A: Let me ask you a question in return: What exactly have you been asking God to do about your problems? Have you simply been asking Him to take them away? It’s not wrong to pray that He’ll do this — and sometimes He does. But we also need to realize that sometimes He has a different answer for us, if we’ll only receive it.
Let me explain. God loves us and wants us to bring our wishes and concerns to Him. When we do this, we can have confidence that He hears our prayers as we come to Him in the name of Jesus, our Savior. But how will God answer our prayers? Will He answer them exactly the way we want Him to? No, not necessarily, because we see only a small part of the picture. He sees the whole picture and knows what’s best for us. Often what we think is best actually isn’t.
This is why we need to pray most of all for God’s will to be done, and not just our own. The Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14). Are you honestly seeking God’s will in your prayers?
Sometimes God answers our prayers very directly and clearly by taking away our burden. But sometimes He doesn’t. Instead, He answers by giving us the strength and courage to persevere and keep from being crushed by our burden. Never forget: God loves you, and His way is always best.
Q: Some people came to our door the other day and offered to give us a Bible. I told them we already had one, but they said it isn’t reliable and we need to read the Bible their group approves, because it’s the only accurate one. Could they be right? They seemed very sincere. — Mrs. R.G.
A: I have no doubt they were sincere — but I hope you won’t be misled by this, because sincerity alone is not enough. Have you ever taken an unfamiliar road and sincerely believed you were going the right way — only to discover later that you actually were going the wrong way?
The reason this group requires its members to read only its “translation” of the Bible is because their beliefs do not come from the actual Bible and are not supported by it. Only by mistranslating the Bible and twisting its clear meaning can they defend their teachings. For over 2,000 years Christians have studied the Bible and affirmed its teachings — but this group rejects them.
The real issue, however, is this: Who is Jesus Christ? Is He the divine Son of God, sent from heaven to save us from our sins by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead — as the Bible teaches? Or is He less than this, as cults claim? The Bible says, “He is the image of the invisible God.... for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:15,19).
Don’t be misled, but turn to Jesus Christ and open your heart and life to Him. Only He can forgive your sins, and only He can give you new life. Then seek out a church where the Bible is taught and preached so you can grow closer to Christ.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call (877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.