Oh, my goodness: what if this is true? I pose this as a question to get you to take the above quote from chapter 6 seriously. I ask it to evaluate my willingness to allow God to use me, to give my life in sacrifice so I can live my life to honor God. It certainly puts all of my fears and complaints into perspective. I still desire miraculous provision in my life. I feel poor and lost but I'm also forgetting that during these moments - God reigns. God is sovereign and God WILL use my circumstances for His glory.
Recently I've spent quite a lot of thoughts on how I'm living life. Never ending changes and hardships have been thrown my way over the past 3 years and it's only now that I'm changing my attitude about my circumstances. I've asked God for a job I like that also supports me, I've asked for consistency and safety with a place to stay...but that hasn't been what he's done. Beth's outlook is one I've mulled over much lately: "If I don't get my miracle but God gets greater glory, I choose to believe I received the greater miracle with the most dividends." I'm currently struggling with the concept that my life is not my own. For 30 years it's been about me. What I want, what I think I need or what's best for me. What my major is, what I'm entitled to or justified in feeling. I think this mindset is falling apart and God is showing me He really is in control.
What we believe affects our attitude about our circumstances. THIS is where trusting God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do (like change our perspective or our hearts) is crucial to our faith.
"God may prioritize performing a miracle in our hearts and minds over a miracle concerning our circumstances...the works He desires to accomplish within us may take precedence over those He desires to work around us."
I've struggled with much discouragement, all which can be avoided by placing my trust in God. I've made God very small and I think that can affect what He is able to do. Trusting God often times means dying to our hopes of what we want Him to do and welcome whatever it is He is doing. I am not a good example of what living this out looks like - though I have many current opportunities to work on this :) I'm starting to see there is truth in Beth's words: "...we are safe with God. We are safe to believe Him for miracles." What amazes me is that He still works in my life though I've failed to make Him my priority. (But we'll talk about failing God in another chapter.
Beth doesn't encourage believers to adjust hope or expectation for a miracle. She reminds the reader to trust that God knows what we need most. "Neither His dignity nor ours is at stake. Neither are we insignificant nor God incompetent. We are safe with God because we are His priority."
Last, Beth reminds us how faith affects miracles. She points the reader to Mark 9 where the disciples are unable to cast a demon out of a child - this was something they had done before but because they engaged in debate with the teachers of the law - it's possible this is the reason they were unable to do what Christ had given them the authority to do. Clearly, our Faith must be active or much will be lost in the process. Satan WILL swoop in and start whispering the same kind of questions he asked Eve, "Did God really say...?" "Does the Bible really mean...?"
I believe Christians of today are met with challenges similar to what the disciples faced in Mark 9. We too will be met with arguments over doctrine and with those who don't know the Lord as their savior and friend. Beth suggests the following: "We are not called to debate faith but to do it. To be nouns turned into verbs. Presently. Actively."
It is not our job to change anyone's mind to the message of the word, but we are called to live it out tangibly. May the Lord show us all how to do this that the world may see a generation of faithful servants.
Peace and Blessings on you friends, God is with you, always.