I came to a conclusion a few months ago about faith. Hebrews says faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen – according to the KJV. Instead of ‘evidence’, other versions use ‘assurance’ or ‘conviction’. I started to think about how God gave Isaac a son, how He brought the Jews out of Egypt and performed many miracles, how He brought them to the promised land, how He fought their enemies for them, how He gave them a king even though He warned them and how He brought up David, a king after His own heart. How He ministered to that king and through that king brought forth Jesus, the king of the world. It was a big aha moment for me thinking about how the ‘evidence’ of what is hoped for is awesome and plenty. Even in my own life. God saved me from drowning when I was 3 (I was drowning, then out of the pool with no explanation), has been with me through thoughts of shame and inadequacy, allowed me to meet a friend (Andrew) who would help lead me to Christ with the help of a mentor (Rob); saved me, motivated me, led me to my wife, led me to Turkey. The list goes on and on for the evidence of my faith. In this way, there is no such thing as blind faith because God has shown us that He fulfills His promises and brings forth what He says He will.
With this being said, I have had a hard time with my faith. John 14:13-14 says: Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” James 4:2-3 says: You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. These verses, even writing them right now minister to me and I am grateful for them. But I have had a really hard time asking because 1, I feel like what I’m asking for is selfish; and 2, I have no peace in asking for it. All this to say that I have asked. When is what you want to ask for not selfish? When Elijah asked for fire to rain down he definitely wanted to glorify God; but I’m sure he also wanted to be validated that he wasn’t crazy and the God whom he’s following will be there when he asks for Him. Maybe even a little bit of him thought 'haha, got you suckers'. God knows our hearts more than anyone and He knows when what we’re asking for will glorify Him or when it won’t.
A couple months ago our friend’s baby girl died. We spent hours praying for her in faith that she would be healed and she wasn’t. God knew our hearts and although we will never truly know on this Earth, were our requests selfish? These questions among others have been heavy on my heart. God wants us to have strong families, strong marriages, and strong testimonies doesn’t He? Of course He does but why can’t I feel like He does? This has hindered my prayers in praying for others and praying for my own personal things. This is where I’m at right now being here in Turkey. I’m having to be okay saying ‘not my will but Your will.’ And ask even if I think He'll say 'No'.
Feel free to weigh in below if you have any thoughts.