Riches Through Prayer
Buy from me gold refined in fire, so you can become rich. Revelation 3:18
When crisis arises in the life of someone we are praying for, it may try us as Christians far more than it would try an unbeliever. For the crisis may challenge all I believe about God. It may seem to give the lie to the very things I have entrusted to God. With a sinking heart I am tempted to think that my prayers have all been self-deception.
It is important when your faith is badly shaken to wait until you have time to spend alone with God before you allow yourself to wallow in despair. And when you come to God, the first thing you must remember is that He does not mock His children. He is still there. His faithfulness has not wavered a scrap. You may or you may not have misunderstood His will and His intentions about one detail or another. But your mistake, if indeed it is a mistake, does not alter the basic situation.
In your own pain and tragedy you are being invited to enter into a close relationship with God. Whatever may or may not happen to your children, great good and enormous enrichment can come into your own life if only you will draw near to God. You may not enjoy unusual experiences or glory in visions, but your spirit can be set free. You can pass through fire and come out as fine gold. You can become more truly alive, more aware. Your very pain brings with it the possibility of untold riches.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Let me say a very important bit about freedom: freedom does not consist in doing what I want to do, but in doing what I was designed to do. If I do what I want to do, I wind up not liking what I do. What at first promises liberty turns out to be a more onerous slavery. You fling yourself with wild abandon to serve an ideology, and at first it feels like the most heady liberty you have ever known. But the high subsides. The sense of liberty goes. In the end, the grim dreary enslavement seems no better than the enslavement to your former selfish whims. Many Christians find themselves enslaved to a hideous mixture of dogma, spiritual cliché and psychological technique. They are chained to a semi-Christian ideology rather than to a person. Do not misunderstand me. I do not underestimate the importance of truth. It is just that humanity was not designed to serve a theory – even a true theory. Theories enslave. The truth is a person. Jesus alone gives freedom to human beings. He knows what He designed our beings for. He knows where true freedom exists for us. And He has infinite patience in teaching us, lesson by lesson, how to be free.
Truth can be true but still cold, Lord. But you’re a vibrant living person to whom I owe my life and loyalty. Thank you for your warmth and commitment to me, which makes possible my commitment to you. Amen.