There are things in life that we all want. That one thing that we have desired to have since day one of hearing it was even a “thing”. We spend countless hours, days, weeks, months, and yes, even years, praying for these things to materialize in our lives. Maybe, just maybe, in our world of hope and desperation, we think that finally having this one thing would somehow make our lives better; that it would somehow make us content with our lives.
These things that we desire, the never-ending list of prayer-requests that we send each night to the Lord before bed… A promotion. A spouse. A new car. A family member to be saved. A loved one to be healed. A new house. A baby. To strike it rich. Safety. A good health report from the doctor…
All these things, these objects of our lives that have fueled an obsession of want, that have gripped and clung to our hearts, seem to be what determines how much faith we have. The prayer, “Lord, please give me this one thing, and I’ll never sin again,” or, “God, I promise if you just answer this one prayer I’ll follow your will for the rest of my life,” sound all too familiar don’t they? Or my personal favorite, only because it seems to be a consistent prayer for me in my life: “Holy Spirit, please give me divine wisdom and knowledge to get an A on this exam that I didn’t study for and I promise I’ll study for the next one”.
What happens when these prayer requests go unanswered? Do we choose to all of a sudden not follow the will and purpose God has set out for us? Will I choose to not study for the next exam, again? Sometimes we start to lose faith when these prayer requests aren’t being answered. Our faith can depend on these things. Our will to even believe that, when we ask our Sovereign God for these desires, says something about our faith. When things don’t happen the way we think they should, our world is shaken and we lose hope thinking, “these things will never happen”.
If I can just be vulnerable with you for a moment. I am a young adult with many desires of what I’d like to do in my lifetime. But there is one desire that always outweighs the rest. It’s the one that is always first on the list of my prayer requests. I have dreams of getting married and living in a small house (or apartment). I want to be able to go Black Friday shopping someday with my mom and grandma and see them throw something in the cart for MY HOUSE, not just my sister’s house or cousin’s house. And… I want this to all fit into my four-year college plan. I have one more year and I am still waiting for the prayer to be answered. But my faith is in the Lord!
Church, here’s the deal… If things don’t happen my way, and in my time frame, I cannot let it shake my faith. I can’t wake up one day after I graduate and think to myself: “Hmmm, there’s still no ring on my finger, I’m not sure if I can trust God with the rest of my future”. Why? Because I know there are better things still yet to come! There’s more to be done and different blessings the Lord has in store for me. I have to trust HIS TIMING.
This goes for all of us. This goes for anything we may desire to see happen in our lives that we pray about consistently. But we have to remember this: When God doesn’t give us what we asked for, no matter how many times we have asked for it, our faith cannot waiver. He still has a plan! His will for you is perfect and His timing couldn’t be better! Sometimes we just need to continue to press in through prayer!
We see this all throughout scripture. It happened to Abraham and Sarah when praying for a child. Job experienced it when he was being tormented by Satan’s Adversary; it seemed God wasn’t hearing his plea to be saved from what was happening to him. God eventually answered them. The passage of scripture that Pastor Aaron will focus on this week is about the birth of John the Baptist and how Zachariah and Elizabeth encountered a similar situation: They were praying for something to happen (they wanted a child), but did not see their prayer answered until it appeared as if time had run out.
Elizabeth was barren, yet her heart longed to have a child. Her and her husband prayed for a child continually while remaining faithful to the work the Lord had put before them. You can listen to the full story of Zachariah and Elizabeth in our new sermon series: OUR COMING SAVIOUR, by clicking this link: http://painesvilleag.com/our-coming-saviour. Get ready to discover how steadfast faith results in the promise of God being fulfilled. Learn about the names of Zachariah and Elizabeth and how essential they are to this promise, as well as several lessons that we can each relate to in our own lives.
Church, we need to lay our desires at the feet of Jesus and delight ourselves in Him. He is sovereign and He is good. He wants what’s best for us and trust me, He has a plan! It may mean forgetting the four-year plan, praying fervently, and seeking God to fill the gap while you wait for your heart’s desire. When we are faithful in serving the Lord while we are living in our current circumstances, He will be faithful to us too. Trust Him!
College Student, Writer, Blogger