“All things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 9:23
The “all things” do not always come simply for the asking, for the reason that God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith, and in our training in the faith life there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realize what is the end of faith, namely, the victory of faith.
Real moral fibre is developed through discipline of faith. You have made your request of God, but the answer does not come. What are you to do? Keep on believing God’s Word; never be moved away from it by what you see or feel, and thus as you stand steady, enlarged power and experience is being developed. The fact of looking at the apparent contradiction as to God’s Word and being unmoved from your position of faith make you stronger on every other line. Often God delays purposely, and the delay is just as much an answer to your prayer as is the fulfillment when it comes. (Streams in the Desert)
I am in constant danger of re-creating God according to my own image—a milquetoast deity fits the bill. When it comes to how God looks at me, I want Mister Rogers, not William Wallace (Braveheart); soft when it comes to my shortcomings, understanding when it comes to my errors, and tender when it comes to my failure. The last thing I want is a standard bearer, a strong and demanding Warrior Captain, a relentless Coach that will not settle for anything less than that for which I was created. I may be hard on myself, but God should take it easy on me.
There’s only one problem with this whole business—the Omnipotent One refuses to fit into any mold of my own making. Our God is a God of grace, but his mercy is always in juxtaposition to relentless expectation. Remove the word “settle” from your Christian vocabulary—God grants unending grace, but he never settles for anything less than his plan for our lives.