So many times throughout the course of my life I have heard of miracles God has performed in the lives of others. Each time I heard of one of these miracles I was genuinely happy for that person but so often it left me with a sensation of having salt rubbed into an open wound because it made me wonder all the more what was wrong with me. Why was it that I had prayed so many times for miracles in my life, yet these miracles never came? So many times I cried out, “God don’t you hear me? Don’t you care?”
So many times I examined my relationship with God wondering what I was not doing that I should or what I was doing that I should not. So many times I felt there was something wrong in my life, something wrong in me that stood between me and God that kept him from answering my prayers. Each time a prayer went unanswered once again I felt not good enough, unworthy, alone and forgotten.
I knew I could not be the only one who felt this way. I knew there were so many others out there who were looking for the healing, the restoration, the reconciliation, the financial breakthrough, the rescue that never came. Then the Lord shared this scripture with me:
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 (KJV)
Did you catch the part that said, “according to his will”?
And: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)
God’s love for us is far too profound for us to ever begin to fully comprehend it. The Bible tells us that God loved us enough that he sent his very own Son to die on a cross for us so that we could be reconciled with him.
Jesus knew what was required of Him. When He knew the hour of His fate was drawing near He cried out for God to spare Him. Matthew 26:36-39 tells us that Jesus went to a place called Gethsemane. He told his disciples to wait for Him while He went to pray. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him and told them “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Jesus asked them to keep watch and he went a little farther into the garden where He fell on His face to the ground before His Father and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
When Jesus returned to Peter and the other two, He found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you even keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus knew the will of the Father. He knew the horrific events that lay ahead of Him. He told them “The spirit is
willing, but the flesh is weak.”
I have always found these scriptures amazing and my heart just breaks for Jesus. He was about to be betrayed, tortured and executed for our sins, even though He was spotless and the very ones He had asked to wait and pray with Him not once but three times had fallen asleep instead of supporting Him in His darkest hour. Jesus prayed not for His will but for the will of the Father to be done. Then He was taken away and fulfilled the purpose for which He came.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV)
When we pray, we must also pray for the will of the Father just as Jesus did. Sometimes it is not his will to deliver us from the rushing waters or the fires in our lives. However, we can find rest and peace in his promise that he is always there with us and will bring us through the storms of our lives. “Fear not, I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be there with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not consume you; and when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you on fire. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:1 (KJV)
Notice he said when you pass through the waters, through the rivers and through the fire.
It is so difficult and painful to understand “why?” when we feel we have done everything right or at least to the best of our ability; we have fallen on our faces before God and poured our hearts out to him and things don’t go our way. In Isaiah 55:6-11 we are told God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and our ways are not his ways. He said that as the heavens are higher than the earth, his ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. There will be things that we will never understand but we need to know that God loves us so much more than we are capable of ever comprehending as well. In order to grow in him we must endure these experiences in life because it is during these times that we lean on him, trust in him and grow in him to become the wonderful and unique individuals that he created us to become. I promise you that He hears you. I promise you that He cares. I promise you that He is there to comfort you and carry you through any storms that you may face.