All of us call upon God or upon the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, when we need HELP. Sometimes, we don’t seem to get help from heaven…at least not immediately. Why is this?
Sometimes, God wants us to learn patience because we need to learn how to be patient. Patience builds trust. Trust builds confidence in the Lord. We need more and more trust as our life unfolds because our enemy, Satan, goes about the earth DAILY – seeking whom he may devour.
I stumbled upon a story in Mark where a father had a son who was demon possessed. The boy was possessed since the father could remember. The demon living in the boy tried, unsuccessfully, to make the lad go into fires to burn him to death. He tried to make him go into the waters to drown him.
The father was, obviously, perplexed because he loved his son, and would have to bear the son’s pain every time he had to watch the demon throw his son to the ground and watch him foaming at the mouth.
When the father came upon Jesus one day, he said, “Mark 9:17-24 –“Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wherever that demon takes him, he tears him: and he foams at the mouth and he grinds his teeth, and pines away: and I spoke to thy apostles that they should cast him out; and they could not.
Jesus answered the man, “Oh FAITHLESS generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I put up with you? Bring him unto me.
And they brought the lad to Jesus, and when Jesus saw him, straightway the demonic spirit tossed him to the ground, and he writhed there on the ground – foaming at the mouth.
And Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long ago did this come upon him?”: And he said, “Since he was a child - and – very often this demon has cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if you can do any thing, have compassion on us, and HELP US.”
Jesus said, “IF YOU CAN BELIEVE, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO HIM THAT BELIEVES.” - and immediately - the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
It seems to me that we lack BELIEF. Not in God or in His beloved Son, Jesus….we don’t lack BELIEF in their ability to heal, or do any other miracle.
Where we seem to lack BELIEF is in our letting it go…and letting Jesus do His work. We don’t seem to believe that He WILL do what we ask….and therein lies the problem…and the solution to our unbelief.
We need to pray – without ceasing, over an issue that is getting us depressed. We then need to BELIEVE that Jesus WILL answer that prayer.
BELIEF needs to be defined here. According to Merriam-Webster online, BELIEF is “a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.”
Therefore, our state of mind must be such that we build trust and confidence in Jesus BEFORE He will answer those prayers. This is the HARDEST PART of our prayer life, and that is to TRUST that Jesus will do all that He said He will do in His Bible.
For example, Jesus said “If we seek out the things of heaven FIRST in our life, then He will deliver on His promise to ensure that our daily bread needs (our food, clothing and shelter needs) are met.” That principle is found in Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
The first thing we have to do to build trust and belief that Jesus will do all that He says He will do, is to first seek Him…and His righteousness…and then all the things spoken of in the preceding verses (food, clothing and shelter) SHALL be given to you as well.
Have you asked Jesus to save you? If not, He will not hear any prayers other than, “Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I know you died on the cross for my sins. I know that you were raised again on the third day, and I know that you are God’s Son. I want to ask you to come into my heart and save my soul from an eternity in hell. I want to then ask you to build trust in me that all of the rest of your Word (the Bible) is true.”
To BELIEVE, then, as defined by Webster, is “to consider to be true or honest.” We must BELIEVE as truth that the words spoken in God’s Word, the Bible, are TRUE and HONEST. How then can we set out to prove that God’s Word is true and honest?
It all begins with PATIENCE. God will try us to see if we are serious about seeking Him out and trusting Him in every facet of our lives….financial, health, family, job…everything.
If you show God that you are PATIENT, then He will begin to meet your daily bread needs. When He does that, your CONFINDENCE in Him begins to build, and you can then TRUST Him for more…and He can trust that you will TRUST Him when you lay your burdens at His feet.
God will NOT be your Santa Claus. He’s not your genie in a bottle or your genie that comes out of Aladdin’s lamp that you rub each time you have a wish. No, God is sovereign. He is all-knowing – omniscient. He is everywhere at the same time – Omnipresent. God is a loving, caring heavenly Father who is concerned over you as much as you should be concerned over your children and their needs…not their wants, but their needs.
PATIENCE is a process. It never happens overnight. It comes as a result of your having to go through some difficulty…or trials…or times of testing. Then, when God believes He has accomplished the degree of patience that He needs from you, He will begin to supply your prayer needs.
God, of course, may want to instantly supply a need if He feels it is warranted…meaning perhaps there is a healing needed.
Our prayer should be the same as that father of the demon-possessed boy….”Help thou my unbelief,Lord.”
If we ask God to help us with our unbelief, He will do so. Then, we should be well underway toward seeing our faith, trust and confidence in God build toward the day when no matter what comes our way, we can face it knowing God is there to guide us through it.
God gives us a bonus promise: “And we know that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” All things means ALL THINGS.
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John Tyler, Author
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