All over the world, there are people going through difficult and heartbreaking circumstances. Countless individuals who have prayed and prayed, waiting for God to move on their need . . . waiting and wondering if this time He might actually allow the unimaginable.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re there now.
- You can’t find a job and your savings is down to almost nothing.
- Your child is in full-blown rebellion and you don’t know where to turn.
- Your marriage is falling apart and you are losing hope.
- Your loved one is ill and the doctors are not encouraging.
- You desperately want a child and month after month the longing increases.
- Your legal battle came out of nowhere and you’re overwhelmed.
- Your friend rejected you and is turning others against you.
Your knees are raw from the hours you’ve spent crying out in prayer and you’re starting to question if this time God’s answer is “no.”
We all know children typically respond to a parent’s “no” with one simple word.
And we’re no different. When you and I don’t like our Heavenly Father’s answer, we want to know . . . why? We look around and other people have what we want, what we “need” and well, it just doesn’t seem fair.
Truthfully, I’ve stubbornly asked “why” more often than I care to admit. And then, I would often add anxious “what if” questions to my pitiful pouting. Questions like:
What if I never..?
What if they don’t..?
What if I can’t..?
What if I break..?
Oh, please tell me I’m not alone here . . . that I’m not the only one who lets “why” and “what if” rob me of the simple trust, peace, and contentment I know the Lord wants for me.
Isn’t it an amazing blessing to know our Father is patient with us?
He’s not a parent who says, “because I said so” as he walks away. He is the parent who lovingly holds us as we pout and cry big ugly tears. He is the One who patiently tells us to trust that He knows what’s best and that He is at work our lives even when we don’t understand. But…
It’s still hard, isn’t it?
It’s hard when the good He is working out in our lives doesn’t go the way we expect or the way we want.
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.Romans 8:28
I’ve thought about this a lot and I’ve had opportunities to learn a few things about trusting God’s Romans 8:28 goodness.
2 Possible Ways God’s Goodness is at Work
- His goodness is clear and easy to see in their circumstances. They can feel the blessings in their life and the lives of the people around them.
- His goodness is less evident. They can’t see it, but they trust Him and believe He is using their circumstances for His kingdom’s good plans and purposes.
Now, if you’re like me, you always want way #1! You want to clearly see and feel the blessings you’ve prayed for come to fruition. It’s hard to live with peace and contentment, keeping my heart and mind focused on eternity when today’s circumstances are so painful.
But there is an important absolute truth about God’s goodness.
1 Absolute Truth About God’s Goodness
- The Holy Spirit is always working to bless God’s children spiritually . . . actively drawing them closer and moving to make them more like Jesus as He prepares them for a beautiful forever future in the Lord’s presence.
The truth is that whatever God’s answer, “yes, no, or not yet” . . . you and I are never alone.
Jesus is always with us and He always understands.
He knows what it’s like to pray through blood, sweat, and tears…
“Father, if it can be done, take away what must happen to Me.”Luke 22:42
But for your sake and mine, the Father said, “no.”
What if Jesus had rejected the Father’s “no?”
Where would you and I be if He had rejected the pain? If love hadn’t been enough?
The rest of verse 42 says…
“Even so, not what I want, but what You want.”
That’s more than enough love! That’s love for the Father and for you and me.
God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.1 John 4:9–10
And with the help of His Spirit within us, we have been given enough love to…
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”Luke 10:27
Enough love even when God doesn’t answer our prayer the way we want.
So, here are the powerful words that will bless your prayer life.
“As you wish!”
I like the movie The Princess Bride.
I love the words, “as you wish.”
Throughout the movie, Princess Buttercup asked Wesley to do menial and sometimes unpleasant tasks and his reply was always the same…
“As you wish.”
Then, near the end of the story, Princess Buttercup suddenly realized that every time Wesley said, “as you wish” he was really saying, “I love you.”
My favorite quote from the movie:
“That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying “As you wish”, what he meant was, “I love you.” And even more amazing was that day she realized she truly loved him back.”
Jesus said, “As you wish” to the Father to save you and me. He said, I love you to the Father and I love you to an undeserving creation.
Look at more of 1 John 4…
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.1 John 4:16
Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other because He loved us first.1 John 4:18–19
We, like Princess Buttercup, have a moment when we realize that God’s goodness is always saying, “I love you.” Even when His answer to our prayer is “no,” when I can’t see the good He is doing— with His Spirit’s help, we can respond to His love and say:
“As You wish!”
Finally, knowing we love Him too.
That we love Him and with His Spirit’s help, we can place our hope in His goodness to give us everything we need through today’s circumstances, tomorrow’s anticipations, and eternities promises.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.Romans 5:5
How would it change your prayer life and mine if we lifted “as you wish” trust in God’s goodness and love?
This is my prayer for us today . . . that we might rest in the assurance of His goodness and love, surrendered in faith, and responding with love that trusts God’s will for us always says, “I love you.”
God bless you!
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