Friday, January 27, 2012

God’s love is behind each miraculous sign……..

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”    Psalm 13:5-6

Have you ever faced a big decision and found yourself praying, “Lord, please give me a sign”?     I certainly have!

In the Gospel of John, the people who come to Jesus offer a similar petition: show us a sign so that we may believe.  They were drawn to Jesus because of the things they had heard about Him, but they were not convinced by the second-hand stories. They wanted proof.

 Repeatedly throughout the Gospel of John their petition was granted.  And, each time that Jesus provided a sign, John made sure to add a note that many saw and believed.  

In the act of seeing Jesus’ miraculous works people’s hearts are changed.  In Him they are able to see God’s love for them made real. Jesus responds to their petitions because He knows that seeing a sign will help them to come to faith in God.

The relationship between faith and miracles in John differs significantly from that which is found in the other Gospels.  In John, seeing the miracle brings faith to those who see them as signs.  Jesus’ actions prompt those who see them to come to faith in God.  

But His actions can only have this effect in those who are open to see that the miracles point beyond themselves to a loving God.  To those who see them as arbitrary miracles, they only serve to harden their hearts further.  By contrast, in Matthew, Mark and Luke, the faith of the people who come to Jesus seeking help results in a miracle.

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?”  (Psalm 13:1).  Even in the midst of his anguish, David says something that is important for us to see.

The point here is that David was questioning God from his heart.  He was truly dismayed at what he saw, and he wanted to know why God was allowing sinful people to succeed against him.

Even in the midst of that questioning, he speaks of trusting God and celebrating what God had done for him.   He believed God to fulfill His Word without requesting a sign to prove Himself faithful to His servant, David.

In the midst of your questioning, can you still trust God to be faithful to His Word?   Can you believe God to answer your prayer without asking for a sign?

Only a close walk with God can bring you to that point, and you cannot get that by just living for signs.  You get it by spending time with Him in His Word, worship and prayer.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”   Prov. 3: 5-6 NKJV


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