One of the most encouraging things I can think of is the Lord our God answers prayer:
|Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that
they should always pray and not give up.
Does He always answer how and when we want Him to answer? No. For that reason many give up. What many people fail to recognize and remember is we are in a test. In this life, our faith is being tested, continually.
|... Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test
of genuine faith. ... Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith.
|... The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine
gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold, and
|... Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to test you, as ...
do not be surprised, as if it was something strange, if your faith is tested
|... And those on the rock are those who with joy give hearing to the word; but having
no root, they have faith for a time, and when the test comes they give up.
How does the Lord test our faith? The primary way in this brother's experience is through time/delay. Sometimes the answer to prayer takes years to manifest, do we have the faith to stand for that long? The good news is if we are faithful and patient we get our answer and that is encouraging.
It wasn't too long ago that my faith was in the battle for my own miracle (less than a year ago). Some of these answers to prayer that we are looking for are do or die, put everything on the line types of things where either we get an answer or we are going to be in a really bad situation in short order. My mentality at that time was either I stand on my faith or I will not stand at all:
|... If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.'
Either the Lord answers my prayers and I have life or He does not and I die standing on my faith. This is an all or nothing proposition. All of my eggs are in one basket, I am counting on the Lord. He has not failed me in the past, though He has tried me and made me wait and sent me messengers of doom to tell me that my prayers would not be answered to see how I would respond, through it all and after it all I have been delivered
Psalm 34:4I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Through trial, and tribulation and testing this brother's testimony to you is that the Lord answers prayers and He does deliver. Not on your timetable and not according to your plan but He does answer and He does deliver.
What good can this brother's hands find to do today? I can write to you here and encourage you to seek the source of every good thing: the Lord. I was made for this purpose. The Lord speaks in different ways at different times and He can speak through anyone or anything.
This brother has been delivered more times than I can recount. I have had more prayers answered than I can remember. I have seen the requests for multiple miracles answered before my eyes. This brother is the least of the brothers, what has been done for me can and will be done for you. I write to you today as a testimony to our God's faithfulness and His deliverance. What did He say He would do? What are His promises? Are we standing on His promises? Do we have the faith to stand throughout the test of time so we can see the answer to our prayer on the other side of the trial?
I have been there with you. I have had my faith attacked and drug (momentarily) through the depths of hell to test what was in me. I did not know I could be tested in such ways but the Lord saw me through. What was done for me will be done for you. I have had those conversations with the Lord telling Him "Lord if you don't come through for us we are in deep trouble. I will not doubt you but I will stand on my faith and see the goodness of the Lord with my own eyes right here in the land of the living. I will stand on my faith and I will not give up, if it kills me I will stand and trust in my God. To the death. This is all or nothing and I will trust in you my faithful God."
What encouraging thing can this brother give you today? My testimony. The Lord answers prayer. He can be trusted. Take His promises and your faith to Him today and wear Him out with your persistence. Does the Lord honor such actions?
James 5.16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
17Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth for three years and six months.
18And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit..
Luke 18:1And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2Saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, neither regarded man:
3And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary.
4And he would not for awhile: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she wearies me.
6And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.
7And shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him, though he bears long with them?
8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
Matt 7.7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Ask and it WILL be given to you, not maybe, not kinda, not if the stars align a certain way, ask and it WILL be given to you. And who said that? God Almighty said that. He is not a man that He should lie. Let us take His promises back to Him "Lord, you said if we ask it will be given to us now I bring you your own Word which you cannot deny and my faith to see this prayer answered. Answer me in your grace and mercy and loving kindness Lord!"
grace and peace