A Reason for the Hope

“Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15

If I were to answer that question, the one that asks, “What is the reason for the hope within me?” I would first have to begin my answer by quoting 1 John 4:19 while substituting the “we” and “us” with “I” and “me,” saying, “I love Him because He first loved me.”

Today, I recognize the extremes of His love for me.  Today, with my mind’s eye, I can take a tour of my past, throughout my life, even before I was saved or born-again, and I can see the many places the hand of the Lord was working to pull me near.  I can see places where I was divinely protected.  I can see times when now, I can readily identify that it was nothing but the hand of God who brought me through.

My story is my story.  It is the testimony of what God has uniquely done in my life.  Our stories may all start out differently.  Our stories will be original to us and the experiences we have lived through.  Our testimonies will tell of the paths we have journeyed and the mighty works God has done for each of us.

While the avenues we have traveled with the stories they tell may have all started differently, they all have this one thing in common.  At the conclusion of everything, the only answer we have is Jesus.

For me to sit down and begin to tell you of all the ways that Christ has impacted my life, let’s just say that time and pages could not tell.  But what I can tell you is of the love I feel now.  Never have I been so enveloped by a love story before than the one where I was rescued.  As I look in Scripture and see Jesus’ continual compassion and mercies toward others, I readily see those caring aspects of our Lord’s loving character applied to my own life.  I see where He unashamedly welcomed me into His family.  I can see the many times I have been forgiven.

There was once a time when I wondered, looking for answers that didn’t really have questions.  There were times when I looked, but now the search is over, and I have this beautiful foundation established in the Lord Jesus Christ that wholly supports my life.

Every one of us who is holding on to that blessed hope is holding on for a reason.  We see Him.  We believe in Him.  We have witnessed Him at work in our lives.  We see His story leap from the pages of the Bible into our very lives.  This story is real.  What He has done is real.  His love is real.  And there is no greater I know.

For me, to tell another of this reason, I must begin with that love.  A love I couldn’t find anywhere, but at the same time, now I see it was a love that was chasing me down.  Being caught in His grace, I am glad for this life that now finds me in Him.

Through the course of apologetics, I could fashion sound answers that would be true over and over again.  But the testimony of my heart still tells of the reason for my hope – Jesus, and His love for me.

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Believing Prayer

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“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer a him a scorpion?  If ye the, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:11-13

Believe.

Believe in the goodness of God. 

Believe in your relationship with Him as a child of the heavenly Father. 

Believe that He always seeks to give you His best (ex. John 3:16).  I often refer to God as the Good Father who gives good gifts to His children in my prayer time.  It’s something we must hold on to and depend upon.

Believe that God knows how to answer our prayers.  I am a mom who is not perfect, but I love my children to distraction.  I want what’s best for them.  If they ask for food, surely I will not make a stone sandwich and expect them to eat.  I want them to experience good things.  I want them to be satisfied with the goodness of my house.  God is perfect in all that He is and does, so doesn’t He too have the same aspirations and love toward them that are His? He is not aloof but caring.  He is not unapproachable; rather, He invites us to ask for the good.

We have to step out of ourselves and believe with childlike faith that our heavenly Father knows and cares about our petitions that go up before Him.  This is a trust issue in our relationship with Him.  We rely on Him to supply: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19).  He is well able and wants to answer our prayers.  “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,” (Matthew 21:22, emphasis mine).

Believe it today.

And, the most precious gift of all that He is more than willing to give to those who ask is the gift of the “Holy Spirit.”  We need the “Holy Spirit!”  He is our comforter (John 14:16).  He is our sealed promise (Ephesians 1:13).  “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us,” (Romans 5:5).  The “Holy Spirit” teaches us the things of God, (1 Corinthians 2:12-13).  We need the gift of the “Holy Spirit” in order to make it in this world.  Therefore, ask with a believing heart, and God will give!

Believing prayer is powerful prayer!

Modified excerpt taken from 4 Keys to Powerful Prayer

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Expectant Prayer

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“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” – Luke 11:9-10

Jesus wants you to be confident in prayer. Therefore, when we pray, He teaches us that we can expect to receive an answer; we can expect to see some sort of fulfillment to come from taking your requests to the Lord.  These verses beckon us to look for something to happen as a result of praying.

He doesn’t tell us to “ask” without the expectation of receiving something.  No, He says if you do this, then this will happen; and so, it goes with the other instructions to “seek and knock.” 

Even if the answer doesn’t look the way you imagine it should, your prayers do not fall on deaf ears.  Be confident that God hears you.  God is attentive to you.  God does not leave you in a state of wanting.  David said, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want,” (Psalm 23:1).  There will be results.

I love to garden, and when I plant a seed in the ground, I expect to see growth come out of it.  It may take a while but eventually, I should start seeing a little sprout beginning to poke its head through the surface of the dirt.  As I watch it grow to full fruition, I also expect to be able to one day reap off of what I have sown.

Your prayers are like you planting a seed, and what is being said here is that when you do these things: ask, seek and knock, growth is going to come from it.  Expect it!

The word “shall” appears as a reassurance for us four times in just these two verses meaning, this is what will happen as a result of praying in this manner.  Let me remind you that Jesus is the one who is teaching this lesson and He is the one telling us to “Ask . . . Seek . . . Knock.”  He is the one who speaks of “receiving, finding and opening” as a result of praying. 

Whatever it is, keep looking to God for the answer.  The Bible teaches us to “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God,” (Philippians 4:6).  Make it known unto God and keep making it known with the anticipation of seeing something happen.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him,” (1 John 5:14-15).  Therefore, we can expect to see results.

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site MAY NOT BE COPIED AND PASTED, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic).  See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.

“Do More Than Pray. Believe!”

 “Why could we not cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief,” Matthew 17:19b-20a, KJV

 This is where the proverbial “rubber meets the road,” or where the heart meets with true faith.  Jesus’ disciples tried to cast a demon out of the man’s son but to no avail.  The Bible says, “They could not cure him,” (Mt. 17:16, KJV).  They didn’t get the results of their prayer on that day.  Perplexed they asked Jesus about what happened.  Jesus’ response was very simple.  He told them it was “because of your unbelief.”

Sometimes in life, I think we tend to downplay the importance of our faith and what we believe.  We hear about it so much that I think as Christians we have become desensitized to its power in both our spiritual and our natural lives.  This is not what it should be since we are told in four verses of the Bible, “The just shall live by his faith,” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38, KJV).

Our faith, our belief should be the marker for everything in our lives.  Not just for salvation, but for every action and prayer.  We know all the right words to say and all the proper “Christian” motions to make, but is our faith alive and put into full force action?

If you feel a little waning in this area and if you feel like Jesus is talking to you, here are some steps to build up your faith and belief:

1. Pray:  Yup, that’s right!  Keep praying.  Jesus did not have an issue with their prayer; He had a problem with their lack of belief in their prayer.  In Mark 11:24 Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” (KJV, see also Mt. 21:22; Ja. 1:16).  Continue to pray, yet make sure you believe in your prayer being heard and you believe in the One who hears your prayer and is able to be your help (more on this a little later).  Many ask a lot of things of the Lord, but those that catch His attention the most are those who have faith when they ask.  On several occasions, Jesus said it’s because of “your faith” that healing has taken place (Mt. 9:22; Mk. 10:52).  Too many people focus on the right words to say during prayer when the real focus should be on Whom we believe.  Do our heart’s match up with the words that are coming out of our mouths or are they just that, words, instead of a powerful instrument implemented by what we believe?  Your faith matters more than your words.

2. Nourish:  Every believer has to nourish their faith with a daily diet of the Word of God.  “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart…,” (Jer. 15:16, KJV).  We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and no truer is it than here.  Our natural bodies depend on us to eat properly for it to maintain its daily functions.  Our spirit depends on us to fill it with the necessary spiritual nutrients to help our faith and belief thrive to be all that God has designed for you and me to be.  A rich diet in God’s Word will supply the believer with encouragement, wisdom and truth to hold on to their faith and to build the spiritual muscle to believe more.  “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” (Mt. 4:4, KJV).

3. Rest:  Not only rest in our salvation but also in the fact that He heard (told you there was more 🙂 ).  “For we which have believed do enter into rest…,” (Heb. 4:3, KJV).  “I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me…,” (Ps. 118:5, NKJV; see also my article “Know That God Hears!”).  We have to trust in Him to handle our prayers.  That’s what resting is all about.  We prayed it, we committed it to Him, and we rest.  Is this hard to do sometimes?  Yes, but oh so needful.  It’s disciplining ourselves like Jesus did when He spoke at Lazarus’ tomb saying, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me,” (John 11:41, KJV).  He didn’t try to persuade God, He rested in the fact that He knew already that God heard Him.  We have to discipline ourselves to rest in Him.  Those that are in a continual state of worry are not resting.  Rather, they are anxious over the conditions in their life.  Paul said, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 4:6-7, KJV).  Peace will cover the one who prays it and gives it to God allowing him/her to rest.

Is this a sure-fire way to have God answer your prayers the way you want?  NOPE!!!  Nonetheless, we still are to be people who believe when we pray.  Unbelief will cause you and I to miss out on the amazing things that God wants to do in and through us.  Don’t take that chance today.  Don’t ever stop praying but do more than just pray – BELIEVE!

“Do More Than Pray – Believe!”

 BELIEVE-001

“Why could we not cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief,” Matthew 17:19b-20a, KJV

 This is where the proverbial “rubber meets the road,” or where the heart meets with true faith.  Jesus’ disciples tried to cast a demon out of the man’s son, but to no avail.  The Bible says, “They could not cure him,” (Mt. 17:16, KJV).  They didn’t get the results of their prayer on that day.  Perplexed they asked Jesus about what happened.  Jesus’ response was very simple.  He told them it was “because of your unbelief.”

Sometimes in life I think we tend to downplay the importance of our faith and what we believe.  We hear about it so much that I think as Christians we have become desensitized to its power in both our spiritual and our natural lives.  This is not what it should be since we are told in four verses of the Bible, “The just shall live by his faith,” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38, KJV).

Our faith, our belief should be the marker for everything in our lives.  Not just for salvation, but for every action and prayer.  We know all the right words to say and all the proper “Christian” motions to make, but is our faith alive and put into full force action?

If you feel a little waning in this area and if you feel like Jesus is talking to you, here are some steps to build up your faith and belief:

1. Pray:  Yup, that’s right!  Keep praying.  Jesus did not have an issue with their prayer; He had a problem with their lack of belief in their prayer.  In Mark 11:24 Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” (KJV, see also Mt. 21:22; Ja. 1:16).  Continue to pray, yet make sure you believe in your prayer being heard and you believe in the One who hears your prayer and is able to be your help (more on this a little later).  Many ask a lot of things of the Lord, but those that catch His attention the most are those who have faith when they ask.  On several occasions, Jesus said it’s because of “your faith” that healing has taken place (Mt. 9:22; Mk. 10:52).  Too many people focus on the right words to say during prayer when the real focus should be on Whom we believe.  Do our heart’s match up with the words that are coming out of our mouths or are they just that, words, instead of a powerful instrument implemented by what we believe?  Your faith matters more than your words.

2. Nourish:  Every believer has to nourish their faith with a daily diet of the Word of God.  “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart . . .,” (Jer. 15:16, KJV).  We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and no truer is it than here.  Our natural bodies depend on us to eat properly for it to maintain its daily functions.  Our spirit depends on us to fill it with the necessary spiritual nutrients to help our faith and belief thrive to be all that God has designed for you and I to be.  A rich diet in God’s Word will supply the believer with encouragement, wisdom and truth to hold on to their faith and to build the spiritual muscle to believe more.  “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,” (Mt. 4:4, KJV).

3. Rest:  Not only rest in our salvation but also in the fact that He heard (told you there was more :)).  “For we which have believed do enter into rest . . .,” (Heb. 4:3, KJV).  “I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me . . .,” (Ps. 118:5, NKJV; see also my article “Know That God Hears!”).  We have to trust in Him to handle our prayers.  That’s what resting is all about.  We prayed it, we committed it to Him, and we rest.  Is this hard to do sometimes?  Yes, but oh so needful.  It’s disciplining ourselves like Jesus did when He spoke at Lazarus’ tomb saying, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me,” (John 11:41, KJV).  He didn’t try to persuade God, He rested in the fact that He knew already that God heard Him.  We have to discipline ourselves to rest in Him.  Those that are in a continual state of worry are not resting.  Rather, they are anxious over the conditions in their life.  Paul said, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 4:6-7, KJV).  Peace will cover the one who prays it and gives it to God allowing him/her to rest.

Is this a sure-fire way to have God answer your prayers the way you want?  NOPE!!!  Nonetheless, we still are to be people who believe when we pray.  Unbelief will cause you and I to miss out on the amazing things that God wants to do in and through us.  Don’t take that chance today.  Don’t ever stop praying but do more than just pray – BELIEVE!