suffering from not receiving what has been “promised” are called to hold fast to Him, trusting in His love, and believing that, in His sovereignty He has a far greater plan than what we see.
That is the faith that God calls us to have. Faith in what is merely seen is not faith at all. Faith must go beyond what we see, that is what truly pleases the Lord.
It is okay to believe God for a miracle, I myself cried out to God for a miracle thousands of times while Susana was sick. God has shown Himself in Scripture as having the power to do miracles, so it is understandable that we simply want God to do a miracle in our own lives. If we have seen Him do it in Scripture for others, then why couldn’t He do it for us? That is logical. And it is okay to ask.
But what if God does not do the miracle? What if God does not choose to heal your sick child? What if God does not choose to alleviate the pain and suffering of your loved one? Does faith in Him fail? I know of people who thought just like that – they prayed and prayed for God to “show up” and perform a miracle, and when He chose not to, they simply lost their faith in Him, believing that He was not good enough, loving enough, caring enough, or strong enough. The truth is that they never really had saving faith to begin with. I know that may sound harsh, but remember how the Bible defines true saving faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) The miracle becomes visible the moment that it occurs, but true saving faith must keep up trusting in what is invisible, the things that are promised but have yet to be seen. That is saving faith, and that is what the true Christ follower is given to persevere through all of life’s hardships and sufferings.
Having joined among the ranks of those who, like me, have had to watch our child die from cancer, or those who are still battling for life today, I know people who, at this very moment, are “trusting God for a miracle.” My prayer for them is that rather than trusting God for a miracle, that they would just simply trust God period. If we trust God for a miracle and then that miracle never happens, then we somehow believe that God has failed to deliver. If we are trusting God to find employment this week, and the week comes and goes without any job offers, then what we trusted in has failed us, right? You can insert anything…I’m trusting God for ____________. And if whatever you put in the blank does not happen, then you will look at it as if God has failed, and you will be left disappointed. I know. I have been there before, not with regards to Susana’s sickness, but years ago with other things. And if whatever I put in the blank did not come to pass, then I would feel totally let down by God. That’s the danger of trusting God for something that we fill in the blank. God does not work like that.
We need to simply trust God. The only words that we can use to fill in the blank are the ones that we find in His Word that He has given us. He has given us amazing promises. He has told us of great things that are yet to be. His plan goes far far far beyond what our earthly eyes can see. His plan is eternal. And, by His grace, He gives His children what is needed to get through the suffering and hardship that we experience here on this earth – faith to believe. Yes, He does still do miracles, and He gives people faith to believe for those miracles. And I am praying for those who are suffering now with a child or loved one with cancer. I do pray that God does a miracle and heals them. But I am also praying that God does the greater miracle by giving saving faith to those in the hospital bed and those around the bedside, a faith that holds on no matter what happens.
May we only fill in the blanks with what His Word allows. So, through my many tears that have been shed this very morning as I miss my little girl, I am trusting God for__________ the enduring city, the heavenly one, whose architect and builder is God.
What are you trusting God for?