“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them”. Mark 11:24 (NKJV)
This is a tough subject and when I felt God asking me to dig into it, I didn’t realize what He was leading me into.
When you read a verse like Mark 11:24, Matthew 7:7 (NKJV) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”, or any other number of verses this study has led me to, how can there be so much strife, difficulty and tragedy in our lives? If God doesn’t answer our fervent prayers, does that mean He’s not listening, listening and doesn’t care? Does it mean that we are insufficient in faith if He doesn’t answer?
He’s listening. The bible tells us in Deuteronomy 4:30-31 When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice 31(for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. In Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles, the bible reassures us that God hears us loud and clear.
He cares. Luke 12:7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Oh He cares! Romans 8:32,34 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all… It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
So, my faith must not be strong enough, then? Perhaps, but not likely. If the strength of our faith were a prerequisite, no prayer would get answered. Aside from Jesus, no man has or ever will be fully faithful. It’s not the measure of faith, but its presence. Luke 17:5,6 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith. 6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
So, the question remains, why would He not answer all faithful prayers? Paul gives us some insight in II Corinthians 12:7-9 …a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” We can not presume to always know God’s will, why He allows certain things to befall us. He has never promised ease and comfort in this life. Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Unfortunately, often times to reach us, to get us to realize we need Him, we have to experience struggle, strife, even tragedy. For many, they would never choose Him outside of urgent need. Even for the most faithful, their faith is strengthened when He reveals Himself through our desperation. That revelation may be for us personally or used to reach others through our trials. The pain that Mary, Martha and the others felt over the loss of Lazarus, was necessary for Jesus to fulfill one of the Messianic prophesies. If it wasn’t Lazarus, it would have been another family’s loved one. Jesus Himself wasn’t exempt from it. In fact, He suffered this world greater than any other, but was willing to submit to what God had laid before Him. Mark 14:36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
He loves us, this I know. He sacrificed His Son, to save us from death, because He so loves us. I wish I could say that life should and can be easy, but I can’t. I wish I could tell you, if you pray hard enough, have faith, believe, it will be granted, but I can’t. However, I can say with confidence, the bible says all is possible to those who believe. I can say with confidence, the bible says that one day, at our appointed time, it will all be over and we will live a glorious eternity in our Father’s house. God Bless you all and take care of each other.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,