Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
They did not receive the things promised
What does faith look like?
- Does it look like a faith that says I’m holding on because the answer to my prayers is just right around the corner?
- Or a faith that says God answered my prayer last time and He will answer it this time?
Isn’t it contradictory that we equate trust with getting what we want and God always answering our prayers?
Hebrews 11 talks about some who never received the things promised. The faith they embodied said even if I don’t get it I will trust God. Whereas most of the faith I hear people talking about these days is all about hanging in there because your answer, deliverance, provision, or whatever you’re expecting by faith is just around the corner.
Is that really faith?
Is that the kind of faith I want?
I’m not sure it is.
I don’t think that’s the kind of faith that gets you through the difficult times. That’s the kind of faith that eventually gets angry at God because you didn’t get the outcome you expected.
I want the kind of faith that says God is faithful even if He doesn’t answer my prayer the way I think He should because I know He is being faithful to what He knows is best for me. He is all knowing, all powerful, and loves me more than I can imagine so I will trust in Him.
So how can we have that kind of faith?
Strength in Christ not in things
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Paul says that sometimes he had what he needed and sometimes he didn’t
This meant there were times his prayers for provision went unmet.
It didn’t matter to Paul if some prayers went unanswered here because his hope was not in those things, it was in Christ who gave him strength.
Answered prayers or more of Christ?
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
When our prayers go unanswered they test our faith and where our faith comes from.
Paul prayed that God would remove something that was hindering him more than likely physically, but God said no. Actually, He said something better.
He said you get more of me.
If our hope is grounded in Jesus, unanswered prayers will just give us boasting power. We gladly boast in Christ not answered prayers.
And when our hope is in Christ and when we love Christ, unanswered prayers just mean we get to experience Him even more.
Let’s walk by faith not answered prayers
Let’s walk by faith and not by sight. Let’s walk with a faith that says my trust not weakened if my prayers go unanswered because my hope is in Christ.