Often when we find ourselves in difficult and trying circumstances, we pray to God for deliverance. Sometimes God delivers us immediately. Other times, our circumstances don’t change and we are left to face the hardship.
Many become discouraged when this happens, even becoming angry at God for not “answering” their prayer. However, a question that seldom gets asked is, how will God work out what I am facing for His glory and the benefit of others? How will God work this out for good?
Often times when we come before God to pray, it is to ask God to remove from our life circumstances we don’t like. And when God doesn’t, we get upset, frustrated or worse. We may begin to think that God doesn’t care about what is happening. The truth is, God does care and He hears our prayers. Yet the purpose of prayer is not necessarily to get a change in circumstances, but a change in perspective. Prayer is less about changing things and more about changing us.
When we spend time in prayer, the number one thing that should be changing is us. By faith, we enter the presence of God when we pray. In His presence, we are changed by His indelible Spirit and attitude from who we are today to who God would have us become. Our faith in Him increases, our spiritual understanding increases and often the “problems” just don’t seem so big. As we spend time with God, we find rest from our trials.
As any good parent knows, sometimes you have to let your children struggle so they can be strengthened by the experience, so they can grow and their character can develop. It is no different with God. A Father who truly loves His children will not just relieve the circumstances, but He will help His child through the circumstances.
When you face hardships and you pray, God will answer you. It may not always be what you want, but if you will remain faithful to God, knowing that He knows what is truly best for you and others, He will give you the strength you need to endure through the trial. Before He was betrayed, tortured and crucified, Jesus asked God to deliver Him from the circumstances that were about to take place, but He added, “not my will, but yours be done” (Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42).
True peace and contentment in life do not come from creating or experiencing “perfect” circumstances. Those who are at peace only when circumstances are in their favor are not truly peaceful at all. There is a peace which comes from God that surpasses our human understanding. It comes from seeing life as God sees it. It comes from putting our hopes and dreams into the hands of God who created us and who rules the universe. When God is on your side, nothing can resist you and the stressful and trying experiences stand as insignificant before His power. When we see life from God’s perspective we understand what Paul meant when he wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
When we put our faith in God to work out the difficult and stressful experiences in our lives, we can know that we will come out the other side successfully. It is this faith in God, to lay the problem in His hands, to trust His will in it, that makes us rest before Him. By resting in Him, our perspective changes and we are able to go through hardships more easily than we thought possible.
God loves us intensely. He knows all our trials and heartaches and He delivers us mightily through them all. Sometimes it is immediate and dramatic with healings, miracles and prosperity. Other times we face the trial and God delivers us through it, working out the problem or injustice for our good and the good of others. Keep your faith in God. Trust and rely on His perfect will, trust in His perfect love for you and He will see you through it. “God works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
- Written by David Liesenfelt Copyright © 2004