If we know anything about God, it’s that He is a loving Provider. All throughout time, He has provided in many ways for those who called on Him. With God, there has been no limits for what He provides or how He provides.
The only limits God has is the ones that we place on Him. God’s Will is His Will, and regardless of what we say or do, it will prevail. However, when we are asking something of Him, we can effectively be a blockage to that request by having little faith, or by doubting God can do it, or by taking it into our own hands and trying to accomplish it ourselves. These have been my bad habits.
Related: God is our Refuge in uncertain times
God wants us to trust Him to take care of us and to help us, but He doesn’t like stubbornness or prideful hearts. He will allow us to be refined through trial and hardship until we are broken down enough to come to Him in true humble form.
Then, when we do finally come to Him in full surrender, we must keep our focus on Him while He handles our situation. This is where the issue with faith or doubt come into play; if we really trust that God will do something, we will have a stable faith and keep our focus on Him for as long as it takes while going about our day without worry. However, if we give way to doubt, the issue will grow, and we will lose sight of God’s provision for us.
Keeping our focus on God might seem difficult, but the more we do focus on Him, the smaller our problems will become.
To help understand about the need for focus on the Lord while waiting, I also want to talk about our prayers, our inner condition, and why it seems like God isn’t responding.
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We must be in the right condition to receive
When we ask something of God, we must ready ourselves to receive. If we think about the story, or parable, in the bible concerning the businessman who left a certain amount of money with a few people to manage while he was gone, we can see that God is about stewardship (Matthew 25:14-30).
Good stewardship means that we can be trusted with certain responsibilities, and that not only will we keep that responsibility in good standing, but that we would actually improve on it. So, if we are going through something or are requesting something from God, God will first search us to see if we are good stewards, and in the right condition to manage that responsibility well.
If God grants us our request, but we aren’t ready to handle the situation, that which He gives will not be taken care of or will be lost in a short amount of time. God can see our habits and mindsets, and He can see in advance if our current character is ready to handle the responsibility.
When God say’s “Wait”
If we have prayed for something, either because we need something in our life or because we need to be delivered out of something, God hears our prayers and is working in the background. We don’t know all the things that must change or be moved or be called forth for a single prayer to be answered.
If we know anything about God’s provision, it doesn’t often happen exactly the way we would expect.
For example, you might pray for a vehicle, so you are expecting a cheque to show up in the mail from God to cover the cost of the car. However, God likes to multitask.
As God is trying to build up your faith through making you pray and wait and trust in Him, He might be working on someone else who just happens to have a spare vehicle in their yard, and God is trying to teach that person to become a generous and happy giver.
If we consider that any part of this is true, then we can see that this takes time for everything to come together. God’s plan for that person to give the car is a good one, and beneficial to both, but if the person is a stubborn person, the plan will be slowed until the person gives in to obedience. In some cases, the person doesn’t obey, and they miss their blessing. For God, He will then move on to someone else to work through.
During this time, the person who has prayed for the car must still patiently wait and trust God. If that person can wait, God will deliver. In the process, asking others for rides or to borrow vehicles might be the reality. God provides that, too.
All too often, we think that God abandons us. But He doesn’t.
God hears our prayers
“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”
The bible is clear in telling us that God is faithful to provide our needs and answer our requests. The only stipulations are that we believe when we ask, and that we don’t ask for selfish things. God doesn’t like divided loyalty. This means, if our heart is only for money, that is our god. If we come to God in this condition, asking Him for much-needed money, He ignores us.
If our heart is for God, and we come humbly to Him asking for much-needed money, He will see our true heart condition and He will provide. For God, it’s not about the size of the request or the potential difficulty in obtaining that thing; instead, it’s about our heart condition and our maturity level concerning stewardship. Don’t forget, God created the Heavens and the Earth with a single breath; surely our most difficult request isn’t too much for Him?
As for the selfish desires or wrong motives for our requests, God knows what our plans are for these. God is a generous God, and He desires for us to be a generous people. If we have the right intentions for what we plan to do with what we are asking, He is more likely to provide. We can’t trick Him though. We can’t pretend that we will do good with something as we pray while the underlying motive is only for personal gain.
We can’t fool God
For an example, I have prayed before that God would grant me such and such amount of money. After some time of reasoning, I told God that I would do great things with the money, even including; helping the homeless, giving to missionaries, and just being generous. As good as my intentions were, and as true as all this surely was, the underlying motive was that I wanted to be rich. I wanted to have money to buy luxury items and live lavishly.
Needless to say, years later, I’m still not rich. But God is working on helping me become generous and to develop a “giving” heart condition. If my heart was only to help others and to be a blessing through the blessing God provided to me, things would’ve worked out differently, I’m sure.
Even though I have wrestled with God about this for many years, I can see that God is still working on me. I still believe that God will bring a blessing on me and my family, but I don’t know to what degree or when. I also think that God is teaching me to keep my focus on Him, and not on the money that I had been desiring for years.
My love, or, desire for money, was so great that I would lose sleep over it. I would ponder it all day and I would steadily try to think of how I could make more. Finally, I got a job that paid a six-figure salary. This was great. However, my heart condition still wasn’t right. After only two years of taking the job for granted and living lavishly, racking up debt that I figured I could pay, and not giving glory to God, I got laid off – permanently.
So, for me, God granted me an opportunity to build great wealth, and I proved to Him that not only was I not a good steward of His blessing, I also didn’t have a grateful attitude towards Him for the blessing. Oh, and yes, we tithed as we always have, but my heart wasn’t in giving. It was only about self-satisfaction.
Keeping our focus on God through the difficult times
What kind of storms of life are you going through? Can you see how God is working in you to create a new person; a better steward for His blessing to come? Are you able to keep your focus and trust on God while enduring the difficult times? Can you remember a time where your patience in God paid off?
“Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
“Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So, Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. ‘Why did you doubt me?’”
When we go to God in request for something, we are expected to give that situation fully to God, leaving it with Him for as long as it takes. We are expected to go on worshipping Him, studying His Word, and being a useable vessel for Him.
If we pray and then only spend all our time thinking about that which we gave Him in request, then we aren’t doing a good job in being faithful that He will provide. When we spend time with our focus on the problem or the lack, that is exactly what will grow. When we spend time trusting God and building our faith in Him, that is exactly what will grow.
God is asking us to bring our prayers to Him, but He is asking us to also trust Him with it. Peter moved his focus off God and onto the storm and wind and crashing waves, and he instantly started to sink.
I ask again: what have you prayed for that is important to you? What kind of storm is going on in your life right now? Are you holding fast in the Lord and staying afloat, or are you looking at the disaster around you and are starting to sink?
Praise God in the storms
“You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
If we pray about something to God, and we believe Him to help us, the first thing He will do is give us peace in our heart and mind. If He doesn’t do this, how would we be able to leave it with Him and not focus on it? We wouldn’t.
God is the only one who can give us peace and rest in a storm. When we put our focus on God, no matter how rough the seas are getting all around us, no matter how big our debt is or how bad our relationship is or how difficult our teenager is being, God will give us peace in our heart. But we must believe that God is mighty to help, and we must faithfully give the issue to God.
As every hardship is a chance to grow our faith, we will soon be in a better position for God to use us. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. If the storm is getting too rough, we must move towards God with more intense focus and desire to build that relationship. By pulling back from God and moving our focus back onto our problem, we are taking control of the ship again. In this, yes, the storm will become more than we can handle, and it surely will overtake us.
God can only work with those who are willing to work with Him. If we can look at hardships as a chance to learn and grow, and if we can ask God during these times, “Lord, what is it you are trying to teach me?” then God will tell us and He will strengthen us. If we don’t know we are being molded and refined, we won’t understand why the trials and hardships keep coming about.
Are you in a storm? Do you think God is trying to help you become a different person? Is there a life-lesson you need to learn? Focus on God through the situation and maintain communication with Him. Instead of being overwhelmed and frustrated about the issue at hand, try singing songs of praise and worship to Jesus and try spending time being a blessing to others as God works through you.
When we do things for others, a selfless deed, our problems become less of a problem, and God is glorified through our actions and obedience.
We can either focus on our problems or on God. What we must remember is that God is in full control, even when it feels like He isn’t there. If God is silent, consider that He is working in the background to make something possible. Also, just to be doubly sure when praying, consider whether there is any unconfessed and unrepented sin that must be dealt with. God is patient and will allow us to wait until these things are first corrected.
If the struggle feels too real, or is too heavy, give it to God and spend even more time in fellowship with Him. He will give you a peace in your heart, as well as joy. Maintain steady focus on Him and put trust in His promises, which are found throughout the bible.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click here to send in your prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.