2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Trials are a part of life and they are what help shape and develop our character, which in turn, helps us to be more like Christ. I think there might be something in the above scriptures that we often overlook though; I certainly know I did for years. That thing I’m talking about is praying in faith instead of praying in hope.
For years when I prayed about trials that I or someone I knew were going through, I found myself praying with a caveat. Or when I was praying for something that I felt I really wanted or needed I prayed with that same caveat. That caveat was, “if it’s Your will”.
Now I know that the scriptures tell us to pray according to God’s will, and we should. I wonder though, how many times it’s God’s will to heal us or to answer a prayer, but we pray with meekness hoping He will heal and bless us, instead of believing He will; thereby making our prayer of no avail.
Why do we do that? I think the answer lies in our fear that if we ask really believing and He doesn’t answer our prayer; our faith will be shattered, and our spiritual lives will be filled with doubt. It doesn’t have to be that way.
If you have children and have told them no about something they really wanted, did their faith in you become shattered, and forever hindered their relationship with you? Of course not! Then why would we believe that if we ask in faith; and are told no, or are made to wait, our spiritual relationship with God will be hindered.
Peter is a good example of a man who struggled with doubt in the beginning. Remember when Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat and come to Him. He was fine until he let his human nature take over, and became filled with doubt and began to sink. I think it’s the same with us. We’re afraid God’s answer might be no, so we begin to doubt and sink in our prayer.
Now I will grant you that sometimes God’s answer is no, and He certainly has a good reason for that. But I do wonder how often we hinder Him with our own doubt. Also, just because God doesn’t answer right away, it doesn’t mean He won’t; it might just mean that He will do it at the right time, and according to His purpose.
When you go through a trial, and God hasn’t answered a particular prayer, or hasn’t healed you of some illness right away, don’t give up. Keep asking with faith, believing He will answer.
God has promised healing and blessings for us, we need to claim those promises.
Like I said, sometimes God’s answer is no, but let’s throw out the caveats, get rid of doubt, stop asking in hope and have the faith to trust God.
After all, He wants whats best for you and me, and that’s not being sick and unhappy for most of our lives.
To slightly change a quote from John Lennon, “Let’s give FAITH a chance”!
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