How To Survive the Testing of Your Faith

Question:

You just can’t understand it.  Yesterday you and your family prayed for your car to sell, and it sold in only a short time.  Yet despite persistent prayers, your spouse has been without a job for over two years.  Financial stress is growing every day.

Why did God answer one prayer and not the other?  Is God listening?  Did we do something wrong?  Does God love us?

God, are You there?  Help me understand.

Answer:

Wendy has posed questions that everyone has asked.  We have all asked the Lord for something and didn’t hear the answer that we wanted to hear or we didn’t receive an immediate answer.  This creates a testing of our faith.

We get very wrapped up with our own lives and circumstances.  We want to control the situation.  We ask and expect God to do exactly what we want.  We want Him to do it when we want and how we want it.  When He chooses to do it differently then we had expected, we think that He doesn’t love us, doesn’t hear us and doesn’t answer our prayers.

We forget some fundamentals of our faith.   We forget who God is and who we are.  I think if we review these basics we will see more clearly and we will be able to answer these questions.

God does know what is best for us and we can be assured of His deep love for us.

John 3:16 says,  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 31:3 says,” I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (ESV)

God created us and knows infinitely more then we do.  He knows what we need.  He will only do what is good for us.

It is just like parents who instruct their children.  The child may not like what the parent is telling them to do but the parent has the big picture and does what is best for the child.  God is our Heavenly Father and is instructing us.  He desires the very best for His children.

God will never leave you or forsake you no matter what the answer to your prayer is.  He will give you strength and encouragement.

In Isaiah 41:9-10 He says, “You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”

We must also remember that God’s answer is in His time and His will.  I John 5:14 states,  “… if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”  Our prayers must be in submission to His will and His timing.

We also forget that “yes” is not the only answer.  “No” and “wait” are also answers from the Lord.

Paul fervently asked the Lord to deliver him from his trial (2 Corinthians 12:7-8).  He wanted his hindrances removed so he could spread the gospel and take care of his congregations.  Paul’s answer was not a “yes” but it was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians: 12:9 ESV).

Paul began to see things differently.  “I am therefore happy to boast of my weakness, because then the power of Christ will rest upon me. So I am content with a life of weakness, insult, hardship, persecution, and distress, all for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I an strong (2 Corinthian 12:9-10 English Revised).

Paul began to accept God’s answer and was transformed by God’s grace.

We also need to remember that we may not recognize the answer.  We get so focused on what we want and expect from God that we miss what God is telling us.

We need to look at ourselves.  Are our requests made with a pure heart?   James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

My faith has been tested many times.  The toughest has been my husband’s blindness.  My husband has an eye disease that has left him legally blind since he was in his early 20s.

We have asked and continue to ask for healing, yet God has chosen to keep his infirmity and grow us up in Him.  The whole family has been changed for the better.  We have submitted to His will and instruction.

Some glorious day when my husband meets Him face to face he will have perfect sight.  Right now God is perfecting our spiritual sight.

Remember God loves you.  God hears you.  God answers you.

Trust Him.  Wait on Him.  Submit to Him.  He will see you through any test or trial.

Keeping the faith,

Ann Varwig

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation.”
 
Copyright 2014 Word For Life Publishing, LLC
WordForLifePublishing.com

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