Posted by: everynation | May 6, 2008

When Miracles Don’t Happen

by Scott Douma

I have been preaching a series for the past several weeks on miracles. Miracles do happen. We have seen some fantastic “only God” type of phenomena happen over and over again. Really. People healed. Fantastic financial miracles. Awesome open door experiences. And unexplainable answers to prayer. Miracles do happen. But today I preached the most important message of the lot. “When Miracles Don’t Happen”.

The Bible is full of examples. Abraham perishing without ever seeing the fulfillment of his promises. The children of Israel being enslaved for hundreds of years. Moses seeing the promised land but never allowed to enter in. David’s Psalms are full of disappointments. Even our Lord quoted the 22nd Psalm “my God my God why hast thou forsaken me” as he experienced the “NO!” of God. Stephen stoned, James with his head decapitated, and all the disciples but John died in horrific manners. This is a topic not talked about much in our “faith filled” world. But it is the “cross” side of our walk and if taught correctly brings stability and comfort to our flocks.

Personally I have learned in my life how to respond to the “NO” of God. Through the disappointments of this life I have tried always to maintain three important principles.

Number One: See things from the right perspective. The world does not revolve around me and my happiness. God has bigger plans that. My role is to line up to His plan. When I see my disappointments through His eyes it makes a big difference.

Number Two: God is God and he can do whatever He wants. I learned this at a very young age and it has allowed me to walk through a lot of junk. Many people say a comment that sounds quite cool. “I can’t believe in a god who would allow such and such in this world”. It sounds pithy, but in reality it is one of the most stupid statements a person can make. We did not create God. He created us. My dog doesn’t tell me what to do. I tell my dog what to do. I am the dog and He is God. The dog doesn’t tell God what to do. My dyslexia has often turned the dog aspect of my life to god. But I really really know that God is not out to squash me like a cockroach, but rather He loves me as His son. Therefore I can trust His “NO”. It is for my own good.

Number Three: Just keep believing. No matter what my role is to just believe. To not get weary in doing good. To embrace His promise. My hero is John the Baptist. You should read “The Prisoner in the Third Cell”. It is a short and powerful little story by Gene Edwards recounting the life of John. When he was awaiting his gruesome death in the prison of Herod he sent messengers to Jesus to alleviate his doubts about the authenticity of Jesus being “the One”. Jesus told him to several things but the final word He gave the messengers was “Blessed is he who does not stumble because of me”. There will be many reasons for us to stumble in this life. There will be many reasons to quit believing. But “blessed are those who don’t”.

Such is faith. One day all the answers will be there. But now they are not. I do believe in miracles. I will continue to believe in miracles. And when miracles don’t happen I will still believe in the giver of miracles.

Scott Douma has lived in Japan for more than 20 years, is the author of Blue Eyes in Japan and is the senior pastor of Yokohama Grace Bible Church in Japan.

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