While my son was growing up, he often experienced bothersome foot problems. They never posed a serious threat, and we always seemed able to manage them with home remedies and prayer. But on one occasion when my son was in his teens, he hid his foot ailments from me until they were so severe that we had to seek medical attention. As we waited a week to get an appointment with our doctor, we prayed and stood on God's Word, trusting Him to spare my son from surgery of any kind. But upon examination, the doctor determined that surgery was unavoidable, and it was performed that very day. I must admit that afterwards, I felt defeated and disappointed. I really believed that God would intervene on my son's behalf, and I felt let down when He didn't.
Later that evening, a friend came by to visit. She began telling me how two of her family members had the same surgery, and experienced excruciating pain afterwards. As I listened to her unsettling reports, fear gripped me from head to toe. Then suddenly, I sensed a Holy Spirit resistance rising up inside of me. And even though I felt like my faith had been badly shaken earlier that day, I made the decision to ask God to grant my son a pain-free recovery. I got in touch with a friend who I knew I could count on to agree in prayer with me for a miracle. And what began as a deflating experience turned into one of victory and elation. The pain-free recovery the Lord granted my son that day has inspired us to pray for extraordinary recoveries for others, as well.
This experience made me realize that there are times when we are too quick to throw away our faith when we're faced with disappointment, because our prayers aren't answered the way we expected. Hebrews 10:35 (NLT) says: "Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you!" It would have been very easy for me to remain doubtful and discouraged after my son underwent the surgery I had prayed against. But because I determined to shake off my doubts, and to reach out for a miracle in the face of apparent defeat, God honored my faith by working wonders for my son.
In Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Mark, a man named Jairus asks Jesus to come heal his dying daughter. Before they reach the man's home, they are met with the news that the girl is already dead. The Master turns to Jairus and says, "Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing." (Mark 5:36 AMP) This account is a message of hope and encouragement to those of us who have trusted the Lord for help, but have been met with disappointment and defeat. When the Lord tells us to "keep on believing," He's basically saying: "I know things look bad right now, but don’t lose your faith in Me. Give Me the opportunity to reveal My presence and power in the midst of this apparent defeat." I believe that these "apparent defeats" are some of the greatest opportunities we will ever have to witness the miracle-working power of God in our lives.
What circumstances are in your life right now that the Lord might want you to apply this message to? Ask Him today, promising Him your willingness to trust Him, even in the "hopeless" situations He doesn't want you to give up on. May our declaration of faith always be—"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more"! (Psalm 71:14)
Prayer: Lord, give me the wisdom and discernment I need to know when it's Your will for me to "keep on believing" in the face of apparent defeat. Teach me how to open the door for You to work wonders in my life. Thank You that my confident trust in You will be richly rewarded!
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