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Pointers along the way #67

Sometimes just to endure
- Jacob Ninan

We would all like to be free from trouble, and we would like Jesus to come and take away our problems the moment we ask Him. There are preachers who invite people to come to Jesus giving an impression that once they come to Jesus He will do that for them. But one of the most common reasons for backsliding is disappointment when our expectations are not met or when God does not seem to answer our prayers.

When Job was going through trouble - all his children killed, all his wealth destroyed, his body incapacitated with an irritating disease - his wife gave him her advice, to curse God and die (Job.2:9). Job had more sense, and more faith in God than to do that. Do we realise that if we turn our back on God and 'curse' Him we will be the losers? We may even end up sliding down to our spiritual death.

If we cry out to God in the name of Jesus we can be sure that He hears us (1Jn.5:14,15). The only thing that will cause God to turn away His ears is if we are holding on to some sin in our lives without being willing to give it up (Ps.66:18). Once God hears our prayer, we can be sure that He will do something about it. He may not act in the way we expect, but He will do what is best.

If God has specifically promised us something, He will grant it to us. We should not stop asking. Perhaps He will do it immediately, or perhaps He will answer it at the appropriate time later. In Abraham's case, it was 25 years after he received the promise of a son that Isaac actually appeared. But because Abraham held on to the promise with endurance he received more than what was promised. He got a son, as well as acceptance by God as a righteous man (He.6:12;Ro.4:19-22).

But we should not stop praying even if there is no specific promise from God for our situation, because we know He is a good Father. Sometimes God may tell us that He is not going to take away our trouble, but that He will give us special grace to endure it (2Co.12:7-9). Perhaps there is some person in our life who constantly irritates us, or there is some financial pressure that does not go away, or there is some nagging sickness that is not responding to prayer or treatment. We are not able to change the situation, and our prayers to God to change it also seem to go unanswered. Perhaps God wants to tell us, "My child, I am not going to change your situation immediately. But I will help you so that you can change, and demonstrate My love, mercy, kindness and patience much better." Shall we rise up to the challenge?