Do you ever avoid certain prayers because you want the result, but not necessarily what it takes to get to that result? Let me explain.
As a baby Christian I would send prayers up to God like “Give me patience”, “Help me trust you more” “Teach me to be obedient” thinking that I would wake up the next morning and they would be right on my doorstep like a new box of clothes that I could slip on and go on my merry way.
Those are great prayers! But for those of you who have whole heartedly prayed them, you know that God’s response is far different and far more than just instantly changing you into a patient, trusting, obedient follower of Jesus.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that most often, God is going to allow me to suffer and figure out how to go through tough situations in order to gain these righteous qualities. Ugh.
I asked for increase in trust, He put me in situations that were so beyond my control and out of my comfort zone that all I could do was rely on Him.
I asked for help to be obedient, He gave me really hard choices, and encouraged me to not cave and choose the one that led to instant, but temporary gratification, but choose the harder option that ultimately led to Him.
I asked for patience, God moved me to LA and made me drive on the 5.
“How could a God that loves you so much allow suffering?” You might ask. Well, because Jesus did. And if we want our lives to look like Jesus then so will we.
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
It’s not all bad news though because in Romans 8:18 it says “what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”
There are some days (AKA I’ve been having a few) where I feel like life is too much to handle and if God were to add suffering to the top of it, I would crumble like when the last block is put on the top of Jenga.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve caught myself sometimes rewording and forming my prayers based on what I want God to do in my life. WHAT?! How backwards is that?! I’ll pray for His will to be done, but then a few prayers later, right before I ask for patience, I’ll decide to skip over it because I know that one comes with suffering and I would rather not deal with that right now.
When I realized this, I was so appalled at myself because I was keeping myself from praying big things because I didn’t want the suffering that came with it.
If you maneuver through your prayer life picking and choosing which prayers you want to send up to God based on how much suffering you can handle (or think you can handle), you completely erase Jesus out of the equation and you’ll end up living a small life.
“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Yeah suffering stinks and no one likes to go through it, but God promises He will never leave us and with God nothing is impossible. God always wins. We have nothing to fear.
Just like I always say you shouldn’t limit your dreams, you shouldn’t limit your prayers either for fear that you might have to go through something hard. You will. But it will be okay. And you will come out of the situation, stronger, smarter and better because of it.
“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
So pray away! Ask for the big things and ask for the hard things. I want to live a big life so I’m going to pray big and I’m ready to suffer big. I believe big and I know I will succeed big.
Nicole #DoStuff #BeStuff