46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48 “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. (John 4:46-51 NIV)
Stories of Jesus healing the sick, forgiving the condemned, and even raising the dead are commonplace in the New Testament. We read about people with all kinds of troubles finding strength, deliverance, forgiveness, and healing once they met Jesus. Was this why some believed? Was this why some people chose to follow Jesus, to worship and adore Him? Evidently Jesus thought so because He said, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe.”
I’m afraid that if Jesus were walking the streets of our city He would say the same thing today. When troubles come our way, when our loved ones are sick and the prognosis seems grim, when we’ve messed up and are having to face the music, when our tears seem like an endless stream with no end in sight–we tend to question the Lord and ask, “Where are You?” I have to ask myself, “Why do I continue to follow Jesus? Is it only because of what I can hopefully get out of Him when I am in need? Or, do I follow Him because He alone is worthy of my allegiance and worship?”
I find some folks in Scripture whose faith is so appealing to me because of their unflinching commitment to God even though their lives are in shambles. We all know the story of Job’s catastrophic experience of loss and heartache. Job questioned God. He couldn’t understand the “why” of what he was going through and yet he said, 15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; (Job 13:15 NIV) Then there were those three Hebrew boys living in a foreign land full of foreign gods who refused to bow their knee to anyone but YHWH. When they were threatened with execution by fire, they said,
16 …”O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV)
My heart’s desire is to be able to say with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “I know that God can deliver me from the perils and pitfalls of life, but even if He doesn’t I will not bow, I will not budge, I will not waver from giving Him the worship that He alone deserves.”
My prayer today, Lord, is that my faith would grow to the point where troubles and trials do not threaten my faith and devotion to You.