A Growing Faith
After forty years of
running and trying to live my life the way I wanted to, living like the world
teaches us - “live for today because you only go around once so grab all the
gusto you can” - I finally came back to the Lord. One of the first things He
taught me was the power of prayer.
After my wife and I re-dedicated our lives to Christ we started praying
together every day which helped us to grow much closer. Amazingly, we started
seeing our prayers answered, sometimes within hours, sometimes within days. Not
every prayer was answered so quickly and some we're still waiting for an
answer but our faith has grown with every answered prayer. Our faith has grown so strong that
when I was diagnosed with lung cancer and given less than a year to live I was led
to refuse chemo and radiation treatments. (Please note: I am not advising
anyone to do this! I am saying this is what God led me to do to put me in a
position where He would be my only resource and I would have to rely on His will
for my life.) This was God’s way of showing me He was in
control of my life and building my faith in Him.
Psalms 139:16 NIV‘All the days ordained for me were written in your book.
Before one of them came to be.’
We learn a very valuable lesson from these verses - “there is a
time for everything” - Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 NIV, 1
There is a time for everything, and a
season for every activity under heaven. 2
a time to be born and a time to die, a
time to plant and a time to uproot.
Although my decision to forgo treatment was based on the above verses
it was also based on the experience of watching two sister-in-laws suffer
through many years of agony and life with no quality taking treatments for their
cancer and then dying anyway.
We find all through the Bible, God puts people in a position or
situation where only He will get the glory for what He will do to miraculously
save them or correct the occurrence of what He has asked them to do or suffer.
In the first three gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke we find the perfect
example given us by Jesus how we are to pray. Before His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was
praying to the Father. Let’s look at the scene: Jesus knew exactly what was
going to happen. He would be arrested, tried, scourged, beaten, cursed,
spit upon and humiliated by the people and finally crucified on a wooden cross.
Worst of all the God/Man who was sinless would have the cup of God’s wrath
poured upon Him as the sins of man, past, present and future were laid upon Him
as the sacrificial lamb.
Yet knowing all of this what was His prayer? ---
Luke 22:42 ‘O my Father, if this cup may not pass away
from me, except I drink it, thy will be done’
I believe we see here the key to
prayer --- ‘Thy will be done!’ When we are praying in God’s will, He will always do
what is best for us. Jesus knew this and knew he was the sacrificial lamb that
took away the sins of the world. He knew that through His sacrifice man would be
reclaimed by God and free from the debt of sin.
Having the faith to believe that God will only do what is best for us we
should rejoice that we have a Father who loves us enough (tough love) to work
everything out for our good even though we may suffer a little. How can we
compare our suffering against that of Christ or against an eternity of joy and
happiness in heaven in perfect harmony with the creator of heaven and earth?
In your daily walk of faith do you always pray in His will that “Thy will
be done”? And when His will is done do you rejoice to know everything will work
out for your good? Expect miracles today because God is still in the miracle
business. He wants to perform them in your life if you will just: “Walk by Faith.”
There is more the Lord has laid upon my heart to tell you, so
the next couple of devotions will be devoted to prayer and how we can move the
hand of God and see Him work in our lives and perform miracles.
May God bless you as you learn to “Walk by Faith”
Bob Goulding © August 2006
Music Playing: Thou Who The Night in Prayer Didst Spend