John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
This was without question spoken in great love and gentleness, but in line with many other scriptures it challenges us to our core. We understand so little about faith! Mark 11:24 comes to mind. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” This isn’t imagination or wishful thinking, it’s placing ourselves and our circumstances in God’s hands with the conviction that He is not only omniscient and omnipotent, He is also love itself. When we fail to walk in that assurance we often miss a great deal. I honestly don’t understand why or how it all works, but God acts on behalf of those who trust Him. It’s not that He doesn’t love all of us, or that He isn’t gracious to all of us, but rather that faith lines us up with the flow of His Spirit and power. Part of it is that without faith, we often don’t recognize what God is doing and so don’t see it, even though it is happening. I think everyone can look back over their lives and recognize times and places where God was working but they didn’t understand it while it was going on. I have always understood something God said to Jeremiah that way: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.” (Jeremiah 17:5-6) That passage is expressly talking about faith, because the very next verse talks about “the man who trusts in the Lord.” If we want to see the good things God has for us, we need to trust Him for them before they are evident to the natural eye.
This is extremely applicable to me right now. Well over a year ago the Lord gave my wife the idea of producing a CD to help those struggling with thoughts of suicide. The list of songs and their order came to her immediately, but we’ve never produced a CD before, and there were many unanswered questions. Things kind of bumped along for about a year, at times going so slowly that I wondered if this would ever be realized, and then just this month it was like the fuel caught fire in the rocket, and things are happening so fast that it is almost scary. There are still many unanswered questions, both in the area of who is to perform which songs and the very practical matter of where the money is to come from, but the truth of this statement by Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus is coming home to us big time! In the process of all that is going on with that, we are also seeing fruit from our years of ministry here in Omura. We need to keep trusting, knowing that we will indeed see the glory of God.
Father, thank You for this Word of confirmation for what we’re already seeing You do. The pace of things, particularly from now through our trip to the US next month, is such as to wear us out just thinking about it. Thank You for pointing out that You have provided sufficient time for each thing. Help us trust You without getting lazy or taking things for granted, recognizing Your cues and doing things on Your schedule so that Your will may be done as You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!