I want to share a contrast that God has given me that I hadn’t seen before.
My favorite verses in the Bible are Romans 3:3-5, especially “…knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed…”
Brother Jonny preached on these verses Wednesday night, and I loved every minute of it! But I have always challenged myself that when I ASK for patience, I have to be willing to endure the tribulation that comes with it. Jesus said in John 14:13: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” And again in Matthew 7:7 he said “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” And again in Matthew 21:22 he said “And all thing, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
To keep these verses in context, read Matthew 7:9-11: “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will you give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will you give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
I said all that to say this: In my devotions today, I read Mark 10 where James and John asked Jesus “we should that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.” And Jesus said “What would ye that I should do for you?” Remember, Jesus is God, and he already KNEW what they wanted; But he wanted them to ask it anyway! And when they asked to sit on His right and left hand in Glory, even though the other disciples thought this was a selfish thing to ask, Jesus asked them “can ye drink of the cup that I drink of?”
See Jesus knew he was going up to Jerusalem to die. He’s explained it to them many times how he will be delivered up, beaten, mocked, scourged, and killed. And they answered Jesus “We can.”
Jesus said after that “Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of;” This is where their tribulation must take them, in order for them to receive the blessings they have asked God for. We know that every disciple of Jesus was tortured, and martyred for His name, except John who was boiled in Oil and banished to the Island of Patmos to die. But can you see that in order for us to be close to God; to have that peace that passeth all understanding; to run with patience the race that is set before us; to have that blessed hope we so long for. There must and will be tribulations that strengthen us along the way.
I know I’ve said this many time before; but I DARE you. Ask God for patience. Ask Him to draw you closer. Ask Him, as I have done many times, to make Himself REAL in your life today. Ask Him to take you to that next level. Be prepared for the COST it will take to get you there; but be looking for the Hope that maketh us not ashamed to ask more from Him than we can handle.