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A note of encouragement

by Ray Allen

"Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:5

In the gospels, the miracles of Jesus were usually prompted by problems. He turned water to wine because the supplies at the wedding feast had run out. He healed Peter's mother-in-law because she was in bed with a fever. He calmed the storm because the disciples were panicked. He fed the multitude because of hunger. 

Every miracle begins with a problem, and every problem presents an opportunity for Christ to help us in our difficulty.

God can still perform miracles, but they come in all shapes and sizes. Because of the crowning miracle of scripture -- the resurrection of Christ -- all our problems are in the process of resolving for our good. The backdrop of every believer's life is the curtain of God's grace. He turns curses into blessings for us every day. He protects us when we don't know it. He overrules circumstances when we don't even realize it.

Catherine Marshall had a large problem she called "a widespread lung infection." After several years she came to a day of decision. She gave God a blank check -- she surrendered her vanity, her willfulness, her sins, her worries, her happiness and ever her life. It was a crisis of self-surrender. It is a crisis we must all face as we seek to be the person God has called us to be.

Take your problems to the Lord today and ask Him for a miracle -- in His timing, in His way and for the glory of Him who supplies the Spirit to us and works miracles among us.

As John W. Peterson wrote, "When He saved my soul, cleansed and made me whole, it took a miracle of love and grace."

Ray Allen serves as director of missions for the Massachusetts Baptist Association.