Challenges Deepen Faith
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,”
Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
(John 4:48 NIV)
In John 4, Jesus makes an indicting statement to the crowd of people gathered about Him. He says, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.”
In other words, “You watch Me perform and you become softened through your amazement of My displays of power. Those things may be necessary to get your attention, but you cannot live in this world on spiritual performance alone.”
Signs and wonders are not enough to answer the hard questions in life. They can't be trusted to keep you standing in the fierce winds of life's adversities. Without true faith, you can make a lot of noise and generate excitement about spiritual performance, but you can't release a lot of conviction about who God is and what God means to you.
Without faith, you'll be an impressive shadow boxer in the ring of life, displaying superlative skill because there is no opponent in front of you. But if a strong adversary like Satan stands opposite you, you are going to need a whole lot more than amazement or appreciation for spiritual performance.
Faith has so much more to it. And in order to tap it, the Lord will challenge it. Perhaps the Lord is challenging you today because He knows your faith has more potential. Perhaps His answers to your prayers are not going to look like you imagine them to be. Perhaps He plans to meet your needs—but in surprising and unexpected ways that prove to you that you weren't thinking deep enough, high enough, or wide enough.
Your faith isn’t going to grow only by the splendor of performance. You won't grow and mature if God just gives you signs and wonders.
God essentially says, “My goal is not just to have you experience mouth dropping, eye-opening, applauding kind of demonstrations. I'm pushing you so that we can get your faith to a place where if nothing around you amazing is happening, you can still be satisfied in trusting My word and My promises. I’m going to challenge your faith.”
Are you up for the challenge?