I don’t like asking for help.
I am sure it has to do with pride. It usually isn’t so much the fact that I don’t want people to think I can’t do something as it is I hate the feeling that I might be bothering someone or that they will help me but inside they won’t really want to.
It can make for long nights and long walks.
I have walked many kilometers with suitcases because I didn’t want to ask others for a ride and I remember sleeping a night in my car after having run out of fuel. Now, the sleeping in the car was before I was married and before the days of the cell-phone so I can’t say for sure what I would have done but I imagine I probably would have had some difficulty calling on anyone other my parents at that point and they weren’t around.
It is foolish to be like this with people, though the truth is people don’t really always want to help. In fact, you have probably all experienced the moment where you asked someone for something and you could see on their face that they were looking for a polite way out.
God is not like that. This is unbelievably important for me to understand and you as well. It may be foolish to be like this with people, but it would be sin to be like this with God because God absolutely wants our best as believers.
We serve an unbelievably generous God. You can’t ask Him for too much. There never is a time where He hears your prayer request as a Christian and says to himself, would this person stop bothering me? Why are they asking me for help again?
Jonathan Edwards once put it like this, “God never begrutches his people anything they desire.”
That’s a great word, isn’t it? It’s to respond to someones request grudgingly or to hear someone ask you for help and think, many why I would I give to someone like that, they don’t deserve it. We know God’s not like that not simply because Jonathan Edwards said it, but because the Bible does.
James tells us to ask God for help because He is the giving God who gives to all without hesitation and without reproach.
This is awesome. God isn’t up in heaven uninterested in your best. The opposite. God wants your best more than you do. When you ask God for help you are asking someone who is more interested in your long term good than even you are. There are lots of times in life where you wonder if anyone besides your wife is as interested in your future as you are. Probably not. Except for one person. God.
There’s all kind of proof of this! First, the plan of salvation. He’s been working on your long term best since before the beginning of the world. Second, the cost of salvation. If He was willing to pay the price He did for your long term happiness, I don’t think He is suddenly going to lose interest in it. Third, the means of salvation. When you are saved you are united to Christ. You are in Christ. God doesn’t see you by yourself any longer. He always sees you as united to Christ and while you may have a hard time believing God the Father is interested in your good, you know He’s always interested in His Son’s good and you are in His Son. He doesn’t see you as separate from Him. Fourth, there’s the result of salvation or the benefits of salvation or I don’t really have the best word for this one yet, except to say that heaven is going to be lavish, the fullness of joy. If God’s planning this kind of eternity for you, I think He’s interested in your good.
There’s not going to be one moment in eternity that you can say you deserved. When you go to God in prayer and you are worried about whether He would want the best for someone like you, remember that God is really, really used to giving good, amazing things to people who don’t deserve it. You really can’t come up with a request that is bigger than what He already gave you. Can you imagine asking someone for eternal life? It is yours. Can you imagine asking someone for forgiveness of all your sins? Done. Can you imagine asking someone for constant access to the most important person in the Universe. You have it. Can you imagine asking someone to constantly be looking out for your good, making plans for your future, always be present to help you with what’s happening in your life? You got it.
This is awesome because it means when you are praying and you are not receiving the answer you might like, there’s one thing you can count out. It is not because God looks at your request and says, you know what, now you are asking for a little too much! It must be because what you think is best for you, really isn’t!