One of the challenges of having a God who can do anything is: What do we do when He doesn’t “do” something for us?
We have a need, we pray, we believe, and then God goes silent. After a few episodes of this, our theology weakens. We lose confidence inwardly while outwardly our “faith” appears solid. My family experienced this while praying for my sister, diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 43. She had a husband and three boys ages — 10, 6 and 4 — at the time. After 15 months of battling, she died. Some of our “faith” died as well. We asked, “What good does it do to pray?”
Does this describes you?
For me Daniel 3, the story of the three Jewish young men facing a fiery furnace, was helpful. Their resolve to obey God, in spite of the king’s threat of death by burning, is amazing!
Did they think God was able to deliver them? Yes!
They told the king, “Our God can deliver us.”
Were they confidant that He would? They were not!
They told the king, “Even if He chooses not to deliver us, we still will obey God.” How could they say that?! Only by trusting in God’s purpose for their lives.
As a Christian it is never a question of God’s ability to answer our prayers. It’s a question of our ability to trust His purpose.
As Good Friday nears, I think of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You; take away this cup from me: nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36.)
I’m glad the Father didn’t answer Jesus’ request. How about you?
Pastor Mark Gause
First Baptist Church, Alhambra