For the next few posts, I will be talking about what having faith means for us in different areas of our lives. What will God do for me if I believe in His Son, Jesus?
As we all know people are always looking for the benefits of following someone or something, be it celebrities or athletes. One of the most used lines we humans tend to think or say when entering a relationship is usually "What do I get out of this relationship?", "What do I get out of this job?", or even "What's in it for me?". We always want something back. Why is it that we always feel that, when we give, there must be some kind of return on our investment. How many people have done something for someone only to get mad or even if that same person doesn't return the favor at some point in time? How many promises have we broken because we refused to keep it when the person we promised refused us in our time of "need?" I could go on forever with these kinds of questions. I'm sure you have some of your own situations that were like these described above.
But God is not like that. He will never take back His promise to you. It might seem that way to you when God doesn't answer your prayers the way you thought they should have been answered, but God doesn't work on our timetable. Again, faith is the assurance that things we do not yet see will come true. But in God's timing, not ours.
Today I want to start at the beginning. What is the first thing that most people do, or should do, when a problem arises that they can't seem to get out of? Pray. God will only answer if you ask. Yes, God already knows what you will be praying for, but will wait until you ask for it. As Jesus said, "You have not, because you ask not."
If I Have Faith And Believe, Then My Prayers Will Be Answered By God
Matthew 21:21a-22: "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this (anything Jesus has done) and much more. (22)If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
1 John 5:14-15: "And we can be confident that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will. (15)And if we know He is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that He will give us what we ask for. (Both scripture from the New Living Translation)
Jesus told this to His disciples just before He sent them out on a trial mission of their own so they could put into practice everything He had taught them up to that point. They wanted to know how they could possibly do the things that He was doing since He was the Son of God, and everything He was doing was from God. By faith they had to trust Him that what He said would be done for them would be done for them. But they had to really believe in their hearts that they could do these things through the Holy Spirit whom God would give them.
Believing is the key to everything Christian. We must believe that God is who He says He is and that He will do everything He promised He would do concerning our salvation and our lives. If we have any doubt at all we short-circuit anything and everything that God has for us as His children, causing us to not grow and mature as believers. For instance, if you doubt that God has forgiven your sins, then you will continue to live your life as a slave to those sins and their consequences. You will remain miserable, fearful, and anxious. You will never get past your past and into the glorious future that God has planned and promised for you. But, if you believe in your heart that God has truly forgiven all of your sins forever, then you will live a joyful life knowing that your past is in the past, and that it can't hurt you anymore.
In my life, I was sexually abused as a child. Before I asked Jesus to come into my life, I was an angry, miserable person, full of hatred for others and myself. I had a split personality and was always fearful of being abused again, even when I was in my forties. I looked like a grown man on the outside, but, on the inside, I was still a child who didn't know how to cope with life as an adult. My first marriage ended because I couldn't cope with dealing with the grown-up world while still having the mind of a scared child. But, after I gave my life to Jesus, things began to change, maybe not rapidly, but changes were occurring in many areas of my life that needed to be changes if I wanted to live a life free from the damage of the abuse. In my heart I had to believe that Jesus would change my life for the better. If I had doubted Jesus anywhere in the process of His healing me, I would not be here writing this sentence for you to read and to understand just how important faith in Jesus is to a life of freedom and courage.
As far as believing that all of your prayers will be answered, let me say that God does indeed answer all of your prayers. But let me caution you that He does not always answer them the way you want them answered. God has three answers to your prayers: Yes, No, Maybe. God will answer your prayers if He knows that the answer would be in His best interest, and yours too. God has to know for sure that you are going to use the answer to further His Kingdom here on earth and to help others. For instance: a million dollars. If you pray for a million dollars, and God says "Yes", then He sees that your heart is in the right place spiritually, and that you would use the money to help others, and not to help make yourself richer. Or He may say "No" because He knows that your heart is selfish and that you would give a dime to no one and would squander it on possessions, trips, and other materialistic things, which is why a lot of millionaire lottery winners are broke in a few years after winning. But what if God said "Maybe?" Maybe He sees that your heart is leaning towards helping others, but it still has a little selfish spot that God knows would take control of the money if He gave it to you now. When your heart has truly opened towards others more, then He'll give it to you then.
What it all comes down to is God wants to answer all of your prayers with a "Yes", but only if they are in line with His will for your life, and His will to grow the Kingdom of God in this universe. For example: Would you give a five-year-old a gun for Christmas if they asked for one. No you wouldn't because you know that they could injure or kill themselves or others with it, and because you know that they are not mature enough to handle the responsibility that comes with it. That is why God does not always say "Yes", because He knows that most of the things we ask Him for will harm us in some way. His "Yes" only comes when He knows that are hearts have changed and we are mature enough in Him to do the right thing with what He has given us. Again, you would not give your child a gun, but you might give a thirty-year-old a gun if you believed that he was nature enough to handle that much power.
The problem with most peoples is that they get mad at God when He doesn't answer their prayers either the way they want them answered, or not at all. But we all must have faith that God knows what is best for us, and we must live our lives according to that belief. If we do, we will live joyously knowing that our God loves us and cares for our well-being more than we do ourselves.
Next post we will talk about having faith when it comes to prayers of healing. See you then. Thanks for reading.