I came across a concept recently which piqued my interest. It was called ‘Counterfactual thinking’. Counterfactual thinking is exactly what it states: ‘counter to the facts’. These thoughts consist of the "What if?" and the "If I had only", that occur when thinking of how things could have turned out differently.
This got me thinking of some of the biblical accounts of miracles, signs and wonders that took place. In Joshua 6 we read about the Israelites who’d crossed over into the Promised Land. There they encountered a seemingly insurmountable city called Jericho. We read in verse 1 that ‘Jericho [a fenced town with high walls] was tightly closed because of the Israelites; no one went out or came in’. God told Joshua that He’d already given Jericho into his hands. All they needed to do was march around the city once a day for six days, and on the seventh day they needed to do this seven times. At Joshua’s command, they would need to give a loud shout. This would cause the walls of the city to collapse and they could charge straight in and conquer it.
What if the Israelites got tired and grumbled and decided to stop after the fifth or sixth day? What if, on the last day, they decided to circle the city only once like the other days? What if they became discouraged as they faced the very thick, high walls day by day, and gave up on God’s promise of victory?
I also considered another incident which took place outside the very same city of Jericho many, many years later – the account of blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52. This blind man sat begging next to the road outside Jericho like any other day, but this day he heard that Jesus was passing that way. When he heard Jesus approaching, he began to shout at the top of his lungs: ‘saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]! And many severely censured and reproved him, telling him to keep still, but he kept on shouting out all the more, You Son of David, have pity and mercy on me [now]!”’
But what if Bartimaeus had listened to the people who tried to shut him up? What if he’d doubted that Jesus even wanted to, or was able to, heal him? What if he didn't persist and press in?
What does your Jericho look like? Perhaps God’s given you some amazing promises for your life. Perhaps God’s placed a dream within you. Perhaps you've been trusting God to collapse the ‘walls’ of an insurmountable obstacle or circumstance in your personal or family situation. What if you continue praying and pressing in, and refuse to give up on what God has promised you? In both the above accounts I see God working a miracle and securing a great victory, but only because of persistence.
Believe His Word for you. Don’t give up. You may be on the brink of your Jericho victory moment! Even if everything you see in the natural tries to suffocate your faith in God’s word to you, DON’T STOP believing God!
‘And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?’ (Matthew 18:7-8).
Prayer: Lord, I’m so sorry for not always trusting Your timing in the things I’ve been praying about, and for growing discouraged when I don’t see You answering my prayers when and how I hoped it would happen. Help me to persevere and to believe You, to believe Your Word to me regarding my ‘Jericho’ situation, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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