The blessing of a long life also comes with the certainty of tribulations (John 16:33). You have been unexpectedly stretched, and you know it. You’ve reached out to friends, they cannot help. You’ve reached out to family, they can offer no guidance. You need something that you are not capable of producing by yourself. You need a miracle.
As bible-believing Christians, we are expected to know that we have overcome already. Yet in experience, we certainly sometimes feel doubt. We’ve gotten on our knees and prayed. We’ve gone the extra mile and fasted. But yet we are not aware of where the deliverance is coming from. And to be honest, sometimes, we are not sure there is a route to get to where we are. We can see our problems, but we can’t see the solution. Anxiety creeps in.
Welcome to the tribe of the human race. We crave certainty, yet we are not capable of knowing it all. The great thing is that we have examples that we can pull from in such times to show us how God works. This is the power of the bible.
A certain man of great importance named Cornelius, who was a Gentile, was once on a journey when he was visited by an angel of God (Acts 10). The angel gave an instruction for Cornelius to send for Simon Peter. Cornelius obeyed and did just that.
In those days though, Jews did not fraternize with Gentiles. Cornelius sending for Simon Peter would not be a serious task that would be undertaken. Why would he send for Simon? Why would Simon respond positively? The conditions were not in place for that to be a sensible mission.
Yet in His perfect timing, God set the things in motion as He planned for them to occur. Completely unknown to Cornelius or his servants, God was talking to Peter, to soften his heart and instruct him to receive the servants. He had begun to set the conditions for the mission to be accomplished, and Cornelius had NO part to play in that. The only role Cornelius ever had was to maintain a relationship with God and obey His instructions in faith. Everything else was not his portfolio, not his business, not his task.
Several other examples abound in the bible that help crystallize our understanding of how faith works. Joseph had no part to play in other people having dreams, before his deliverance came through his demonstration of his gift of dream interpretations. Moses did not decide on forming the cloud that helped the Israelites and frustrated the Egyptians (Exodus 14:19), all he did was obey the instructions he was given in faith. When prayers were being made by the church for Peter’s deliverance from imprisonment, they were completely unaware that it would be an angel that would lead him out. All these folks did was pray, believe and obey.
In the same way, we must discipline ourselves to do the same. When in trouble, as we pray for deliverance, we must believe that God is making our way out already. Just as Peter was dreaming at the same time the servants were approaching him, so is our deliverance being readied with God’s perfect timing. We need not know nor worry about all the steps it would take to get our victory. We simply need to continue to pray, believe and obey. Part of the gift of being a Christian is knowing that Christ has overcome the world, and as such our deliverance is already assured. As is seen in Romans 8:37,…
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.