believe (verb): accept that something is true, especially without proof
In a previous post, I explained how it is possible to have faith in God but also be plagued with unbelief. We know that the only way to defeat this unbelief is through focussing on God and praying for God to strengthen our faith so we can persevere to the end. The example I used was the centurion who cried out to Jesus to help his unbelief when he asked Jesus to heal his sick servant. Because of the faith he had in Jesus, his servant was healed, just as he had asked and he witnessed that healing right there and then. That's great isn't it? To pray and witness the manifestation of your answered prayer and not worry about whether or not it will come to pass. There are so many other examples like this in the bible, where the prayers were answered almost immediately and personally, I like to use these passages in the bible as the basis for my prayers because who doesn't like their prayers to be answered immediately?
But alas, that isn't always how God works and faith, the very foundation of our relationship with God requires that we continue to believe and trust in God, regardless of what we see or don't see around is. In John 4:43 - 54, we read the story of a certain Roman official with a sick son, who travels to meet Jesus so he can ask for his son to be healed. Each time I have read this passage, I have treated it like some of the other passages I have read and assumed the Roman official just went on his merry little way, skipping hime to his healed son. But then a thought occurred to me. What if Jesus had told me my son was healed and I left the presence of Jesus? What thoughts would enter my head as I made my way back home to find out if my son had indeed been healed. My previous post dealt with unbelief and how this can strike at the most inconvenient times.
Then I started thinking of all the times I had prayed to God about a particular thing and in waiting to see the manifestation, started to doubt if it would actually happen. How many times has God assured us that if we ask we will receive and we still question it because it takes a little time or because we haven't seen it yet? In the book of Daniel, God answered Daniel's prayer immediately but it was held by the prince of Persia so it took another 21 days for Daniel to receive the answer! The thing to remember with God is that once He has spoken, His word will never return to Him without accomplishing what He wants it to (Isaiah 55:11). Sometimes, God requires us to hold on just a little longer because He has already given us what we want. We just need to continue our journey and make our way to our answered prayer, where God's word sends us.
I pray that God will give us the grace not to give up but rather, continue to walk with Him to receive all that He has planned for us. Amen!