Sometimes we find it hard to believe and trust the Lord, not so much because of the things that we see but because of the things we fail to see. This truth came to me during a recent preaching tour in the USA. I was working on my emails and attached to one of the emails was a bill that needed to be paid immediately and I had no funds to do so. My immediate response was to complain (in my prayer) and ask why now and why me and how we would pay this bill.
When Jesus was faced with a problem, He trusted in, relied on and put His entire weight upon His Father. He lived in and by and through His Father (John 6:57), trusting His Father to take care of His problem and I needed to do the same. After praying, I walked towards the front of the Hotel, where I was staying, to get some coffee. As I was walking a thought came to my mind that changed the way I looked at that bill. That bill was not my problem! It was His problem! He would take care of it, but I needed to trust in Him, rely on Him and put my entire weight upon Him. In fact, that bill was His invite for me to join Him in working more deeply in my life, by strengthening my faith. It was not really a problem but it was an invitation. God allows a crisis in order to bless and do a miracle. He was sending me an invite to join Him!
Gideon saw it
There was a crisis in the land of Israel. The people were reduced to live in caves like trapped animals (Judges 6:2). God allowed the Midianites - a nomad people - and their allies to ravage the land through plundering raids, creating havoc and causing great impoverishment (6: 3-6). The people of Israel were crying out to the Lord, as people usually do when they are in trouble. Although they showed no sign of repentance, their affliction still moved His heart and God sent them prophets to warn them but they did not listen and give attention to His voice (6: 7-10).
As a result of not listening and responding to God, the Lord rebuked them (6:7- 10) and the people felt that the Lord had forsaken them (6:13) with the feeling that God didn't care about them anymore. Because He still cared and wanted to show mercy, God then turned to a farmer in Manasseh (6:11-14) to become the deliverer of His people. Although Gideon was a coward, he saw what was really happening – he realized that God was chastening the nation and he perceived the crisis from 'God's perspective'. He realized that it was His invitation to repent, and turn to Him, and experience once again the blessing, miracle and the salvation of the Lord.
Gideon did not complain but had the courage to ask a question openly that many were afraid to ask: "If God is with us, why then has all of this happened and where are all the miracles, which our fathers told us about?"
God then met with Gideon, dealing with all his questions and doubts, causing him to understand that God cared (6:1-13), He knew what He was doing (6:14-24), He would take care of Gideon (6:25-32) and the nation and keep His promises (6:33-40).
Do you see it?
Today, we see many people, marriages, families, and nations all over the world experiencing poverty, hardships, persecution and many trials of faith. We try to reason, understand, ignore, blaming God and others or trying to find a way to get out, trying to make it better. Gideon encountered God's miracle and was used by God because he understood the real meaning and significance of the 'crisis' and trials of faith as God's invite to join Him.
Could it be that God is sending you a problem, a bill or a crisis of belief as His invitation to take you to the next level in your walk with Him or use you to bring comfort to the weary (Matt 11:28)? Maybe God just wants you to know that He cares, He knows what He is doing and will take care of your need but that He is waiting for you and me to accept His invitation?
Isn't it then time to stop for a moment and take a deep 'look' at your life, marriage, family, church or nation and what you are currently experiencing, realizing God has invited you to see a miracle and blessing?
His blessing and miracle awaits you. How long will you wait for it?