Tag Archives: God’s will

God Had Not Forgotten

God has a record book. No, I’m not referring to the book of life, or to the book of remembrance, or to the book of sin. He has another record book. It contains your prayers, and He has not forgotten them.

God has not forgotten your prayer

Did you ever lose a part of your faith when you were asking God for something and it seemed no answer was coming?

I almost did.

Oh, well, I guess I actually did. I guess I lost faith when I tried working out the answer to some of my prayers, on my own.

But I learned today that God does not forget our prayers. I’ve been learning this by experience, but just today I read what the Inspired Writings had to say about Luke 1 and 2, leading me to meditate more on the beauty of this truth.

How God revealed this beautiful truth to me

I read Luke 1 and 2 last Sabbath and decided to postpone perusing the rest of my Bible reading assignments from the ESV 40-Day Bible Reading Plan to see what Aunt Ellen, under the influence of the Spirit, had to say.

I grabbed my physical copy of The Vision Study Bible, and turned to Luke 1 and read the footer commentaries. I decided to pause reading through the commentaries to simply digest what I just read.

Vision Study Bible

It was beautiful and was totally worth the time.

Throughout his married life, Zacharias had prayed for a son. He and his wife were now old, and as yet their prayer had remained unanswered; but he murmured not. God had not forgotten. He had His appointed time for answering this prayer, and when the case seemed hopeless, Zacharias received His answer. – Manuscripts, p.1898, par.3

The quote is totally rich and it deserved my attention.

Aside from revealing the fact that “God had not forgotten” Zacharias’ specific prayer, it revealed other beautiful details such as follows:

  • Zacharias kept praying;
  • While his prayer remained unanswered, Zacharias did not murmur (read about the curse of murmuring here);
  • God had an appointed time for answering Zacharias’ prayer; which means:
  • Zacharias’ prayer that he be given a son is according to God’s will; and,
  • God allowed Zacharias to think of it as a hopeless case, and surprised him with His answer when Zacharias finally surrendered his plea to God.

Sometimes, we had simply had to surrender

Sometimes, we may just have to surrender our plea to God, just like Zacharias.

Zacharias might have never known whether it was God’s will for him and Elizabeth to have a son. One thing admirable about him is that he kept praying.

Of course, having a son is not a sin.

So, Zacharias persevered in prayer because he knew that what he has been praying for was something innocent. His heart was free of guilt while asking God for a son. It wasn’t something selfish—I guess having a son would even be an aid for any parent to forget self while nourishing a child.

And God was really planning to answer that particular prayer.

The only other thing in consideration was God’s timeline. God “had His appointed time for answering this prayer.”

So, the next thing God was intending to teach Zacharias was full faith in His timing.

God has a dated record book

It fascinates me to think of the fact that God has a record book for our prayers. Here’s the quote from the inspired writings of Aunt Ellen:

But the answer had come. God had not forgotten the prayer of His servants. He had written it in His record book, to be answered in His own good time. Looking at outward appearances, Zacharias and Elisabeth had buried their hopes, but the Lord had not forgotten. He knew of the long years of disappointment, and when His own name could best be glorified, their son was born. – Manuscript 27, p.1898, par.9

Wow. God has a record book for our prayers! I could imagine how one of my prayers would be listed there, and beside it there would be a future date on which the prayer would be answered!

“When His own name could best be glorified”

Not only does God answer at a specific time; His timing is purposeful.

Come to think of it. God’s timeline is not an arbitrary one! This means that when He assigns a date to answer your innocent, according-to-God’s-will request, He has a lot of considerations to make.

One, He considers giving you the best. Two, He also considers giving you your request at a time when granting that request already becomes humanly impossible.

That way, you would begin to trust Him more for the God that He is—not for the good that you are, i.e., if you are any good.

Aside from these though, He considers giving you more than what you have originally asked for.

How tender, how kind, how full of love and compassion, is the great heart of infinite love. God gave Zacharias as a son no ordinary person, but one who should hold a high place in His work, and from whom the light from heaven should shine in clear, distinct rays. – Manuscript 27, p.1898, par.9

God has given Zacharias John the Baptist as a son!

Extraordinary, indeed!

Extraordinary answers await those who trust

John the Baptist surely became a great blessing to Zacharias and Elizabeth. He was no ordinary son. He was the man who was the forerunner of Jesus, the Messiah.

What a privilege!

He will answer my prayer

I won’t take more time before giving you the takeaway message. It’s here.

By impressing upon me to read the inspired commentaries on Luke 1 and 2, God has given me such a timely reminder:

He will answer my prayer. He does have a record book. My prayer’s there. He has a date for it. And He can give me more than what is humanly possible. He can give me more than what I’ve asked for!

Indeed, it is never a coincidence that Luke 1 contains one of my all-time favorite Bible verses:

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke 1:37, KJV

Truly, nothing is impossible for me!

This means nothing is impossible for you, too.

So, let’s keep praying. God has never forgotten.

Despite

One erroneous notion commonly held by both professed Christians and unbelievers alike is that which views God as directing the universe in a scripted sense, as if “everything happens for a purpose” under the scripted will of God.

This fatal idea apparently roots from an allegedly Biblical standpoint. But, under this misleading view, “all things work together for good” (Rom.8:28), wrongly understood, would now come to mean that bad things are indeed necessary for good things to happen. If this was truly the case, then sin would have been a blessing, because it was sin that caused the suffering, and if suffering was in fact meant for good.

Needless to say, this idea strikes a deadly blow to our understanding of the will, character and purposes of God. On one hand, it says that God’s goodness is dependent on the existence of bad things. On the other, it makes up for us an excuse to our own bad choices, justifying them in the most-quoted “everything happens for a purpose,” as if God approves Robinhood’s stealing for the poor just because “the end justifies the means.”

The fact, is, God’s goodness is so great that despite—not because of, but, in spite of—the bad things, His goodness prevails.

This then means that God’s will is not a script of events set on a timeline, as if God makes a movie out of our experiences, making fun of the ups and downs of our sin-saturated lives. Instead, God’s will is a principle that embodies His ideals but also allows for our own choices to be executed at our own freewill. In a word, God’s will is God acting always according to His character of love.

So, bringing it home, you’ve got delays, postponements, cancellations and the like. Then you accuse God that perhaps, after all, these were what He willed. But, remember, you had a choice, while God had maintained an ideal independent of that choice you have now made. So, weren’t those bad things actually the fruition of your own will? Yes, they were, exactly! Nevertheless, because of His infinite love, mercy and goodness, God then acts on a new, ideal, good plan after you have acted according to your own bad choice. Hence, it is then, that despite—not due to, but despite—your bad choices, God’s goodness will still prevail.

Once again, the point is pinned.

 

The first edition of this article was first published in the “Pinpoint” Opinion Section of The Epistle, Vol.1, Issue 2, August 2012.