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“You didn’t help me Lord! I prayed my heart out, but you didn’t give me what I asked for!” Most spiritual seekers have experienced that at one time or another. If we have felt that way, lets look a little deeper at our faith.
There is a spiritual principle we can be assured of, and that is: FAITH IS NEVER WASTED. All of your prayers have been heard!
Faith is a mental exertion that is always positive and upward in its direction. If the mental energy we exert is not positive, then it’s not faith! The spiritual muscle that faith expands in us over time, allows us to tie in to the Lord’s ENABLING POWER to receive the EXACT blessing He knows will be for our BEST GOOD. All His blessings are precisely calculated to give us maximum joy. When our requests are denied, there is always a deliberate reason.
The scriptures tell us that IF we ask in faith, we SHALL receive. (Of course, IF WE DON’T ASK IN FAITH, ALL BETS ARE OFF), but when we pray and ask WITH faith, at least ONE of the following five wonderful things will ALWAYS happen:
- He will give us the exact thing we ask for RIGHT NOW!
Sometimes the Lord gives us our hearts desire as soon as we ask for it. It will be because of the exertion of your mind (faith) combined with the grace of God. Some of us have received inexplicable healings, forgiveness, solutions, abundance, or other miracles where the thing we ask for just shows up.
- He will give us the exact thing we ask for – but LATER!
Sometimes He gives us what we ask for, but it may be after years of pleading and waiting. I begged, beseeched and fasted for a particular thing for over 30 years. It was something that I knew that He wanted me to ask for, and at times I felt confused and frustrated at Him for not giving it to me. I continued my imploring, and even increased my petitions as the years went by. When it finally came, it came with power, and I was overcome. I still don’t understand why it took so long for me to receive it, but I can see how my faith and joy were amplified exponentially through the process. In the long run, it was a great blessing!
- He will give us SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than we asked for.
We may have asked for a new job, but got an adoptive baby to care for; or asked for an increase in pay and got increase in benefits instead; or asked for forgiveness or patience and discovered our deepest self. God is full of surprises, and they all are meant to delight and uplift us.
- He will give us STRENGTH
A few years ago, I attended the funeral of a young woman who had just lost her husband of less than a year in a horrific boating accident. She was there to witness his violent death and be with him the last 2 or 3 moments of his life. It was the most shocking and ghastly thing a new wife could be asked to experience. I was astounded that she chose to be a speaker at her husband’s funeral. I was blown away as she articulated her ordeal. She spoke with a strength and power I have rarely seen. She boldly declared the penetrating words: “No one should ever have to see the things I saw! No one should ever have to experience the things I experienced! But the Lord was there for me! He is giving me what I need to make it through.” What did He give her? STRENGTH! POWER! He can do the same for us.
In the Book of Mosiah, there is a profound account of a people who were in bondage to Amulon, one of Noah’s wicked priests. Their “afflictions were great”. If you remember, they were targets of much abuse from Amulon. In response to their inner pleadings and faith, (over a period time), the Lord, “…did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease…” (Mosiah 24:15) Eventually, He helped them completely escape from their bondage.
THIS is what the Lord can do! If for some cosmic reason, we’re supposed to continue experiencing a certain trial, (if we turn to him with all our hearts), He will give us the strength we need to get through it with our faith intact.
- He will give us PEACE!
When my oldest son was a senior in high school, he got a cerebral hemorrhage, and his life hung in the balance. It was a trying time for many people, but for some reason, as I prayed for him, I received the greatest peace that I had ever felt up to that time, and was completely sustained with the peace that wrapped itself around me. It truly “defied understanding.” At that moment, I didn’t know if he would live or die, but I felt at peace with whatever God chose to do. I knew that either way, there was still joy ahead.
Peace is a one of most profound gifts we can receive from God when we go through a difficult circumstance. Even though the problem isn’t solved, He can carry us above it. When He gives us strength or peace, He can actually help us live at a higher plane of existence so that we don’t feel the full effect of the situation we are in.
There are countless blessings that God gives us to orchestrate His will in our lives. Many of these blessings are predicated on our asking for them with the positive energy of faith. When we ask, He will give us at least one of these five things. Any one of them will help us overcome or live ABOVE our circumstances.
What are you going through? Is there a lesson you need to learn? Can you handle receiving the blessing you are asking for right now? If the Lord always answered all our prayers in the way we originally asked for, we would actually lose faith.
Sometimes the “better thing” is for us to struggle a bit by wading through something we don’t want to experience, asking for the Lord to help us, knowing that something good lies ahead! The fact is, THE LORD WILL ALWAYS GIVE US WHAT WE ASK FOR, OR SOMETHING ULTIMATELY BETTER!
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