Joy can be elusive! Hope is at times a slender thread that is difficult to hold on to. We know that in His presence we find joy (Psalms 16:11), but like that thread, getting into His presence and remaining there is easier said than done. For me…it is a faith issue. Does your faith ever waver? James 1:5-8 informs that without faith we are “unstable in all our ways”. Charles Stanley writes, “If we believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised, why do so many of us habitually waver in our prayers? Instead of exercising bold faith, we come to the Lord “hoping” He will hear us AND answer our requests, but we’re just not sure He will. With this kind of thinking, we cannot expect to receive anything from Him.”
One reason we are so prone to doubt is that we fail to see God at work in our circumstances. We asked, and NOTHING happened. But the Lord is not some Genie in a bottle who jumps in response to our requests. He sees past, present and future and knows the right time for every answer. His invisible hand is already at work on our behalf…arranging situations to accomplish His will, opening hearts, and preparing us to receive what He wants to give. INTENTIONAL men know that His timing and His gifts are good and perfect!
Another cause for uncertainty is ignorance. If we don’t know God’s ways, we will be disappointed in His response (or the seemingly lack thereof). All too often our prayers are accompanied by expectations of how He will work. When He fails to intervene according to our timetable or anticipated method, we start to doubt. But placing faith in the Lord and trusting in His good and perfect ways gives us stability as we wait for His answer.
To overcome our doubts, we must intentionally spend time in the Word to learn God’s principles and ways. We must get into His presence. Then we will better grasp what He wants to achieve in our lives and how He goes about it. Examine your past from a Biblical perspective…faith will grow as we see the unexpected ways He answered our prayers. It is important to remember and recite your faith building stories often!