Faith Is Not always Easy!

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NLT)



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Waiting For God's Answer

I have learned that while I am waiting on God to answer my most urgent prayers that my faith always grows. Have you ever wondered what God is doing to us in our waiting for answers to our prayers? I have friends who have prayed for years that a friend or family member would trust Jesus as Savior and Lord. Others are praying for physical or financial needs.

As a believer one thing I have learned is that God is just trying to teach me perseverance when I’m praying for things I don’t seem to be getting. I must be sure I am asking according to God’s plan and purpose for my life. It is during this time that my faith is being grown as I wait for God’s answer.  I was reading the Old Testament Book of 1 Samuel, and I came to the story of Hannah and how she had wanted a child for a really long time. She kept praying, and when she went to the temple to pray, she let out her frustration to the Lord. After pouring her heart out to God, the Bible said that Hannah walked away from the temple, and her face was no longer sad. The interesting thing is that in the prayer, she said, “Lord, I will give the son back to you."

I wonder if Hannah’s heart had changed in such a way where everything that she wanted from God, she only wanted it for His glory. I think that part is what changed her heart so that she was able to walk away and no longer be sad even before the prayer was answered.

There have been times I have asked, “What is God trying to do in me through my waiting? Is He trying to help me understand that I don’t need what I think I need? Is He trying to teach me about contentment in the things that I do have? I have learned that faith is not natural for me: sin is, rebellion is, and God will somehow use my waiting as a means to grow my faith.

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, I had a tremendous desire to have faith in God and to learn what faith really is. I ultimately learned that faith for me is not always “easy”. I tell my story on my web site: I also learned what James, the brother of our Lord said in James 1:1, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12 NIV)

Ultimately, I learned that perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, and God just wants us to have hope in Him (Romans 5:3–5). He wants us to get to the end where we will receive the crown of life, and you don’t get there unless you persevere. God is doing a mighty thing in us when He just doesn’t give us everything we want when we want it. That has been a difficult lesson for me to learn.

I suppose we’re all waiting for something. I feel like when I am being called to wait for an answer to prayer, I feel like I’m being singled out. Like, why me! But the reality is, as you read the Bible, ‘Everyone is Waiting’.

For sure. All throughout Scripture God’s people are waiting. I mean, Israel, they were crying out to God for deliverance for a long time. He had promised to do so, and he did it.

My prayer is that God will somehow use my waiting as a means to grow my faith so that I can see Jesus and want Jesus and crave Jesus.


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