It’s hard to walk by faith and not by sight. It’s hard to believe God for what you may even doubt yourself. It’s easy to crumble under circumstance and wonder what God is God doing, but that is exactly why we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith turns a blind eye to reason, casts doubt and fear aside, believes beyond your present circumstances, and asks God for the impossible. It says, just as Jesus said in Matthew 19:26 “…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Benjamin Franklin rightfully said as well that, “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”
First we need to remember, that God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19). Second, if we are asking according to the will of God we can have confidence in our requests. And third, never quit until your prayers and petitions receive their answers.
I have four boys. They can make a lot of noise and request a lot of things. I may hear their petitions one or two times and they may get no real kind of response from me. After all, it might take a little more fervor for them to get my attention. But if all of the sudden their tone changes to a more adamant plea and they say my name five times in a row (so not as to quit until I respond – Hebrews 5), they’ve suddenly got my attention. So it is many times with the Lord.
It reminds me of the importunate widow in Luke 18:1-8. In this parable Jesus taught that we should pray always and never give up. He tells the story of a determined widow whose importunity changed the heart of a judge who feared neither God nor man. The story goes as follows.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Think of the key principles that we are to learn from this parable. First, we must be patient and perseverant in prayer even if our answers do not immediately come. Second, it was the widow’s persistence that forced the judge to respond and third, shall not the God of all the earth who is a Just Judge do all the more that which is right? Of course!
Even though it may seem at times that the Lord has abandon you because you do not see the fruit of your prayers immediately in answers to your requests, keep praying for in due season you shall reap if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). The Lord just reminded me of this not too long ago when my heart was quickened to remember that you do not always reap what you sow immediately.
Just because you put a seed into the ground, doesn’t mean that the next day you will see the fruit of that seed born. No, these things take time, water, and sunlight (patience, persistence, and perseverance). But the eyes of faith says, just because I do not see a tree yet, doesn’t mean that the seed I planted is not developing right now into something beautiful! Remember, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
Going back to the story, we must be importunate in our prayers just as the woman was importunate with the unjust judge. Even if you pray and the Heavens seem as brass, keep on going and do not give up. I am actually sitting right now at our kitchen table looking at the fruit of an answer to one of my son’s prayers. Let me explain.
We live in the great state of Minnesota (or Minnesnowta). However, January and February so far have seemed more like spring than winter where we live. We can see the grass, there is hardly any snow, and we had somewhat of a “brown” rather than “white” Christmas. Needless to say, our son was not very pleased about this. So, he asked the Lord to bring us some snow. After he prayed things got worse, more grass and no snow. No snow in the forecast – and it if there was it was like a 30% chance for only a small period of time. His petitions were delayed. Bradlee told him basically that that is what happens when you pray sometimes – things get worse, but Sam kept praying. Lo and behold it looks like a combination of a winter wonderland and Christmas morning outside right now. His petitions were delayed, not denied and because he did not stop praying and believed, despite the circumstances, his answer came.
The Bible says in Matthew 7:7,
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Remember, we ask according to God’s will and not our own.
Sometimes delay can produce discouragement and sometimes the answer can even be no, but do not lose heart, for as Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Remember, faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible (Corrie ten Boom).