Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Rewarder

[Those] who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6

One of the hardest things about waiting is the trial of faith. The tempter comes close and whispers that prayer and patients are useless. We hear a hiss of accusation from the shadows saying that God either doesn’t care or that our own inadequacies make us unworthy of His attention.

Have you ever been there? I certainly have. Looking back, I can see Satan’s prints all over such thoughts as these and sense again the dark nights of loneliness brought on by listening to such whispers.

I also see the cunning skill of my enemy for if he can get me to listen—even for a moment—to such suggestions, he can close the door between heaven and my soul.
The author of Hebrews lists the two requirements that are absolutely necessary before anyone can approach God: (1) we must believe that God is real and (2) that He cares enough to reward those who seek Him. So, when the way gets rough, it is often good to pause and ask ourselves how firmly our faith remains rooted in those two concepts.

Do we still believe God is real?

The routine of daily living can dull our sensitivities. Marriage partners drift into taking each other for granted. Children that were once our joy become our chore. Gratitude dissolves into restlessness. Even the wonder of God’s reality slips out of focus as day by day mundane routine forces an awareness of Him into the background.
It may be days ago or years ago that you placed your petition before God. Do you still believe that a real Being out there can actually hear you?

If that belief has slipped, perhaps it is time to reevaluate why you prayed in the first place. What made you hope He was there? Remembering may give fresh wind to your spirit. Is the world here by chance? If you have drifted into thinking so, spend a half-hour contemplating the nearest tree.

What about the second requirement for those who approach God? As you wait, do you believe He will answer? At this level of faith, God becomes personal. It is not just that God can answer prayer, but that He is willing to answer your prayer.
As Jesus drew His sermon on the mount to an end, He invited, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find. [ . . . ] What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? [ . . . ] If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” [1]

Do we still believe that? Failure to believe is to question the character of God.
If the enemy is whispering to you this week, go back to the Word. Remember why you first hoped in His reality. Remember His character and His loving assurances. Jesus has His reward with Him [2] and He will reward YOU.

[1] Matthew 7:7-11, edited
[2] Revelation 22:12

No comments:

Post a Comment