estiny Newsletter   
Christian Destiny Christian Destiny
Your Questions Answered

Q. Why should I pray, since it seems like God never answers?
A. Almost all prayers are answered by the words “better” and “later.” God normally gives us something much better than we have requested. Usually, His answers come later as well. This is the case because patience is also a virtue that He is developing in us. In the meantime, never stop praying and believing, for the Scripture says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” There are a number of good books out on the subject of prayer that may be helpful to you. Your local Christian bookstore should have most of these.

Q. Why doesn’t God help me more if He really loves me?
A. First of all, be sure that God really loves you, for He has said this many times in His Word; “But God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). We are even called “beloved” in the Bible (1 Jn. 3:2). Sometimes, however, excessive help is not love, but indulgence. Sending His Son to die for us is the greatest love. In His Son, if we believe in Him, He also gives us all things (Rom. 8:32).

Q. How can I live above the level of fear and desperation?
A. This should certainly be the goal of every Christian. Notice that once the Bible gives us the cure for anxiety it gives us the key to sustained confidence and peace of mind, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8). We tend to become like the object of our contemplation, which is the reason we are commanded to practice higher thinking. Too many believers live small lives because they have not learned to think like Christians. Yes, it is possible to be saved but to come short of Christian thinking. This is why the Scripture tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5).

Q. Sometimes I feel so dumb. How can I be smarter?
A. James tells us, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). The imperative key to wisdom is to regularly read the Word of God. When we do, we will learn more of Jesus Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

Q. How come the Bible is so hard to understand?
A. Often, this appears to be the case because the Bible doesn’t say what we think it should say. For instance, the Bible says that we are saved by grace rather than by per­sonal goodness (Eph. 2:8,9) and this is confusing to many who think of themselves as being good.

My suggestion, first read the things in the Bible that you do understand. You may find that you will come to understand more than you can imagine. Just as a child does not understand adult matters, so we need to be spiritually mature to understand the Bible. This understanding becomes knowledge that turns out to be most exciting.

Q. What is the standard of success in the ministry?
A. Paul gave us help on this when he said about Jesus Christ, “whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Col. 1:28). For Paul then, success was not huge, impressive corporate success. It was not big things, but the production of individual competence. If a Christian leader is not producing individual capability, he is really not doing very much. Today’s Christianity militates against this by inveighing against “individualism.” But really, individual spiritual competence should be the goal of all efforts for Christ.

Q. I would like to be a minister of the Gospel. How do I start?
A. First of all, and most of all, be sure that God has called you and that you could not be happy doing anything else. Apart from this certainty, you will become weary of well-doing.

Then, above all other considerations, become an expert on the Word of God. The primary purpose of any Christian ministry should be to hold forth the Word of Life. God puts His hand of blessing upon His Word and not simply on our human activity. It is a deep knowledge of the Word that will be the difference between a genuine Christian ministry and merely human effort.

Q. Sometimes I doubt my salvation. What shall I do?
A. The assurance of salvation comes from knowing the basis of salvation in the first place. Do not look at your life but rather remember that you are saved purely by the grace of God. Human works, before, during, or after salvation, are not what get us to heaven. We are saved, “not by works of righteousness which we have done.” The guarantee of your salvation is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Q. When is it best to pray?
A. Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Pray, therefore, at all times. Earnest prayer produces daily guidance and needed strength.

Destiny Newsletter continued