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Summary: THE HARDEST THING AT TIMES TO DO IS TO BE PATIENT AND PRAY AS WE WAIT FOR GOD TO MOVE ON OUR SITUATION.

WHEN GOD’S WAYS MAKE NO SENSE: BE PATIENT AND PRAY

ISAIAH 55:1-12

WE ALL HAVE IN OUR MINDS A CERTAIN WAY OR PLAN THAT OUR LIVES SHOULD FOLLOW. THERE IS AN ACCEPTED SCHEDULE OF EVENTS THAT OUR LIVES SHOULD TAKE, MUCH LIKE WHAT SOLOMON STATES IN ECCLESIASTES 3 WHERE HE SAYS:

ECCLESIASTES3:1: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

THE SCHEDULE WE ANTICIPATE IS USUALLY LIKE THIS. A GOOD CHILDHOOD WITH GOOD PARENTS, DOING WELL AT SCHOOL AND GOING TO UNIVERSITY OR TRADE SCHOOL. WE MAY POSSIBLY MEET OUR FUTURE HUSBAND OR WIFE DURING THIS TIME, GETTING MARRIED AS SOON AS WE GRADUATE. WE HAVE 2.6 KIDS, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE .6 BUT IT WAS THE AVERAGE. ALL OUR FAMILY MEMBERS MAKE DECISIONS FOR CHRIST AND ARE MATURING AS THEY GROW OLDER. THEY GROW UP AND HAVE FAMILIES OF THEIR OWN. WE BECOME GRAND-PARENTS AND GREAT GRAND-PARENTS, LIVING TO A GREAT OLD AGE WITH NO SERIOUS HEALTH ISSUES AND THEN WE GO INTO THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD.

UNFORTUNATELY, LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK ACCORDING TO OUR SCHEDULE. WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT DEALS WITH THE EFFECTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF THE SINFUL NATURE. SOMETIMES GOOD PEOPLE CAN BECOME VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS, OR UNFAIR LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES ALL AS A RESULT OF THE SINFUL NATURE IN US.

THERE IS A STACK OF UNEXPECTED BILLS, NEW HEALTH CONCERNS, TROUBLING MARRIAGE TENSIONS, UNCONTROLLABLE SEXUAL URGES THAT BRING HIDDEN SHAME, A LEVEL OF LISTLESSNESS THAT BORDERS ON DEPRESSION, UNFORSEEN DEATH, AND A HOST OF OTHERS THAT CAN LEAVE US SHAKING OUR HEADS AND ASKING WHERE IS GOD. WHY DID HE NOT HELP US WHEN WE PRAYED TO HIM?

WE HAVE AN UNWRITTEN RULE IN OUR PRAYERTIME, AND THAT RULE IS THAT IF WE ASK FOR A REQUEST, AND CONTINUE TO ASK FOR THE REQUEST, THAT GOD WILL EVENTUALLY GRANT THAT REQUEST.

JOHN 14:13-14:

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

THERE ARE OTHER PASSAGES IN THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS THAT SAY THE SAME THING, AND SO WE MISTAKENLY THINK THAT IF WE HAVE PEOPLE PRAYING WITH US ABOUT A CERTAIN SITUATION THAT GOD IS GOING TO DO WHAT WE WANT IN THAT SITUATION.

THERE IS AN IMPORTANT FACTOR THAT WE OFTEN LEAVE OUT AND THAT IS THE PHRASE “THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON.” WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR IS AN ANSWER THAT WORKS THE WAY WE WANT WITH NO CONCERN ABOUT THE GLORY BEING GIVEN TO GOD.

CONSIDER THESE EXAMPLES:

GOD DOESN’T WANT ME TO PUT UP WITH MY HUSBAND. THE MAN DOESN’T KNOW THAT I EXIST. I FEEL LIKE A NOBODY. GOD LOVES ME TOO MUCH TO EVER WANT ME TO HURT LIKE THIS. SO WITH HIS BLESSING, I INTEND TO MAKE WHATEVER ARRANGEMENTS I MUST TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT MYSELF AND HAVE A SATISFYING RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER MAN, NOT THE ONE I’M STUCK WITH NOW.

OR THIS SITUATION?

OUR MISSION DESPERATELY NEEDS FUNDS TO REPAIR OUR FALLING APART FACILITY FOR BURNED-OUT MISSIONARIES TO COME AND REST FOR AWHILE. IF WE DON’T RECEIVE WHAT WE NEED, WE’LL HAVE TO CLOSE DOWN OUR MINISTRY. WE KNOW WE’RE DOING GOD’S WORK AND WHAT HE HAS CALLED US TO DO. SURELY HE’LL SUPPLY THE NECESSARY MONEY.

SOMETIMES THE ANSWERS SEEM CLEARER THAN OTHERS. DOESN’T GOD WANT THIS WOMAN TO BE HAPPY? DOESN’T HE WANT THAT MINISTRY TO CONTINUE?

A WELL-KNOWN CHRISTIAN LEADER WAS ONCE ASKED TO SHARE HIS SECRET OF PARENTING. ALL THREE OF HIS CHILDREN WERE LEADING EXEMPLARY LIVES: SUCCESSFUL, MORAL, AND GODLY. “FROM THE DAY WE KNEW WE WERE PREGNANT, MY WIFE AND I WERE ON OUR KNEES EVERY NIGHT, HOLDING HANDS AND PRAYING FOR GOD’S BLESSING ON EACH CHILD.

WITH HIS WIFE A GOOD FRIEND PRAYED FERVENTLY AND CONTINUOUSLY FOR HIS FOUR CHILDREN. ONE IS A CHRISTIAN. THREE ARE NOT. TWO HAVE SPENT TIME IN JAIL. WHAT WENT WRONG?

PERHAPS THEY DIDN’T PRAY HOLDING HANDS OR TOGETHER ON THEIR KNEES. WAS THERE SOMETHING ELSE THAT THEY MISSED IN THE POUTINE THAT LEAD TO THE PROBLEMS THEY HAD.

A COUPLE JUST FOUND OUT THAT THEY WERE PREGNANT. THEY’RE PRAYER EACH DAY WAS: “I DON’T CARE IF IT IS A BOY OR A GIRL, AS LONG AS IT IS HEALTHY.”

ALL THESE STATEMENTS HAVE A FOUNDATIONAL FLAW IN THEM. WE TRY TO SHAPE GOD INTO WHO WE WANT HIM TO BE. WE BELIEVE HIM TO BE SOVEREIGN IN OUR LIVES, AS LONG AS WE CAN MANAGE HIS DIVINE POWER INTO WHAT WE WANT OUR LIVES TO BE.

THE WOMAN WITH THE ABUSIVE HUSBAND WAS WILLING TO DO ANYTHING SHE COULD DO TO CHANGE HER SITUATION. WHO IS IN CONTROL?

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