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This I Must Remember

He trusts in God: let Him deliver Him now, if He takes pleasure in Him.
Matthew 27:43. 

God didn’t deliver Jesus. He didn’t come through. To the bystanders who were watching, no deliverance came and the tragedy dragged out to the end. The logical conclusion? Could it be that God did not “take pleasure in Him.” Did Jesus somehow fall short of the requirements?

That’s still one of Satan’s most poisonous darts. “I trusted God and He didn’t answer my prayer.” And the logical conclusions that the “voice of the Stranger” will suggest to me?

  • “He doesn’t care.”
  • “Why do others have these miraculous things happen and I don’t? He answers their prayers.”
  • “ I guess I’m just not the Christian that some other folks are.”

I’ll just say this: God, “If You came to give me abundant life, then one of us is completely off base. What am I doing wrong?”

Life is full of disappointments and we do our best to meet them one way or the other. People let us down, a tenured job is unexpectedly terminated with severance pay, our beloved child is tragically maimed or killed…all kinds of circumstances beyond our control buffet us. But, when it seems that God has disappointed us—this is the ultimate, shattering disappointment.

Do you suppose Paul, entreating the Lord for deliverance from his affliction, might have wondered at the apparent deadlock as he prayed? For some reason he asked three times. Paul, our mentor. Paul, who gave us the major portion of the New Testament. Three times! That Paul. Incredulous.

Jesus told his disciples, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death,” as He agonized with God about intervening in the horrible torture, the humiliation, the heartbreaking rejection that loomed before Him. He asked three times. Have you ever really pondered that single event in His life? The Messiah. Jesus, the Christ. The Son of God. He knew the inevitable. He prayed. He prayed again. He prayed again. He understands what you and I experience. God said, “No.” He reached an impasse where no other choice was open to Him.

And when this impasse comes, the Deceiver begins his insidious, undermining process. I have listened to his wretched lies. Lies about God and His love, His power, His fairness. Doubts about His integrity. Thoughts that invade my thinking processes and violate my rights as this new creature in Christ Jesus.

What do I really know about this Deity to whom I have willfully submitted myself, acclaiming Him to be the force that controls my world? I want to believe that:

He is the miraculous Healer of the New Testament—the Jesus who made the lame to walk with just a word—the blind to see. But I do not have that kind of evidence of Jesus in my life.

The doctor spoke with unyielding authority when Mason’s final test was analyzed:

“Your son is incurably ill and will be hopelessly retarded.” Oh how I prayed! I fasted. I asked others to pray, and I prayed the prayer of faith…and it was still true. It really was hopeless…and it really was incurable. I trusted…but it didn’t work out the way I had asked. 

In desperation I pled with Him. “What is it? I didn’t pray enough? My prayer wasn’t ‘fervent’? I’m not praying according to Your regulations? The words were wrong? Where is the miracle-working God of Elijah? Where??

Haven’t most of us come to such an impasse? I trusted and He didn’t deliver…and it seems that God has turned His back on us. That may seem to happen.

But it does not happen. Never, never, never does it happen! NEVER!

I do not believe that God is a God of “technicalities.” Furthermore, I believe that God hears and answers every sincere prayer of the Christian. God heard Paul’s plaintive petitions. God heard Jesus as He implored Him—another plan—another way. And those prayers were answered. Just as my prayers are answered. But there are those times when God says, “No. I have other plans. Plans you could not understand. Plans for good, not for evil. Plans to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 9:11-13). We will go with My plans this time.”

So it is settled. It isn’t that I trusted. It is that I trust. It is always present tense. I trust what He is doing now, even when the answers are not what I want. I know my God. He loves me! He died for me! He sent His Son to be sacrificed for me!

I have chosen to allow Him to face my circumstances, for every circumstance met in His power is a supernatural victory. I will pray, but with this understanding: He has instructed me to present my needs to Him, I tell Him what I would like for Him to do. But I do not have the prerogative—nor do I want the prerogative—of telling Him what to do. Such decisions are for an omniscient, infallible, kind and loving God to make. This I must tenaciously clutch to my breast—this I must remember.

Originally written by Anabel Gillham and edited by Roxane Day

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.