Scripture : Proverbs 14:14
The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,
But a good man will be satisfied from above.
Asking in Faith
There are many things in our lives that we cannot get on our own. We need God to give them to us. The Lord Jesus told us that the Father in heaven would give good things to those who ask Him (Mat 7:11). So, He encouraged us to ask, and we would receive, that our joy may be full when we receive the thing that we ask (Jhn 16:24). Many times we do not have because we do not ask (Jms 4:2). Therefore, if we need anything that we cannot get on our own, then we should ask of God. But, we should ask in faith, with no doubting, for if we doubt, we shall not receive anything from God (Jms 1:6).
Our Own Faith and Other People’s Faith
Faith is the key to receiving from God. Therefore, faith must be present whenever we expect God to give us something that we ask. There are two ways of how this can happen :
1) through our own faith.
In a normal situation, if we expect to receive something from God for ourselves, we are the one who must have faith. We cannot rely on other people to have faith for us. For example, the woman with the issue of blood was made well because of her own faith in the Lord Jesus (Mat 9:22).
2) through other people’s faith.
In a situation in which it is impossible for us to have faith ourselves, then we can rely on other people to have faith on our behalf. For example, the paralytic who was brought to the Lord Jesus through the roof was healed, not because of his own faith, but the faith of those who carried him (Mrk 2:5). This way of faith is especially applicable to those who are under the authority of others. For example, the daughter of a certain woman of Canaan who could not possibly have faith herself was healed from demon-possession because of her mother’s faith (Mat 15:28). The servant of a centurion was lying at home paralyzed and dreadfully tormented. He could not possibly have faith himself, but was healed by the Lord Jesus because of his master’s faith (Mat 7:13).
The Process of Faith
We must have faith if we expect to receive from the Lord. But, how does faith works and how do we know whether we have had the faith in our heart or not? First of all, we must remember that we cannot produce faith ourselves because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the (spoken) word of God (Rom 10:17). If God does speak to us, then what He says will consistently comes up in our mind in the form of thoughts. Then, these thoughts will become pictures as we meditate on them day and night. Now, we see in our mind the evidence of things not yet seen in the natural and we believe them. Then, as the pictures becomes clearer, we begin to feel as if the thing that we hope for were happening to us (Heb 11:1). Before we know it, we begin to speak out what we see and feel (2 Cor 4:13; Mrk 11:23), and then act accordingly (Jms 2:22). This faith process is supernatural, yet it flows naturally without much forced effort.
We know that as the just we are supposed to live by faith (Rom 1:17), to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). However, in reality, we often find ourselves weak, having little faith or no faith at all, especially after we fall into sin, experience great failure or are deeply wounded. It is good if we have people around us who can uphold us with their faith. But, suppose we do not have them. Can we still expect that we will receive from the Lord if we ask Him? The answer is yes because He also answers our prayers based on His compassion. The Lord God is gracious, compassionate and abounding in mercy (Psa 86:15;103:8). He is still willing to help us and give us what we ask even though we do not have faith for that. The Lord Jesus often healed the sick people, not because they had faith to be healed, but because He was moved with compassion for them (Mat 14:14). When He went out of the city of Jericho on one occasion, two blind men continued crying out to Him to have mercy on them. The Lord Jesus had compassion for them and touched their eyes and they received their sight (Mat 20:29-34).
Asking for God’s Compassion
When we ask for God’s compassion, we actually acknowledge that we have no right to receive what we ask. We realize that there is no guarantee that we will receive when we ask God this way. We cannot be confident. Nevertheless, we can still have hope that He will give what we ask based on His abundant mercy. But, we really have to humble ourselves and be persistent when we ask this way (Luk 18:1-7). Most of the time, God will grant our wish. King Hezekiah who was about to die was given additional 15 years of his life when he pleaded with God in tears, asking for His mercy and compassion (2 Kings 20:1-6). The only case in which God may not give what we ask is when our weak condition is caused by our own sin. God did not grant David’s wish to save his child from death even though he pleaded with Him for seven days, fasting and lying on the ground because the child’s illness was the result of his sin (2 Sam 12:15-16).