It is through acting in faith and experiencing sorrow that I feel these lessons have been impressed upon my heart.
My Hope is in Christ!
Many years ago I felt inspired by the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.1 These men, when threatened to be thrown into a fiery furnace and having their faith questioned, firmly responded that they trusted the Lord could deliver them from the flames, but if not, they would still hold true to their faith in God. I have needed to learn to apply that kind of faith in my prayers as I pray for specific miracles in my life.
"They knew that they could trust God—even if things didn’t turn out the way they hoped." 2
I believe in miracles and that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I have had countless prayers answered immediately with the miracle or need I was seeking. I have also experienced fervently praying and shedding many tears for years for a desired miracle. As I have acted in faith and followed the guidance I have received I have been learning to not put hope in the outcome of the prayer but instead in the recognition that my hope is in Christ and no matter the outcome I can trust in God. I can trust that my righteous desires will be brought about with the Lord's help and my continued action in faith according to his timing.
"Faith is, quite simply, a confidence in the Lord." 3
How can I put my hope in Christ? I start with what I know.
Heavenly Father Loves Me
Scriptures, Prophets, Apostles, loving parents, and experience have taught me this is a truth I can hold on to. As I hold to this truth I know that the Lord would do all in His power to bless me and help me to return to live with him someday. He will help me to become something that lasts forever.4
Christ Suffered for my Sins, Pains, and Sorrows
It is okay to grieve and have sorrow. A few years ago I was suffering with a deep heartache. I felt burdened and heavy by the sorrow. I even felt guilty for feeling sorrow. In comparison to some my grief could seem rather insignificant. Nothing was bringing me peace but I was praying for it. On that day I watched the below video and the first words from Christ were "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death."5 The guilt I was feeling washed away as I recognized that my Savior, who understands the joy of eternity, felt a sorrow so deep that he described it as "even unto death." He understood my sorrow and I was not alone.
Enduring Faith Enlarges our View of Miracles
Miracles come in many different ways. I have found it can be easy to overlook the miracle if we have our mind set on what we think the outcome should be. As I remember that God loves me and desires for my joy and growth, I can turn to him to help me let go of the outcome and help me to open my eyes to what He would have me see, learn, and do. I would not describe this as an easy or one time endeavor. I would consider it more as a wrestle that uses emotional and spiritual efforts. Prophet Russell M Nelson described the effort of drawing the power of Christ into our lives "with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air"6
Spiritual efforts can include a multitude of things:
Learning of God and Christ through scripture study, living prophets, and apostles
Standing in holy places and creating an environment in our home that is inspiring.
Fervent prayers, opportunities to fellowship with others, service.
The list could go on. Practicing gratitude has helped to open my eyes to the tender mercies our Lord gives to me. I can then see a grander view of the miracles that the Lord has given me.
Michelle and any reader,
Remember the Lord loves you! Remember Heavenly Father's plan makes up for all the injustices, heartbreaks, unfair things that you experience in life because His plan included Jesus Christ. Let Christ be your strength when you are weak and feeling broken. Remember it is Christ who makes us whole. Heavenly Father knows your tears and struggles. He will provide a way through it. You are not alone! Remember to fellowship and serve others. When negative or doubtful thoughts enter in remember to challenge those thoughts with positive and faithful statements. Trust in God! Put forth spiritual efforts to help you remember the things of eternity. Allow God to show you the miracles happening in your life and you will see him in the very details.