… prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and power you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it
~ Malachi 3:10 ~
It is a disappointment … to find many others who are not willing to trust the Lord – or to trust in his promise when he says, “Prove me and see”. I often wonder why men cannot trust their Lord. He has promised his children every blessing contingent upon their faithfulness, but fickle man places his trust in “the arm of the flesh” and sets about to make his own way unaided by him who could do so much.
~ Spencer W. Kimball – Faith Proceeds the Miracle, p. 1; First Printing, 1979 ~
There is no doubt that many of us may have some fears and doubt going into the new year. The uncertainty of what is to come. Despite our doubts and fears, we are called to fear not and stand ready with purpose and faith to go forward, holding our peace as we see the salvation of the Lord unfold before us (Exodus 14:13-15). What causes such fear and doubt? For the Israelites – it was the lamentation of dying. Perishing in the wilderness. Exodus 14:10-12 furnishes us with the context for what Moses said. Their lamentations presented an opportunity for Moses to speak with authority and truth regarding what will come about.
The faith Moses called the Hebrews to exercise was one that had to come prior to the miracle they were about to witness. Such faith called them forth to be ready and go forward despite the great opposition they were facing. Pharoah’s army behind them and the sea before them caused the children of Israel to murmur and complain. And it was their only viable option to trust in God that they would cross over to the other side.
For us to go forward with faith and purpose into the new year means that we are to trust in Christ and hold our peace (Exodus 14:14). Because it is the only step of faith where we are able to experience piece in this world, and eternal life in the world to come (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23). Our faith proceeds any miracle we are to experience from our Heavenly Father.
Lack of Faith
As you take a moment to reflect back on the past year – what problems were you faced with? Concerning those circumstances – where was your faith? All of us experience moments where we question our faith. We question our Heavenly Father. Most of us murmur and complain that our present issues appear quite overwhelming.
When we lack faith – it is because we engaged in a spirit of complaining, murmuring, and doubt.
Refusing to Accept Personal Deliverance
As we ponder the account of the Israelites crossing the sea – the swallowing up of Pharoah’s army in the depths thereof – we come to know that their trust and faith in God was short-lived. Yes, they were delivered from bondage. Of course, they witnessed the power of God as Moses stretched out his arms and the sea parted. Despite this, they went back to murmuring and complaining. This time of thirst and hunger.
Their faith in God dwindled. How has your own faith dwindled? Maybe you’ve reasoned and justified that our Heavenly Father does not want to see you through whatever situation you are faced with. A sense of feeling rejected and abandoned. Maybe you believe in Christ – however do not believe Christ.
Sufficient Faith to Go Forward with Purpose
The Savior taught much on the power of faith. The most famous is that of the mustard seed. Having enough faith as that of a mustard seed, we are empowered to move mountains. One of my favorite quotes is from Father Martin. In an old AA video presentation on Feelings, he mentioned: Sure, faith can move mountains, just bring a shovel. This simple quote is profound truth. And that profound truth is that our faith requires us to be ready to take necessary action to move forward.
When we place sufficient faith in Christ, no matter what mountain we are facing (as we go into the new year), our confidence and trust may bring about the necessary miracles we are seeking after in our lives. The challenge remains to hang onto that faith and allow it to grow and blossom. For, when it comes into fruition, there is no stopping us as we grow and mature in our faith. This is because our faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power, we have to overcome adversity and endure to the end.
Getting Past the Barricades
What are those barricades that we are seeking to be free from? Maybe one is struggling with physical and emotional pain. A past that is riddled with hurt, betrayal, and disappointment. Maybe it is a lack of trust in God because one felt that our Heavenly Father had disappointed them in some way. Perchance a person experienced discouragement in the past year.
If we carry these hurts, lack of faith and trust in God, or any form of discouragement into the new year – there is no growth. We remain stagnant. Without purpose and continue to operate in a mode of survival. We’ve got to get past those barricades. Much like the Israelites had to walk on dry ground through the sea. There was no other way for them to experience the miracle of deliverance.
It is because our faith, our trust, and our hope in Jesus Christ will proceed whatever miracle our Heavenly Father has in store for us. We merely need to step forward in that faith and with purpose – ready to respond and keep our peace as we see the salvation of the Lord.
When we stifle the lamentations, the murmuring, and the complaining and take our eyes off what had already happened – we are able to humble ourselves and remain steadfast, ready to step forward in faith and trust in Christ. Any burdens we are carrying with us need only to be let go as we go forward with faith and purpose in Christ.
Meditate and Ponder
What barricades are you needing to step through in order to go forward with faith and purpose? What hurts are you holding onto? What discouragements needing to be released? What may be different if you place your hope and trust in Christ and prove him to bring about the miracle you’ve ached for in your own life?