You might be wondering, “If God loves me and knows what I’m going through, why doesn’t He just do something about it?” The blessings we’re promised are not necessarily automatic. We have to ask for, believe for, and activate God’s promises through prayer. The Bible assures us over and over that the Lord sees and knows about all our needs. Matthew 6:8, for example, says, “Your Father knoweth what things ye need before ye ask him” (KJV) But we still have to ask in faith to move His hand.
Let me give you an illustration. This process is similar to what happens when you receive a new credit card in the mail. You are given the card with full authorization and backing, but you still need to make a phone call to activate it before using the card to make any purchases. In like fashion, God has sent His Word with full authorization and backing, but we still have to make the call of prayer and faith to activate it. We have to ask! There is God’s part, and there is our part.
The Gospel of John confirms this idea. In John 14:12–14, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (NASB).
The Lord never intended for His children to live within the confines and limitations of this natural world. His plan has always been to empower and equip us with His supernatural blessings—to add His super to our natural. When we do our best, He will do the rest. But we have to ask!
We Live in a Fallen World
When Larry and I were first coming to terms with the attacks on our family’s health, we had a chance to have lunch with our longtime friends and highly respected ministers Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin. We were drawing deep upon their wisdom, knowledge of the Word of God, experiences, and compassion. Larry asked them, “In your opinion, why do things like this happen? Why doesn’t God just intervene and circumvent these things?” Rabbi Lapin said, “We live in a fallen, broken world. If God just circumvented bad things in the lives of
all His people, we would never even realize His help or intervention. It is in our need for His help that He is able to co-labor with us and show Himself strong on our behalf. It is also a way He demonstrates His love and miraculous power to the world. It is a beautiful gift that God would choose to co-labor with us, His children, to repair the broken world and even our own broken hearts and worlds. To some degree, we will experience the effects of that on our own lives. The Word tells us that the rain will fall on the just and the unjust. So even though we are righteous, just, and God’s children, the rain and fallout of a fallen, broken world will impact us too.”
Rabbi Lapin explained that living in a fallen world adds to the causes of the challenges we face in our lives. We live in a broken world, in need of repair. We are given the task to tikkun olam, a Hebrew term that means to “repair a broken world.” Rabbi Lapin said, “Because you and Tiz are still so aggressively pursuing changing the world, [or] tikkun olam—repairing this broken world—we are confident that God will heal and restore Tiz and Lion and your family. If you were retiring, scaling back your vision and purpose for your ministry, things might look different. You two still have a lot of work to do for God and in repairing the world. Your best days are not behind you. Your best days are ahead of you! You two are just getting started!” As we prayed together, our hearts were knit into a deeper bond. Tears fell as God’s presence touched us and filled our hearts with hope and courage for the days ahead.
Encouragement for the Weary
We all can get the wind knocked out of us. We live in a fallen world, and we certainly can grow weary on our journeys. Maybe you are feeling discouraged, weary, or brokenhearted. Maybe you’re wondering why you’re going through something or why God didn’t just intervene or circumvent these things. Remember the words of Rabbi Lapin. We live in a fallen, broken world. If God just circumvented bad things in the lives of all His people, we would never even realize His help or intervention. When we need God’s help, He co-labors with us and shows Himself strong on our behalf. Our Lord wants to demonstrate His love and miraculous power to us and to the world. Our God heals broken hearts, repairs broken relationships, and heals broken bodies. He sees you, cares about you, and is able to change your life for the better. Rise up, as Larry and I did that day, determined to lay hold of God’s miracles and His destiny for your life!
Seize Your Opportunity
The tenth chapter of Mark tells us the story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar from Jericho. He sat by the roadside, day after day, appealing to the sympathies of passersby. One day was different, however—Jesus came to Jericho. As He and His disciples were leaving the city, they passed by blind Bartimaeus, who shouted out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47 KJV).
Other people around Bartimaeus urged him to be quiet, but he shouted even more loudly, “Thou son of David, have mercy on me” (Verse 48, KJV). Because of the beggar’s persistence, Jesus called Bartimaeus to Him and inquired, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Bartimaeus answered, “Lord, that I might receive my sight” (Verse 51, KJV). The Bible says he immediately received his sight, and Jesus Himself explained why. He told Bartimaeus, “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole” (Verse 52, KJV).
Bartimaeus was healed because he seized his opportunity and cried out, “Jesus! Don’t pass me by! This is my moment. Heal my blind eyes!” The Bible records that Jesus heard his cry, stopped, saw his faith, granted his request, and healed him. How many other blind men did not cry out to Jesus and grab ahold of His promises by faith—and therefore missed out on their healing?
This account is an excellent example of how the spiritual realm operates. God knows our needs and sees our issues, but He can respond only to our faith and prayers. Let’s never be guilty of letting Jesus pass us by and miss an opportunity for our miracle. Jesus is passing by—let’s seize our opportunity! Are you ready to do as blind Bartimaeus did and lay hold of the miracles the Lord has for you? I know you are!