May 22nd, 2018 — IGNITE

Remember the time you really thought that God was no longer hearing you pray? Ok, so maybe you’ve never thought that way, but I sure have. So for today I’ll just speak for myself.

I remember being in that place where I desperately needed help. There were times it was about health… there were times it was about relationships… there were times it was about money (or the lack of money). I remember crying out to my heavenly Father with despair in my heart. But there seemed to be no answer. The doors of heaven seemed shut. God had turned a deaf ear toward me.

I also remember other times where I was doing my compraining (praying + complaining), venting all my frustrations, wanting God to take care of my problem or take a certain person, who was just a thorn in my backside, out of my way, or simply just praying with a bad attitude. I wanted God to do what I was unwilling to do myself. I wanted God to intervene on my behalf and settle the issue. I wanted God to honor my request because I had a more righteous cause than the other person and somehow had convinced myself I deserved it.

I don’t know about you, but I have learned over the years that I have had to thank God for what He hasn’t given me. And I have also learned to thank Him, and am still learning to thank Him, for the request of mine He didn’t grant.

I thought of that today as I read the precious Word of God. Here’s what I read that made me think of that today…
“In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, ‘He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!’” Mark 15:31-32

What if God answered all of our prayers the way we demanded? I realize what the chief priest and scribes were saying probably wasn’t offered up as a prayer in our terminology, but it was a request, though probably more rhetorical. What if Jesus, hearing their request, somehow felt obligated to oblige them? Or, in response to their arrogance and meanness, decided to appease them? What if, Jesus came down off the cross because they asked? You do realize, we’d still be in our sin… there would be no victory over sin, death or hell… we would still be lost and condemned.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Thank God for always listening to you. Thank Him for the times He said “No.” to your prayer. Thank Him for what you don’t have. And thank Him for not always granting what you ask for but doing what’s best for you.

Father,
I know You are always listening to me. Thank You for hearing me and being so good to me. Jesus, it’s in Your name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen