Great Faith Rewarded

5342049b17344f98a670368940ccf65f--bible-promises-gods-promisesIt is very easy for us to question and doubt another’s faith in God.  In the past ordinary people shared their testimony of God’s goodness and mercy in the congregation of believers.  I believe it is doubt that ended the practice; doubt that God had done such thing and doubt that prevented God from doing such a thing.

It was God’s idea for a couple that were a hundred years old to give birth.  “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.” (Rom. 4: 18-19).

It was God’s idea to give great strength to Samson as long as he never cut his hair. (Judges 16:17).

It was God’s idea to send ten plagues on Egypt.  (Note that the first three plagues were copied by the Egyptian magicians, but did that nullify God’s work or purpose) (Exodus 7: 20-22).

It was God’s idea to have a widows jar of flour and a jug of oil not run out for a long period of time widow. (1 Kings 17:16).

It was God’s idea to turn six large jars of water into wine at a wedding. (John 2: 7-9).

It was God’s idea to walk on water, to feed thousands of people with a few fish and loaves. (John 6:19; Luke 9: 16-17).

God caused water in a river to pile up upon itself and there to be dry land where the sea had been. (Exodus 14: 21-22).

God raised dead people to life. (Luke 7: 12-15; John 11: 43-44).

God healed multitudes of people. (Matt. 15:30).

God delivered and set free those oppressed by demons. (Acts 5:16).

God restored sight, hearing, speech, sanity, and withered limbs. (Matt. 11:15).

God caused a donkey to speak to its owner. (Numbers 22: 27-30).

God provided water in the desert. (Numbers 22:11).

God gave victory in battle against overwhelming forces many times. (Judges 7:7; 2 King 7; 6-7).

God made time, the sun, go backwards and stand still. (2 Kings 20: 9-11;

Joshua 10:13).

God caused locked doors to open by themselves. (Acts 12:10).

God told people what would happen in the future. (Matt. 17:27;

John 28:18; Luke 1:13).

God caused a baby to be born of a virgin. (Luke 1: 27-31).

God stilled the storm to a whisper with a word. (Mark 4:39).

God transformed all sorts of relationships, raising people to high position, and bringing other to their doom. (Daniel 4: 31-37).

God arranged marriages. (Genesis 24: 12-26).

God caused a giant fish to swallow a man and three days later to spew him out on shore. (Jonah 1: 17).

God restrained hungry lions from eating one man, then they immediately ate a whole family. (Daniel 6: 16-24).

God enabled three men not be burned or even have upon them the smell of smoke after they were thrown into a super heated furnace. (Daniel 3: 19-24).

God gave a million or so people heavenly bread, called manna, every morning except Saturday, for forty years. (Exodus 16:35).

God caused one man to pray and it did not rain for three years, then he prayed and it rained again. (James 5: 17-18).

In all these miracles ordinary people were involved, because people are the objects of God’s affection.  Faith was involved, sometimes very small weak faith.  Over and over Yeshua tells us to ask and we will receive.  In regard to those who did not believe, He says, “And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens?  No, you will go down to Hades.  For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day.  But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matt. 1: 23-24).  In Yeshua’s hometown scripture says, “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matt. 13: 58).  After Yeshua’s resurrection scripture says, “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.” (Mark 16:14).

You see God rebukes those who do not believe that He is a God who answers prayer and does the most unheard of things.  Yeshua encouraged faith, He said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14: 12-14).  If you really honor the Word of God, why do you qualify it when He says, “whatever” and “anything”, unless it is to justify your unbelief and doubt.

There are warnings against false prophets, false teachers, false believers, and false Messiah’s.  In the last days Yeshua said, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” (Matt. 24:24). Does that mean we are to throttle our faith in Almighty God – by no means. False people deny Yeshua and distort the word of God, moreover, they are generally self-seeking.  These scriptures are not about believing in miracles, they are about believing in a miracle-working God.

All these references to God’s answers to prayer, the cries of His suffering people, and His compassion and mercy on hurting and needy people are illustrations of His unrestrained incomprehensible acts of kindness and justice.  There are many reasons why certain prayers are not answered when or as we anticipate or expect.  It should be clear that where a problem exists it is not on God’s part.  A young child falls many times as they learn to walk, but they keep getting up and trying again.  Lord, Yeshua, help us to not get discouraged or timid in prayer, but to recall and obey your admonitions to believe in you.

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