Faith is first of all unwavering trust in a person: Jesus Christ. True faith means that trust exists before God does anything and remains whether or not what you’ve asked for is fulfilled.
Your faith doesn’t have to be perfect. You can struggle with doubt, but struggle is also an opportunity to strengthen your faith. Trust the person first, not a specific outcome.
Having faith that God will answer your prayer isn’t enough. You need faith in God even when He doesn’t answer your prayer the way you expect Him to.
Of course, whenever you ask for wisdom, forgiveness, or other things God is eager to give to you, then you must believe and not doubt:
…if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.James 1:5-8 GNT
You might even start by asking God for the wisdom to know the difference between a prayer He will always answer with yes and others which are maybe or no. Wisdom, patience, maturity… God always grants these. Praying for your basic needs is likely to result in a yes. For example, you could pray that God would meet your transportation needs (likely) or you could pray for an extravagant car (less likely, but depends on why you’re asking).
God answers prayers according to His sovereign plan, but He also answers them in the context of His relationship with you. Your human dad will give you good gifts; he knows and cares about you. Your heavenly dad will also give you gifts appropriate to your spiritual maturity and connection with Him (Matthew 7:11).
God, being good, gives good gifts. Therefore, there is never a reason to give up your faith. Faith that God is real and that He rewards those who seek Him is essential (Hebrews 11:6).
Perhaps the times when you doubt God are the times when you are experiencing a deep sense of betrayal. God hasn’t actually betrayed you, but it certainly feels that way. Even then, God would have you trust Him and continue to believe He is good and has something good in store for you.
Then you can say like Paul:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.2 Timothy 4:7 NLT
How is your faith? Tell me in a comment or send me an email.
Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay
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