When we think of miracles, we think of when God suddenly turns things around. Jesus touched the blind man and instantly his eyes were opened. Moses held up his staff and the Red Sea parted. But not all miracles are instantaneous. Sometimes we’re praying and believing, but our health isn’t improving or our dream isn’t coming to pass. You may think, “God, why aren’t You doing something?” You don’t realize that God is sustaining you, pushing back forces of darkness. keeping you from getting discouraged and giving up. You’re in the middle of a miracle, but you can’t always see it. It’s the miracle of endurance. One day you’ll look back and think, “How did I make it through that season? How did I keep going when I didn’t think I had the strength to go on?” God didn’t deliver you from it, but He gave you the grace to go through it. Without His hand of protection, favor, and blessing, you wouldn’t be where you are. We love instantaneous miracles, but it’s no less of a miracle when God takes you through what should have taken you out.
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar made a decree that everyone had to bow down and worship a golden statue or they’d be thrown into a fiery furnace. When three Hebrew teenagers, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refused to bow down, the king was furious. He gave them one more chance, but they said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold” (Daniel 3:17–18). The king had the furnace heated up seven times hotter than normal, and the three teenagers were thrown into the furnace. Miraculously, they not only survived, but they came out unharmed and without even the smell of smoke. As a result, God was given great praise, and the three teenagers were promoted to higher positions in Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom.
There are two kinds of faith. There’s delivering faith, when our all-powerful God instantly turns it around, keeps you out of the fire, parts the Red Sea, takes you out of the problem. Then there’s sustaining faith, when God makes you fireproof and takes you through the fire as the pathway to your destiny. Most of the time you’re going to need sustaining faith for when you don’t see anything improving, when it’s taking longer than you thought, the opposition’s bigger. The good news is that God is with you in the fire. He’s the one sustaining and strengthening you through the trouble, through the sickness, through the breakup. Stay in peace. Trust Him that you’re in the middle of your miracle. You’re going to come out without the smell of smoke.
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