I’ve been thinking about those big questions. “How can I have faith, pray and believe that what I’ve prayed for will happen? If it doesn’t happen, how can I still be encouraged?” As usual, when I ask questions, I end up asking more questions about those questions. I know that no one else does that, but I’m special. I realized that I was just chasing my tail, asking question after question without going to the source of all knowledge.

That’s right. I asked God, yes, I asked God through prayer and prayer and, you guessed it, prayer. I asked for wisdom. You can do that, you know? “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5) I don’t know about you, but I think that’s very cool. Think about it. Did you think? Here’s God, the Creator of Everything, who knows Everything, telling us that we can ask for knowledge about anything, and He’ll give it to us without calling us, “stupid.” Awesome. However, if you ask for wisdom then you better believe that you’ve received it. (James 1:– 7) Otherwise, what was the point in asking?

It’s about Love. Yep, love. If you’ve ever been to a wedding, seen one on television or in a movie then it’s possible that this might sound familiar to you:

Love

(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

“This doesn’t tell me anything,” you might be saying to yourself. Except that God is love (1 John 4:8). Therefore, everywhere in the paragraph above, change the word, “love” to “God” and presto-chango! A significant characteristic of God is revealed. Let’s look at this, “Love never fails.” Well, if Love never fails then God never fails. Right? While so many people focus in on the beauty of the passage, and I do agree that this definition of love is extraordinary and reveals a key characteristic of God; this is what sticks out to me in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Do you see hope and faith in there? I do.

Here we are with faith, hope and love. We’ve been focusing in on hope and why it appears to fail. A conclusion was formed that one reason why it fails is because the hope is in the “thing” being hoped for and not in God. I’m sticking with that as part of the answer, but the idea that it’s idol worship is nonsense to me. It occurred to me to take a look at my role in faith, hope and love.

We know how faith is defined in the Bible. Who, or what is faith dependent on? Is it dependent on God? No, it’s dependent on the one who “has” the faith. It’s dependent on a person. My faith is dependent on me. Well, if faith is dependent on me then faith can fail, right? I fail all the time. I’m not going to get into why faith fails right now, nor am I going to go into how we get faith. Let’s just agree that it’s based on humans who can fail.

What about hope? We’ve examined hope  enough already to state that hope is different than faith, because it’s based on what we want to happen. While faith is based on what I believe is going to happen has already happened. I just might not have seen it yet. However, like faith, hope is dependent on me. Since I fail all the time, then my hope can fail. Therefore, as we’ve observed, faith and hope can fail because they are based on me. A fallible human. Let’s look at love.

Love is God. God is Love. What is love based on? God. What do we know about God? He never fails. Therefore, if God never fails then the hope that doesn’t come to pass isn’t because God failed. That’s important.

When my hopes don’t come to pass I can become discouraged, depressed and disappointed. Hopefully, there it is again, my attitude isn’t toward God. It might be, but I’m thankful that mine isn’t. My faith tells me that God cannot fail, and I believe that He cannot fail. Which means, logically, that the issue must be with me, right? Well, maybe.

What do you mean, “maybe?” Are you saying that the issue is with God? No, I’m not saying that. Well, not really. You see, there are a few things about God that we have to know, realize and accept.

  1. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
  2. We do not have the capability to comprehend God or His ways. (Romans 11:33) (Psalm 139:6) , Ecclesiastes 3:11
  3. God is infinite and all knowing.
  4. God’s timing is perfect and not based on our timing. (Psalm 27:14)

In short, we’re never going to figure God out. It’s impossible. That doesn’t mean that we can’t ask Him why something that we hoped for and, in faith, prayed for and believed, didn’t come to pass.

So, I did just that, I asked God, “why?” and He, in His love and mercy, told me. That, however, along with other reasons why our hopes and faith appear to fail, is for next time.