Patience: God wants us to learn more about His heart, and also ourselves in the process. *Photo supplied
Patience: God wants us to learn more about His heart, and also ourselves in the process. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14: Today we are going to look at one of my favourite passages in the Bible. 

One reason this is my favourite is because it so vividly exposes God’s heart for what it truly is.

As we get a proper prospective on who God is, we will get a more accurate prospective on who we are. 

The end result will be a greater love for God and His work. 

Let’s look at Jesus’s Words to us for this week…

Matthew 7:7-1:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The verb tense that Jesus used  — “ask”, “seek,” “knock” — in this verse (v.7) implies continuous, persistent action. 

Jesus could have told His hearers to only ask once, seek quickly, and give a single knock when praying to the Father, but He didn’t.  

He instructed them to persistently ask, seek and knock. 

While this can be encouraging, it also leads us to ask the question… “Why the delay?”

“Didn’t God hear me the first time?  Why the delay?  Why so much persistence?” 

Certainly, God knows all about our needs before we ask Him, but He still wants us to ask. 

He does not always answer our prayer immediately. 

This must be due to the fact that He has far greater purposes for our praying than just asking and receiving. He wants us to learn more about His heart.

There is a great deal that happens between our asking and God’s answering. 

Sometimes we ask for things that we do not really want.

How many times have we asked God for something and then been so thankful that we did not get what we asked for the first time? 

Sometimes a delayed answer is God waiting for us to catch up on some wisdom to understand that we don’t really want what we are asking for. 

A second reason for a delayed answer is because the moment God answers your prayer, He knows that you will turn your back on Him. 

Your answer becomes your greatest hindrance to a heart of dependence. 

You become proud and self-sufficient, trusting more in the blessing than the Blesser. 

This was a great mistake Israel made from time to time. 

The blessings of God became their own curse, and more important than following Him. 

Third, God must know that when we want sometime hard enough and persistently ask Him for it, our motives and heart will be challenged when he tells us “wait”.

The same thing happens with parents and children in the toy store. 

A child wants something and the parent says not this time. 

The child’s heart is exposed: They either accept with obedience, or they throw themselves on the floor and scream to the top of their lungs. 

When they do this they are not thinking of you and, in fact, they embarrass you. 

Their actions indicate selfishness, a total disregard for ALL the work, time, energy and money you have already invested in their existence… and just over one stupid toy. 

Well, guess what? We can be the same way. We pray to God for something and He says “not right now” or “wait”. 

What is our response?  We can accept His answer with obedience and continue to pray. 

However, if we pull a tantrum, we are no better than an ungrateful child in a toy store, ranting because we didn’t get what we asked for.

Now God does not do this because He is stingy, greedy or hard-hearted. That is so far from the truth! 

The next few verses clarify His heart. 

He says that if earthly fathers know how to give good things to their children then how much more will the heavenly Father want to give good gifts to His children. 

God is not “tight” with his resources. He wants to entrust them to those of us who have the right heart to receive them. 

Don’t think that God wants your life to be miserable because He has not answered your prayer in the time you gave Him to answer it. 

Rather, trust Him enough to know that He cares for you and wants you to know His heart… In the process of persistent prayer, you will also come to know yours!

Gary C Simons serves as the senior pastor of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, presently meeting at CedarBridge Academy each Sunday at 10am.