God responds to prayers in different ways

How big does the storm in your life have to get for you to take your eyes off of Christ and put them on your circumstance?

Although God may not respond to your prayer the way you thought he should, that surely does not mean that he failed you. Your cries in the night for help are not going unanswered, for they are always heard by a God who knows how to provide for your need. He has created a course for your life and the twists and turns you must take are not meant to hinder you but rather to get you ready for something far greater. Scripture is filled with verses where God’s strength is revealed in those who trusted him.

We read in Exodus in the Old Testament where the Israelites were led on a 40-year journey in the desert to get to the land God promised to give them. But because their hearts were hardened and unbelieving, God directed them the long way around. His plan was to give them peace from their enemies and a land that was overflowing with every good thing. However, most of them did nothing but grumble to God. Their faith was not in God but focused instead on only that which their eyes could see. They did not have faith that God could give them what he promised, though every day he provided them with all that they needed. It was for that reason most of them died before they ever got to the land. They thought the giants in the land were bigger than their God! They were dead wrong. Only Joshua and Caleb had faith enough to trust God, and they led their people to win over the enemy in the land given them.

In Genesis, Joseph was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery. As dark as it was in that pit, God was using this injustice against Joseph to get him ready to rule in the palace of Egypt. Joseph had to travel as a slave in chains to Egypt. He was sold to a commander there named Potiphar and forced to work in his house. Joseph then was thrown into prison after being falsely accused of a crime. Here is a man who went from the pit, to chains, to slave and then to prison.

Where was his God? As painful as it was for Joseph to endure all this, God was using this trial as training. He was equipping this young man to be the top royal commander second only to Pharaoh. That was quite an elevation for just a young shepherd boy.

The truth is that God will not promote you to a higher calling without first equipping you to succeed. The pain that you are experiencing is the chisel God is using to perfect his plan for you. You are literally becoming a work of art in the kingdom of God. Your struggles never had any power to destroy you.

God knows well how to cause all things to work in harmony with the purpose he has ordained for you. All of your troubles are unfolding into his perfect plan to bring you to victory.

Though you can get weary as the pain of your situation overwhelms you, there is hope knowing that there is a divine purpose for your momentary problems. It should help you to know that God saw these stumbling blocks in your path before you were born. He could have led you around them but instead he has chosen to use them to make you stronger as he takes you over and above in strength and glory.

His plan is to make you royalty in a kingdom that will never end. It was for this exact purpose that Christ died, so that you might have an abundant life even while facing the wind and the waves of the raging sea of life.

My prayer is that you understand that all God allows in your life, he allows for a specific purpose. He will never send you alone in the battle, for he is always with you. The days remaining in this perishing world are numbered and known by God.

He sees the beginning and the end and all that goes on in between. He is with you right now.

You must never let the lies of the enemy make you feel defeated.

God can and will do abundantly more than anything you can ask or imagine.

Marianne Lordi attends Old North Church in Canfield.

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