Originally published on BibleJournal.net
Today’s reading: Genesis 38; Mark 8; Job 4; Romans 8
In the past when I have gone through, what some may refer to as difficult times, I do my best to listen to the Spirit and seek out what God is trying to teach me. Wednesday night was one of these times. A time when a situation, so gripping on the soul, that a moment’s loosening can create so much hope that it will end. During one of these flash of relief I found myself, in prayer, begging God that the relief would continue through the night. When the relief ceased, I began to beg its return. But, by the grace of God, being of sound mind, the Spirit returned my thoughts to the question at hand; “what are You trying to teach me LORD?”
An answer came, “Perseverance”. Whenever answers come clear, I can not help but be overwhelmed with thankfulness that God would consider a wretch like me. I praised God from my heart for keeping His loving eye on me and it was at that moment I believe my lesson in perseverance began. Thankfulness, contagious as it is, spilled over and took hold the situation.
Instead of begging God that relief would return I began to praise Him for the relief that had come. Thanking Him for the sweetness of it. Then realizing His goodness, I began thanking Him for the next wave of relief that I knew would come. I was at this moment I felt a strong sense of the difference between hope and faith. Praying for something in hope being different than certainty of receipt thereof and thanks therein. He is good! I began to understand how trusting in God’s goodness breeds the faith in deliverance and how perseverance is rooted deep in a holding fast on certain goodness to come. Knowing that relief was coming made turned the moments grip on my soul from bearable to gone. It was already gone. I was already in the future where it was gone. Faith had mounted me up on wings like eagles; my strength had been renewed.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry miracles are preceded by faith. From today’s reading following Jesus feeding 4,000 we have the Pharisees demanding a sign. Jesus’ response:
And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation. – Mark 8:12
This word generation γενεά means: same generation; people of the same kind; descendants; age. I do not believe that generation here used means what we commonly use the term for now; baby boomers, millennials, etc. Particularly so because a miracle had just been performed, which, in my estimation, could easily have been taken as a sign from heaven. But rather meaning more: people of the same kind.
God may we be a people whose trust in You gives us faith like a child. May this faith unlock the miracles You give to Your generation. May You be glorified and may we witness to all the earth the Good News the miracle of saving grace. Amen.