I wholeheartedly believe God responds to the prayers and requests of those who have faith. All throughout the gospels we see Jesus healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, casting out demons, and even resurrecting the dead according to people’s faith (Matthew 8:13; 9:29). At one point, he even blames his disciples’ inability to cast out a demon on their “little faith” (Matthew 17:20). The Bible draws an undeniable link between human faith and God’s power.
But I also believe everything else taught in the Holy Scriptures. I am confident that God doesn’t always heal the sick, raise the dead, and instantaneously deliver people from various patterns of temptation — even in those whom great faith exists (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)!
God does make absolute promises in the Bible. We can be absolutely assured that if we come to Jesus, he will never cast us out (John 6:37). We can be absolutely assured that if we confess our sins, God will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:19). We can be absolutely assured that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13). We can be absolutely assured that God will finish the work he began in us (Philippians 1:6) and keep us blameless until the Day of Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We can be absolutely assured that God will cause everything — including every bit of suffering we face—to work for our good (Romans 8: 28). We can be absolutely assured that God will comfort us in our various afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
However, God doesn’t make any promises to always heal our diseases, restore our finances, make our temptations to sin go away in this life. Sometimes he responds to faithful pleas for these things . . . and sometimes he doesn’t.
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