"'What do you mean, "If I can"?' Jesus asked. 'Anything is possible if a person believes.'" (Mark 9:23 NLT)
God will build your faith by planting a dream within you. But that dream will require a decision of faith, and then God will stretch your faith as you face delays, difficulties, and dead ends.
It is then that God comes in and delivers. God does a miracle. God provides a solution. For instance:
- In Moses' case, God parted the Red Sea.
- In Abraham's case, he and Sarah miraculously conceived a child.
- In Joseph's case, all of a sudden his dream came true, and he found himself no longer imprisoned in a dungeon; instead, he was the second in command in Egypt.
And Jesus was resurrected! God can even turn a crucifixion into resurrection, and that means he has the power to transform your dead ends into deliverance. He builds your faith through delays, difficulties, and dead ends, so that when he delivers you, God gets all the credit!
When faced with a dead end, the best response is to expect God to act. What are you expecting God to do in your life? Jesus says, "According to your faith let it be done to you" (Matthew 9:29b NIV).
When you wait for deliverance, then God gets the credit. And you can look back to see how God led you through a path of faith, expanding and increasing your trust of him with every step. Your faith is stronger, and now you can say with confidence, "I am expecting the Lord to rescue me again, so that once again I will see his goodness to me ..." (Psalm 27:13 LB).
Talk About It --
- How have you seen God deliver you or a friend or family member from a delay or difficulty in pursuit of a dream?
- What great expectations do you have for what God wants to do in your life?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.