I’ve been reading two different books on the subject of faith over the last week. One I read at night before I turn the lights out and the other I’ve been reading to Piper after breakfast and lunch. The books written by different authors some thirty years apart cover many of the same subjects and tend to drive home the same important facts. And both of these text have been just what I need to hear right now!
I’ve repeatedly told of the many miracles that God has done for us over the last six or seven years… not to mention those occurring throughout Piper’s and my going on 47 year relationship! One thing that I have recently noticed is my reaction to the manifestations of these miracles. If they happen quickly I find that I am instantly excited and overwhelmed with the glory and faithfulness of God. When they take an extended time to come into the natural realm, I realized that I am excited and overwhelmed with the glory and faithfulness of God when I first pray for the needed answer or miracle, but not so much when it finally manifest itself.
This has troubled me at times because I get to thinking that I should be more thankful and excited when it happens. Don’t get me wrong… I do get excited but not like I was when I first prayed over the need and for God’s expected (according to the truth of His Word) results. But you know… both of the two books I am currently reading put a rest to that form of condemnation!
The writer of Hebrews classic definition of faith clearly outlines the reasoning behind my reaction by explaining that “Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot (yet) see.” (Hebrews 11:1 God’s Word ©) The question then arises as to WHEN do we expect the things that we have prayed for… and the answer is NOW! Faith says we have it NOW… not when we actually see it! Jesus Himself confirmed this in Mark 11:24 when he explained to His disciples: “…What things soever ye desire, WHEN YE PRAY, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.” (KJV) The God’s Word © translation says “That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have ALREADY received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.”
One of the books tells a story of an older gentleman who prayed in faith one night at church for his wife’s salvation. After praying he preceded to get all excited and giddy as he danced around the altar thanking God for answering his prayer. The next Sunday his wife attended church with him and at the end of the service walked down the aisle and accepted Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord. And with that, the husband’s friends went wild with excitement as they recalled the man’s prayer the previous weekend.
But when they looked over at the husband he was standing quietly in the back of the church with his arms folded in front of him. When the friends inquired why he wasn’t jumping up and down over the answered prayer he simply replied: “Remember the other night when I got excited? I accepted it by faith then. I saw it then. IT’S ‘OLD NEWS’ now. Why should I get excited now? It happened a week ago.”*
So yeah… that answered my questions concerning my own reaction to the manifestations of my prayers that did not happen immediately. According to the Word… It was the correct reaction to have! Cool… wouldn’t you say! When I pray in faith for something I have high expectations that it is done when I pray. Then by the time I see it, IT’S OLD NEWS! Yes I am still excited and thankful… but not too surprised because I already believed I received it when I prayed. It is similar to when I receive an item that I have ordered from Amazon. When it finally gets to my front door, I am not surprised about it because I already knew that it was mine and was just waiting for its delivery!
The point of all this is that Faith takes it and rejoices over it NOW – not when you SEE it… for by then It is OLD NEWS! So… let me ask you? What “OLD NEWS” are you expecting to see? What things are you standing in faith for today. I find that life is quite boring and unrewarding if I am not in faith about something at any particular given time! What do you think about that?
Have a great mid-week and as you do keep asking yourself… “What NEWS am I expecting today?”
*Faith Takes Back What the Devil’s Stolen, Kenneth W. Hagin, copyright 1982