I have been stuck thinking about the Where’s God? theme for the last couple weeks. Lately this has turned to what have we not asked God because we are afraid to get our hopes up? Let me set this line of thinking with a couple examples.
For the first example, there is a leader I know who had trusted God to bring healing for a dying loved one, yet the loved one still died. After which he continued to talk about God’s love and desire to act on a Christians’ behalf, but he did not seem to want to take people to that point of trusting God to actually come through. Every personal experience of God from that point on he ever mentioned was past tense. I imagine there are also other things going on, but you can see dilemma.
What Are You Afraid to Ask God For?
What are afraid to place in God’s hands for fear that He will not take care of it? What if God really seems to not come through?
The second example comes from the media. At a young age Ted Turner wanted to become a missionary. Then as a teenager his sister became seriously ill. He spent an hour a day praying to God for her to get well. She eventually died a painful death. Turner thought, “how could God let my sister suffer so much?” This experience seems to have been the impetus for his atheism.
How Do We Deal With Unanswered Prayer?
What do we do? Sometimes God doesn’t heal. People do eventually die. There is evil in this world. How do I pray with faith and hope not knowing if God is going to come through for me?
We need to allow every encounter of life be an opportunity to draw us closer to Jesus and allow Him to interpret the events for us. So often we assume that the thing we are praying for is best. That may or may not be the case. But if we are too upset with God for what happened or if we are too afraid to know God’s answer, we will not move towards Him. We will choose to believe that either the Bible is wrong about God, or that He is not trustworthy of things that matter the most to us.
Joseph Saw God’s Hand In Disappointment
Joseph had every right to think that God was out to get him. He had been separated from his father he loved and who loved him. His brothers turned on him and sold into slavery. When he was starting to make a living for himself, he was unjustly accused and sent to prison. Then you get to the end of Genesis and you see that he knew somehow through it all God had meant if for good.
If we have gone through pain, how do we trust God again? You need to have God interpret what had happened for you. Truth is whatever God says is true, and that truth will set you free. This is not power of positive thinking, because your mind won’t buy it. You need Jesus to speak to you about what He was doing during your painful situation. It will be different for each person. Sometimes He is crying with you. Sometimes He shows you He is with you. Sometimes He gives you a word of hope and encouragement. You may not be at a place to hear God for yourself if the situation is too painful. If so, have someone pray with you to support you. Where two or three are gathered He is in your midst. Whatever you do, don’t distance yourself from God. He loves you more than you know. Go to Him. These are the touches we need to get us through. These are the touches we need to get us to believe again that He is good.
If you do not see God is good, you will not ask Him for things you care about. If you are afraid He will not come through, you will not persevere in prayer. If you are making excuses for God, you will believe in a God that wants to give you more than you even ask or imagine. Don’t let past unanswered prayers linger in your mind and hinder your future. Go to God and allow Him to interpret them for you.