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Pointers along the way #16

When we are weak, we are strong
- Jacob Ninan

Some preachers and writers would like to project the Christian life as one superlative experience where all problems disappear, all sicknesses get healed, and everyone prospers in every way. When things do not happen exactly as predicted above, we are made to look expectantly to a future day when they will surely happen. Some are able to continue with this expectation, but many give up along the way. But by placing before people an unrealistic hope, such preachers are actually doing them more harm than good.

It is true that our God is able to do beyond all our asking or thinking (Ep.3:20). He can supply all our need so that we can have all sufficiency in everything (Php.4:19;2Co.9:8). But it is also true that since His ways are far different from our ways, what we expect Him to do for us differs many times from what He wants to do for us. If we do not understand this in the right way, we are likely to end up in disappointment and frustration.

We also recognise that God does miracles for many people. But they are called miracles because they are extraordinary. God does not do miracles all the time for everyone. Not all prayers are answered, and not all problems are sorted out. These are realities of life. See what the Bible says in Heb.11:35-39.

It is right to ask God for miracles. Many times we do not receive because we do not ask (Jas.4:2), and we do not ask because we do not expect that God will answer. But it is not fair to accuse people of not having faith just because they do not experience miracles.

But true faith believes in God, His supreme love, His wisdom and His sovereignty in all that His does for us. It is not shaken by some inexplicable turn of events, unanswered prayer, or an apparent lack of solution in a difficult situation. All these things make us weak. We are unable to handle them by ourselves. At that point our strength is in knowing God, and knowing that He is with us. The one who is able to stand without losing faith when there is no answer to prayer is stronger than the one whose faith is untested because his prayer has been answered. We can have that kind of strong faith only if our faith is related to knowing God rather than to getting things from God.