I’m so very sorry for the pain many are going through –both physically and emotionally. But when we give Him our pain, He does replace it with joy. And it’s so true that during the worst of our heartache, that’s when we feel His sweet, comforting presence the most. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)
We can find hope in verses such as 2 Chron. 1:7 too, where God says to Solomon, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.” He says that to all His children. Like in John 16:24 where Jesus tells his disciples, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” And in 17:13, He prays for them “that they may have the full measure of My joy within them.” Isn’t that wonderful? And those who have experienced this joy know how amazing it is –beyond words of explanation!
And how do we attain this joy? Jesus tells us in John 15:10-13 –“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you LOVE one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” If we love others to the point of laying down our lives for them… and that means in action –taking time for them by extending to them the Good News, fervently praying for them, serving them, cleaning up after them, encouraging them, etc., THEN our joy WILL be full!
I love the Lord so very, very much and I count it the utmost privilege to serve Him. However, sometimes we can’t quite fathom that we really are invited to petition Him and that He actually wants to answer. Maybe because often we don’t see immediate answers to prayer and so we get discouraged and then our faith wanes. We see enough prayers answered to be hopeful, but there is a real doubt too. But we must realize that there’s some prayers that God quickly answers, whereas others He knows must be answered at a certain TIME. (And He is a whole lot more patient than us! –We, usually, would like it right now!) However, a delay may be because we have much to learn through the faith-stretching interval, or because He knows we aren’t quite ready, or because He knows someone else isn’t quite ready –we or they may still be too weak, or are living in complacency or rebellion. Or it may not be any of this, but instead be because He is arranging a numerous amount of circumstances to all fit into “the puzzle”. There just could be so many reasons. Thus our job is to trust. Trust HIM. And we who have committed even our prayers to Him can be assured that if He hasn’t impressed on us NOT to pray a request through, then He has indeed willed that we “give Him no rest” (Isa. 62:6,7) until He brings it to pass.
And it’s precisely because we know that HIS plan for us is fantastically the best, that we can pray in faith and wait in peace and joy!
Here’s just a few requests that we can therefore have faith for:
~~~To have children.
~~~To have an adequate job to support one’s family.
~~~For a loved one to come back to the Lord.
~~~Healing –of all types.
~~~To have reconciliation between family members.
~~~To have a godly, kind spouse.
~~~For one’s children to serve the Lord.
~~~For one’s loved one to get off drugs or out of promiscuity.
~~~To have necessary needs met such as shelter, food, and clothes; plus extra!
The list can go on, of course. And here’s some more verses that can boost our faith and our trust in such a good, kind Shepherd:
Prov. 10:24 –“What the righteous desire will be granted.” Are you righteous? Then take courage. Your request is in the making!
Ex. 33:17 –“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.'” Is He pleased with YOU? If so, then ask that this verse be applied to you too.
Zeph. 3:17 –The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.”
Ps. 22:5 –“…in You they trusted and were NOT disappointed.”
Isa. 49:23 –“Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”
Ps. 21:2 –“You have granted him the desire of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
Ps. 145:19 –“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”
Ps. 6:9 –“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.” What does it mean if the Mightiest Being in the universe ACCEPTS our prayer?! ‘Mmmm… it must mean some joy coming!
1 John 5:14,15 –“This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us –whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of Him.” Wow!
Eph. 3:20 –“Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”
So, as Job 22:21 says, “Submit to God [acquaint yourself with Him, get to know Him] and be at peace with Him; in this way good [favor, prosperity] will come to you.” (I mixed some versions there.)
The Lord is so tender to those who are of a tender, sensitive spirit toward Him. He is kind, merciful, and loves to lavish gifts on His children. The discipline is only for a season, for “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5) And just think: Our trials are putting iron into our souls, forming us to become mighty in strength!