Most of us will get to a point in our lives where we throw our hands up in the air asking, “What is the point of this life?” We might struggle with family or with careers or with money or health. Maybe all these are going well, except, life seems otherwise meaningless.
We pray and ask God for this or that or we pray for knowledge and understanding, only to be left in the dark. Eventually, we stop and ask, “God, what are you doing with my life?”
This is a very common theme for most, short of a few that God chooses to talk to and reveal things to. We often get upset because we want God to talk to us and to give us insight and to let us know things of the future, or at least, of our future.
What seems to also be a common theme when God reveals things to people is that His revelations also come with instructions; go and deliver the message to everyone. So, when we ask for revelations and prophetic dreams and these kinds of things, just understand that if God gives this, He will also likely give the responsibility to share the message with others.
God is anything but selfish. Anything He does is done to the benefit of the church. We are given spiritual gifts to encourage, to teach, to serve, to prophesy, and to lead. These types of giftings are pointless if we keep them to ourselves, just like a revelation. Likewise, if we are at a point in life where we are asking God what it is that He’s doing in us, through us, or for us, then we need to first look at what it is that we are doing for Him.
We were created by God to serve God, not for God to serve us. If we have this backwards, we can be sure that God will patiently wait for us to get turned around into the right direction; even if this means that our prayers and petitions get put on hold.
God has a plan
“We can make our plans,
but the LORD determines our steps.”
God, who strategically created the Heavens and the earth and all that’s in it, isn’t an unorganized God. There’s nothing that occurs to God. He already knows what He will do and what the outcome will be. We talk to God as though He’s in the dark about things; as though He doesn’t know what He’s doing.
I am personally guilty of this. I pray about something and after a few days of nothing, then I start questioning God’s ability to perform. I know I’m not the only one who does this. But this isn’t something that we are simply destined to do. As I grow in my faith and learn more about the character of God, I can see that He does hear the prayers of His children.
All throughout Scripture, people pray to God about this or that. The common theme is that He works everything out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
If we could see the plan the way God see’s the plan, we wouldn’t throw our hands up in despair, but instead, praise God continuously and live in peace and joy.
God’s plan is for us to believe in His Son and to share the Good News about Jesus with others in the world. This is His first and most important plan. A plan to comfort us isn’t necessarily true. We see God as the one to take away our pain and hurts and struggles and sufferings, but His plan for each of us doesn’t necessarily include rescuing us out of our storm.
But He does remind us that His grace is sufficient and that He will keep us through the storms. As we pray each day, we are wise to bring our prayers to God with boldness, hope, and expectation, but we are also wise to pray that God’s Will be done in our lives. Then, leave it with Him knowing that He will work it out in the best way possible.
God isn’t slow to act
“Wait patiently for the LORD.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”
I am also guilty of not giving God a chance to answer my prayers. Like I said above, within a short time after praying about something, I’m already looking for ways that I can “help” God get things done. Well, obviously, God doesn’t need my help to do anything. But isn’t this the way we can get sometimes?
God is a God of patience. He is not slow in His doings. We ask for financial help for something and we think of God as someone who can just snap His fingers and make the money appear in our lap. Well, I’d say He certainly could, but again, this isn’t His character. What is His character, however, is to grow us.
When we pray for financial help, God understands that we need help. But He doesn’t often simply vanish debt or bills. Instead, He often sends someone to share their money with us; to help us with what we need.
Why does He do it this way?
If we pray at 10 am for financial blessing and at 10:30 the money just appears beside us, then how do we grow? God wants us to grow our trust in Him, and we know that trust takes time to build. He knows that when we wait on Him to work in our life, this builds our character. This builds our patience, our faith, and even our attitudes.
Likewise, God will generally seek out someone to help us. This is because then God also gets to do a work in their life. He will prompt someone else to be generous, quite possibly someone who struggles with greed and stinginess. By doing this, that person gets an opportunity to practice good stewardship and generosity. These are characteristics that God wants in each of us.
So, if you are praying for something and it seems like God is slow or isn’t acting accordingly, just understand; He always has a plan to bless us and to grow us and He generally works in a way that benefits many at once. Learning to patiently trust God with our prayers is an important part of growing our relationship with God.
Learning contentment is a blessing
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Learning patience when we’ve never practiced it can be a challenge. If we are used to getting things easy in life or used to not having to go without, being told by God to wait can be difficult. But if we can learn to trust God and wait patiently, we will find that this grows our contentment muscle.
I call it that because like any muscle, it only grows through use. It’s not quick growth, either. But contentment is like a blessing to us when we learn it. It’s the endurance we build to patiently weather the storms and to maintain a composure of joy and calmness.
I have struggled hard with discontentment in my life. Always wanting things right here and right now. I had zero patience or tolerance in hard times. I would make a poor choice, and instantly be met with consequences. Then, I’d go to God and ask Him to deliver me from the pain of my choice. Of course, God wants us to learn and grow, so He isn’t quick to deliver us from discipline; especially, if it’s an important lesson for us.
Over the years, I am finding that my contentment muscle is growing some, even if at a snail’s pace. But God is faithful to keep at us and keep giving us opportunity to grow.
We must understand that there are people in impoverished parts of the world who are going without basic necessities everyday; people who still sing praise and worship to God. If these folks can do this in their lack, why can’t people like me do it with all I have? This brings me back to the importance of contentment and understanding.
When we are content with whatever we have, we are essentially saying to God, “It’s okay, Lord; I know that you love me and that you have a plan for me and that at the exact right time, you will show your glory in my life.” This is the attitude that pleases the Lord.
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Hard times build faith
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So, let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
When we have to go through hard times or wait on the Lord during a storm in our life, it’s at this time where our faith builds. If we have no faith, we will frantically pace back and forth, fearing the end of our world. But when we go to God in prayer during the hard times, and then patiently endure while going about worshiping God, our relationship with God will flourish to unbelievable levels.
God wants us to focus on Him first, and second, He wants us to focus on others. If we have something to eat and if we are healthy enough to move about, then He wants us to spend our time doing His Will. Even in the midst of our hardest times in life, He wants us to go about being a blessing to others.
Sure, we can wail and moan about our situations and cry out to Him in anguish, but we can also go out and do something productive in the name of God’s Kingdom.
I am learning that doing God’s work, even in hard times, is a great way to feel good about life. I am learning that being a blessing to others brings good feeling, and in some cases, blessings, back to myself.
Related: How To Have Hope In A Hopeless World
My family has been going through a financial storm for several years now and we have some family issues that are difficult to deal with. But what I’m learning through this is that God does give peace in my heart when I bring my burden to Him and trustfully leave it with Him. In the middle of very difficult times, I get full night’s sleeps; I am happy inside; I don’t fret and worry; I am free to praise God and be a blessing to others.
This is something I will continue to work at as I know the enemy is constantly working on me and others to get us to throw our hands up in despair and eventually, curse God, for not fixing our problems right away. Satan wants us to sit in anguish with no hope of anything improving. And, the last thing the devil wants us doing is going out and praising God while being a blessing to someone else.
We are going to have hard times. There are prayers that we send off to God that are going to seem to “disappear.”
It’s how we act during these times of waiting or during the storms of our life that will reveal our true character. It’s in these times where God will see our true character and He will show us what needs to be corrected.
It’s a refining process. It’s not punishment. Everything God does for us, including, refining us through difficulties and testing, is to make us better and stronger. When He gets us to a point of maturity in our Spirit, then we will be the most beneficial to Him and His Kingdom.
Instead of crying out to God; “God, what are you doing with my life,” try crying out to God; “God, what would you like to do with my life.” I’m betting that God will show up and start revealing new things to you.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.