God didnt save us for a life without pain,
He saved us from a life without meaning!
The following is based off my answer to a person who had been praying for 10 years for a miracle. If you have doubts or questions I pray it will help you a little.
I have no idea why God answers different prayers in different ways except that He, being all all-wise and all-knowing, is aware of what is the best for us and sometimes that is to answer a prayer in the negative.
Think of a small child who wants an ice cream just before his dinner. If his parents are wise they will say "no" because they know that granting this request at that time is inappropriate. God is also a wise parent and many times our prayer requests are not in our best interest, irrespective of what we may think.
Imagine a man who has trouble handling money every time he earns some money he spends it unwisely. He goes before God and asks for a windfall to win a lottery, or to receive a large inheritance "to solve his financial problems". God would most likely say "no" to that prayer request because giving that person what he wants would not be in his best interests until he can learn to handle the money he has now.
I know a lovely lady who was in a motor vehicle accident and is now a wheelchair-bound paraplegic. This happened in 1982 and she has been praying for a restoration of her movement ever since. Many prophets have told her that she will be healed, but she is still waiting in her wheelchair. Her unfailing faith has been a beacon to many people with lesser problems.
Her faith has directly and indirectly led many people to the Lord, including my family and I. Because I was saved I have posted information about Christianity on the Internet and these articles have impacted on thousands of people (my Christian articles are read about 3,000 times every week) so the effect is like a stone thrown into a still pond the ripples go out further and further.
Would you be content being wheelchair-bound if that meant saving souls for Christ? Would those saved souls be more important to you than your own mobility?
Romans 5:3-4 says:
...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. [NIV]
I would add that our faith grows by being exercised, and faith is not exercised when we receive everything we want (or think we need). What faith is required when God becomes a Santa Claus giving presents to all? It takes no faith to simply receive presents (miracles) but it takes great faith to believe when you dont get everything you want, when you trust God completely knowing He is doing the very best for you in all areas of your life. That is what strengthens faith.
Ultimately, we are here on this Earth to exercise, and therefore strengthen, our faith.
Let me leave you with a little poem that was written by the mother of a severely disabled child. I pray it helps.
And God Said No
I asked God to take away my pride. And God said "No".
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. And God said "No".
I asked God to grant me patience. And God said "No".
I asked God to give me happiness. And God said "No".
I asked God to spare me pain. And God said "No".
I asked God to make my spirit grow. And God said "No".
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. And God said "No".
I ask God to help me love others, as much as he loves me.
Copyright © Claudia Minden Weisz (the mother of a Rett Syndrome child)
I pray you have found this article interesting and I would be pleased to read any comments you may have. However, my workload is such that I may not be able to respond to all mail. Address any comments to Graham Pockett.
A Prayer Promise
an e-mail question from Cynthia
This question of prayers and answers is a big one in my prayer forum. I have a brief question relating to Matthew 21:22: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
We discuss this verse a lot. There does not seem to be any stipulation carried with it. It does not say "Ask, I'll think about it, and if I like the idea I'll answer yes". It simply says that if we ask, and we believe, we'll receive.
I was curious about your thoughts.
my reply to Cynthia
One response to your question can be found in the commentary of the NIV Life Application Bible which says:
Finally, look around you. Do you see every prayer answered in a positive way? Of course not. Is everyone's faith strong? No, we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. The Bible tells me that if I had the faith of a mustard seed I could tell a mountain to move, and it would. All I can say is that my faith must be very small indeed because I have never been able to move mountains or walk on water for that matter. Of course, these examples are analogies to say that through God all things are possible even if we cannot comprehend them in our minds.
We are a finite being with limitations placed on our understanding. God is an infinite being so is therefore beyond our comprehension. The Bible is an attempt to bridge the gap between finite and infinite. If you doubt this, contemplate when time started and, if you decide that it must have started at some point in history (?) then consider what was there before time started? These questions will send your poor brain into meltdown because it simply cannot comprehend infinity. It was never wired to do so. That is part of God's design of us.
I pray my few words have not added more confusion to your understanding. We can but try and understand what we can of God's nature and promises, and endeavor not to put God in a box (not so easy).
have drifted away from Him, commit yourself here and now!
Who is Jesus?
[Jesus said:] And these signs will accompany those who believe: ... they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
Mark 16:17-18 NIV
© Graham Pockett
Last Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2013