The Assurance of Faith
How can we be confident that God hears us?
, by Liesl Higgins
In God’s Word is unlimited power. That Word spoke galaxies into existence. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Psalms 33:6).
That Word also has brought hope, healing and peace to a multitude of individuals. When He spoke to a blind man, light burst upon his sight. When He spoke to an old man and told him he’d have a son, that Word had power to bring hope to hopelessness.
It’s a story that we see repeated over and over in the sacred Word.
He speaks. Miracles happen.
When He speaks today, miracles still happen.
“Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness…” (Isaiah 50:2).
“…If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).“
When God’s Word and faith intercept, there we ever have seen, and ever will see, God’s wonders in their brightest display.
Let’s pause for a moment. Picture with me the Biblical account recorded in John 4.
As Jesus is coming into Galilee, a desperate man meets him. It is a father whose son is at the very point of death. This nobleman beseeches Jesus to come and heal his son. In Jesus is his only hope.
Jesus answers, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”
How the truth of these words must have stung the heart of that father! If he didn’t believe, he might lose his beloved son’s only chance of life! Now casting all his hope upon Jesus, he replies, “Sir, come down ere my child die.”
It was enough. Jesus recognises that spark of faith growing bright, and speaks words full of comfort and peace, “Go thy way; thy son liveth.”
The man believes that word. In that word is power. In that word is life.
As he returns home, his servants meet him and announce the glad tidings, “Thy son liveth.” Little did they realise that the father’s anxious heart had already been stilled. Faith had believed the words of Jesus. But with a depth of earnestness they cannot fathom, the father asks what hour he began to amend. They reply, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” Wonderous response! The father knew that it was right then that Jesus had said to him, “Thy son liveth”! It was right then when his faith had laid hold of Jesus.
Friend, does your faith lay hold on the promises of Jesus today? When you pray in harmony to God’s revealed will, do you make requests to test God, or because you believe that what He has promised, He will surely fulfill?
His promises are abundant! Our Jesus is the same Jesus, full of compassion and faithfulness, Who once walked the streets of earth in person, blessing all who came to Him!
Listen to His promises, speaking to you today:
“No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11b).
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20).
“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32)?“
They’re big words! But it’s a big God speaking here. It’s One with Whom nothing is impossible!
So right here, perhaps someone is wondering, why do some prayers seem to remain unanswered? What hinders answers to our prayers? I believe there’s really only 3 main things Biblically which can be obstacles:
- Wavering faith: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6-7). Here we’re told if we have wavering faith, do not think or expect to receive any thing of the Lord! Well may we pray with the apostles, “Increase our faith.”
- Living in wilful sin: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:20-22). Of course I should add here, that if our prayers while in wilful sin are for our forgiveness, cleansing and help, the Bible gives us ample promises that God not only hears us, but is waiting with longing desire to answer us right away.
- Praying according to His will: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15). When we know we’re praying in accordance to anything He has promised, we can fully know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. There’s hundreds of blessings which we can claim and have no doubt that they are in accordance with His will. Here’s just one of these precious promises: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13). I’m a mother. I have a beloved tiny child, who is my delight, and who is more and more becoming the dearest little thing on earth to me. It is my delight to give him his food and many other things that bring him joy. I understand how much parents delight in giving. How much more willing is our Heavenly Father eager to give us the Holy Spirit? That gift alone brings so many of heaven’s richest gifts: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). That means all these gifts are according to what you can claim. They’re part of the promises. Friend, God is more willing to give you even peace, than the most loving parent ever was willing to give bread to the most loved and hungry child.
These 3 conditions fulfilled, we can have full assurance for each prayer; all fears can be dispelled for each request. “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). Believe, and heaven’s choicest gifts are yours. Is this too much to expect? Never, because we have the promises of the Word on our side. And that Word has the power to fulfill everything it has promised.
“Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22b).
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).“
Friend, He’ll reward you. That’s His promise. His Word has never, ever returned to Him void, but always accomplishes that which it sets out to do (see Isaiah 55:11).
“According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29b).“
The more you believe, the more you’ll receive.
The doubts that harass your soul, the fears that God really will accept and help you, the restlessness and craving for heaven’s blessings, the questions regarding whether you can really claim His love, joy, peace, and all the other fruits of the Spirit… all these melt away in face of the Word.
“There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:2-8).“
Friend, will He find faith in your heart?