Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Expectant Life: When God Answers

One of the best experiences of life is affirmative answer to prayer. Our God is so frequently kind to answer our prayers in a generous and loving manner.

Prayer is a major part of the expectant life. We pray often, and thus our waiting is not idle, but active. Many times, we find that our solution to whatever faces us, our request, is not actually what is best for us. In these moments we learn submission to the Father's will. In other times, we see the Lord answer our request, and we feel His smile as the sun on our face. This is a needed emphasis for many of us who struggle to walk by faith. Desiring not to presume on the Lord's grace, we actually place ourself in a position to doubt God, as we seek to avoid presuming that He will grant our request. It is right not to presume, but it is wrong not to see God as good and believe that He will give us great gifts.

It often seems that those who have the most faith are indeed those who are the most blessed, in any sense of the word. Good things seem to happen to those who trust. There are exceptions to this, of course, but the Lord loves a faithful heart. The Lord really seems to be different than we sometimes think Him to be. We see Him as stingy and easily angered, when He is in reality amazingly generous and slow to anger with us. In my sin and struggle, I often expect a thunderclap and a lightning bolt to strike, but it is most often the case that God actually continues to bless me even though I have sinned against Him. God's generosity far exceeds what even our strongest moment of faith knows. This is an essential part of the expectant life. We do not presume on Him, we wait patiently on Him, we submit to Him, but then, we trust Him to work in earth-defying ways. What a great God we worship. Our expectancy is not simply for things to be revealed, then, but for wonderful things to be revealed. God loves His people, and He will reward those who wait for Him. That, and nothing else, is the end of the expectant life.


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