I’ve had several conversations over the last few weeks that went something along these lines:
“Why do we forget how good God is? He does what we ask Him to do, and we are surprised! He does it over and over again, and we are surprised over and over again.”
Usually, we then fill in the latest- the way that God faithfully did what we asked Him to- and marvel again.
I’ve been considering this phenomenon, and I wonder if we are surprised in part because we don’t really expect God to do what we ask Him to, even when we know that it is what He wants. We know the verses in which Jesus promises answers*, and yet it’s still easier to pray in hope, thinking that something is possible, than to pray in faith, knowing that God will come through and expecting His work. I catch myself doing this God shows me that I’m doing this at times. It’s convicting to read stories (like in Matthew 9:22) where Jesus points to the faith of the person asking as the catalyst for His work.
Are there things that God wants me to believe Him for before He answers? Maybe this all fits into the koinonia-partnership- theme. We ask in faith, and He does the hard part. It’s a little ironic yet so common that I taught on this 11 months ago at a leadership retreat and now need to learn it again, in a deeper way.
I’ll keep praying, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”
*See these verses for the conditions-usually either faith or obedience- for these promises. I don’t suggest you try praying, even in faith, for things beyond God’s desires. But for the things He wants, I long to pray boldly and risk believing.