“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)
If our souls travail in continual prayers - and these prayers are upright in heart according to His Word, His will and His ways - we must not ever give them up for lost. Rather wait - continually and patiently - keeping watch for His mighty hand to move on our behalf. It is true, He answers in three ways “Yes”, “Wait” or “No”. Yet His “No’s” are always for our far greater “Yes” - whether we are able to ascertain that or not - the fact is, it remains true for every believer. Scripture tells us we are to wait patiently on the Lord – walking in His ways – and He will act on our behalf as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, not growing weary and losing heart. The writer of Hebrews states in Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV): Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
God is working through everything He allows in the lives of His heirs of mercy to conform us into the image of His Son. Everything. Truly, through all of our sighs and groans and tears He is sweetly creating something beautiful even though we often find ourselves “kicking against the goads” as Jesus told Saul turned Apostle Paul. We can trust His great love and sweetness over our lives and in the lives of all we hold dear. He is the Master Potter making beauty out of our ashes and the oil of gladness out of our tears. His desire is to make us mighty “oaks of righteousness”, plantings for the display of His splendor.
Oftentimes, our dreams lie dead in the eyes of sense. Yet we are to let our faith and hope be very close at hand to see what will become of them. Though He tarries, keep your eyes watching and your prayers coming and your hearts hopeful to see what the sweet Lord will do with this, even this. Never lay aside the calling of your sincere steadfast prayers – not asking and seeking for stones instead of bread or fuel to increase our lusts – all of which He is uber gracious not to grant us. Rather instead, praying with the right motives of heart. Asking the Father to line our wills with His. “To will what He wills brings peace to the soul” writes Elisabeth Elliot. Fishermen do not throw away their rods because they have not caught anything, rather they check their bait and throw it in again and again and again. Prayer is similar. Consider what we are praying for and get our desires lined up with the Lord’s, and persevere in humble, faithful, fervent prayer. And continually keeping watchful and thankful, we wait with hope. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” the wise man writes in Proverbs 13:12.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 (NIV)