Many people pray and hope instead of pray and believe. Even the disciples were guilty of this. In Mark 4:35-41 they were caught in a terrible storm that threatened to overtake their boat, while Jesus was asleep in the stern. They frantically woke Him up and said,
Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
They never doubted if He was able to save them, but their question indicated they weren’t sure He was willing or even cared.
Tom Tanner said,
Faith isn’t knowing that He can and hoping that He will. Faith is knowing that He can and expecting that He will.”
Faith is the determining factor in how we live. Numerous times throughout Scripture, Jesus attributes someone’s faith as a contributing factor in receiving what they need.
In Mark 5:25-34 you find the story of a woman who had a blood issue for 12 years. She pushed her way through the crowd to touch the hem of His robe. Verse 28 says,
If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.”
She never said she might be healed or she hoped to be healed. She stated she would be healed. Now that’s faith. So what happened?
As Jesus made His way through the huge crowd, He asked,
Who touched My clothes?”
The disciples’ response was hilarious. I’m sure they almost had to stifle the sarcasm [Vs. 31].
Jesus didn’t fall off the apple cart. He knew many people were touching Him. He asked who touched Him in faith. Who reached out and touched Him believing they would receive what they needed?
How do we know this? By His response when she finally owned up to being the one who touched Him. He said,
Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
It wasn’t the touch of His robe that healed her. It was her faith. Faith changes everything! Here are some other scriptures that support that concept: Matthew 15:25-28, Mark 10:46-52, and Acts 14:8-10.
Don’t believe it would happen today? Check this story out. Tony Yahle’s son refused accept his father’s death. In an act of faith, he cried out and dared to believe God would answer him.
One of the first survivors of sex trafficking I ever interviewed for Rescuing Hope said she prayed to be rescued and it was just days later that she was.
What about those who pray expecting and don’t see the answer they want? I honestly wish I knew. All I know to say in those situations is God is good and He has good plans for us [Jeremiah 29:11]. We have to trust He has a greater purpose when we don’t receive what we ask for and believe He has for us. As I read yesterday, we have to know the “no” we receive at the moment is because He has a better “yes” for us. So, what should we do when we’re faced with a situation where we need God to move? We pray and we believe. The results aren’t up to us, they’re up to God.
What do you need to see God do in your life? What are you waiting for? Do you only believe He can do it or do you believe expectantly He will?