There are many answers to the question, “God, why is this happening?” Only God has all the answers. Recently, I have been asked to pray for a number of people in dire health needs and circumstances and for those whose trials seem endless.  I have learned through it all that you can never win a war if you are unwilling to be steadfast in battle. Satan does not want us to win or overcome his “robbing and deceiving.” Our Lord makes us an unfailing promise that assures us of victory.  If we love the Lord with all of our heart and are walking according to His purpose for us, God declares that “all things will work together for our good!” “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

The providence of God is working all things for our own good!Lay claim to His promise of working everything together for your good in every situation.  If you fit the requirements of “loving God with all your heart” and are walking “according to his purposes,” that promise is yours when you claim it. When God, or anyone else promises us something, we must take it into our lives. God’s promises are not automatic, they must be believed and claimed. Satan doesn’t stand a chance when we claim God’s word and stand in faith in the Lord “to work everything for our good.” Faith in God’s goodness and promises brings answers to our prayers. Our faith and trust in Christ unleash Satan’s hold over our blessings. The answer to our heart’s cry for the Lord’s divine intervention cannot be withheld by Satan when we approach in faith and seek God’s perfect will in our lives. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

God answers all things in his “appointed time.” His promises are sure, but often delayed, so He can stretch our faith and make us “more than overcomers.” God knows our future requirements for overcoming faith and so He begins to increase and deepen our faith and understanding to meet our challenges. Faith must be increased, stretched and tried so it can become strong in proportion to what we must overcome. We must respond with steadfast faith in God to win our battles. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world –  our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Yesterday, a much “prayed for” answer to prayer seemed to be stolen when a house we were assured was sold fell out of escrow. Our rejoicing was turned to, “why?”  I knew in my heart that God snatched it away to give something better.  I was asked “why this long-awaited blessing was removed?” Immediately I went to prayer and at first received nothing.  I prayed that if Satan had stolen their blessing that God would restore it.  An hour or so later I began to hear scripture flowing through my spirit to my heart and mind. Perhaps you are in the same circumstances and wondering why your answer is so long in coming or why your answer suddenly disappeared. The answers to our prayers come in response to our faith and trust in God, and not as a result of our “doubts and questioning of God.” I pray these scriptures will explain why there are delays and testing of our faith. Testing and trials are the path we must take to greater blessings and deeper experiences with God. Perseverance is a necessity for winning the race set before us. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial (SPEAKING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION) which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:10-11).

Here are the scriptures God gave to help me understand the reasons why our faith is tested. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). A few minutes later God again spoke scripture to me.  He said:  “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

These scriptures spoke confirmation and understanding that God is in charge of our lives if we are totally surrendered to him.  I have absolute faith that God works in all things for our “good.” To me the word of the Lord is proclaiming (James 1:2-4) to “be joyful” in every tribulation and trial because God is producing enduring faith through our trials. We are being strengthened and prepared to meet the battles that lie ahead and it is all for our good. He has said he will always make a way to escape. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The joy of knowing that God works everything together for our “good” takes away the stress and worry and replaces it with faith and trust in God. We end up with a wonderful new experience of God’s love, care, and goodness. We can “count” every trial and test as “good” because God has decreed them to work for our good. We should not however, passively accept our trials without claiming God’s highest and best to be done. We are to resist Satan and ask God to work our situation together for our good. Spiritual surgery is not something we want to go through, but it can be a necessity for our future spiritual and physical health. We of course must love God and walk according to His purposes to receive His blessings. Job’s trials proved his faithfulness to stand in faith under the very worst Satan could throw at him. He didn’t understand, but Job trusted God with his life and prevailed over Satan’s evil intentions and ended up with a double portion of God’s blessings. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).

God promises to do a work in us while we are under siege. Through suffering, God will produce a work of perfection in us. His work in us will make us complete—lacking nothing. The trial of our faith gives us patient endurance, brings us into perfection, establishes us in the will of God, strengthens us and settles us into His ordained plans for us. No wonder He says, “count it all joy!” When God’s work is complete, we rejoice in His goodness and we have greater faith and trust in Him. The finished work will bring forth a life worth living and make us more worthy of the high calling of God. He promises a perfect work that will produce in us everything we need to win the battles and receive our rewards.

If we believe “God is perfect love” then we know He is giving and doing His absolute best for us.  He never makes a mistake!  His promises never fail! The word declares that in suffering we cease from sin. It also promises that if we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him. “If we endure (SUFFER) we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12).

It is difficult to smile when we are suffering, but we can have faith that will deliver us from all evil and turn that which Satan meant for evil into “good.” “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Faith in God will bring all the answers we need. Full understanding of our most perplexing questions will, however, await His coming. “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know”  (1 Corinthians 8:2). “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Let me now tell you how God ultimately answered the prayer that we thought had been stolen from us. In less than 24 hours, God again sold the property. This time it was a much better escrow and solved a big problem. In the first sale, they would have had to dispose of all their furniture, pictures, dishes, sheets, etc. which they could not use because it was a second home. In God’s goodness He sold all of these items at a fair price along with the house and made their moving a matter of taking only their personal items. In every way it was a far better deal!

My prayer:

Dearest Father, I come in the name of Your beloved Son.  Help me to know You are working everything together for my good. As I wait upon You to conclude Your work in me, give me faith and joy in the knowledge of how much You love and care for me.  Increase my faith and move all mountains of doubt. I want to live to please You.  Give me overcoming faith and overcoming power. It is not mine to question Your ways or thoughts; they are too high for me to attain.  It is up to me to love and trust You with all my heart.  It is sufficient for me that You have promised to work everything for my good. Your word declares my completeness in You.  I believe You will supply my every need in Christ Jesus. “And You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10).

Give me greater knowledge of the things You have given me to understand.  Help me to live by Your word and through Your divine Spirit.  Make me into the image of Christ.  Most of all, give me the strength and gifts to fulfill Your will in my life. May I live to glorify You—not myself. Help me to glorify Your holy name and bear the fruit of Your Spirit.  May I  take seriously Your word.  May I hide Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.  Help me to be ready to answer Your call and act upon Your admonitions.  Make me fruitful for Your kingdom’s sake and Your glory.  Amen.

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