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, 1There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. 2a 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

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