I have found that is important to be positive about what God might do in one's life.
There is a story in the Bible (Acts 9) in which the Apostle Peter is asked to raise a Christian woman named Tabitha from the dead. This was a feat that, at the time, no disciple of Jesus' had yet achieved. What is more, not all that long before, this same man, Peter, had publicly denied that he was a follower of Jesus' not once, but three times. Nonetheless, grieved by their faithful friend's sudden illness and demise, several disciples approach Peter in the hopes that he could somehow do the seemingly impossible. No pressure.
Now it is interesting that other disciples who call upon Peter obviously believe that God could work through him. But you have to think that, even seeing and doing all that he has seen and done in his lifetime, even Peter might be daunted by the task before him.
So, what does Peter do? Well, he doesn't underestimate what God might do through him. Thus, he proceeds to clear the room as he had seen Jesus do before and then he gets down on his knees and prays. Then he simply says: "Tabitha get up" and amazingly the once-dead woman rises -- alive. Peter's faithfulness in simply trying is rewarded in a big way and as such the Bible tells us that many people in that town (Joppa) come to believe in the Lord.
In my experience, if we simply have faith to try and believe in God -- then we too will be blessed and experience good in our lives.
I recently heard something interesting that I think is helpful in regard to how much effort we put into our faith. Apparently, airplanes have among their flight instruments a device called an attitude indicator. From this instrument a pilot can tell whether the wings are level and if the aircraft's nose is pointing above or below the horizon. When the visibility ahead is uncertain because of poor conditions the pilot can use this device to keep the plane from having a negative attitude and crashing -- or, conversely, keep a positive attitude, maintaining the plane's course or even flying to new heights.
As Christians, I think our attitude indicator, if you will, also has much to do with how God will use us. So, that being said: What good thing might God have planned for you to do that you have never imagined before now that you could do?
Of course -- maintaining a positive attitude all of the time may seem easier said than done. I can understand how it is not always easy to believe that God will use us personally to advance his kingdom.
But there is an allegory that I have heard that I think sheds light on each of our personal situations in this regard. The allegory begins by saying that, after his resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven and was approached by several angels.
The first angel asks Jesus: "So who will do your work back on Earth now that you are away?"
Jesus replies: "My disciples."
The second angel, somewhat concerned, asks: "Them? Really?"
Jesus replies: "Yes, them, really."
Seriously concerned the third angel asks: "Yes, but what if they fail?"
Then Jesus simply replies: "They cannot fail."
Jesus promises his followers that our efforts in the lord simply will not fail. Christ will use his faithful disciples to redeem creation -- so then all we must do is follow him, keep a positive attitude and try.
The Rev. Christopher Benek is the associate pastor of family ministries at Providence Presbyterian Church. Read his blog at www.christopherbenek.com.