– Max Lucado
Instead of Praying to Get Rid of Problems, Pray for Christ-Like Character
Human Nature is to Want Things Fast and Easy
Human beings are creatures of comfort and convenience. We want things fast and easy. We want to get the most while paying very little at all. This is the core of human nature. And this is precisely why life can be very challenging. Life is full of challenges precisely due to the fact that the way the world operates often runs contrary to human nature. For example, for us to reap, we have to sow and wait. And wait. And maybe wait some more. This runs headlong into our need for quick results. Another example is the fact that, often in life, we don’t always hit the ball right out of the park when we step up to the plate. But human nature wants fantastic results with little preparation. Life wants it the other way. To get success we often have to pay for it with many failures. Sadly, this collision between what we expect and how life actually turns out leads to frustrations with God.
Removing Challenges Could Keep an Even Better Blessing Away
It is too easy to get frustrated with God when it appears he has turned a deaf ear to our petitions but what most people don’t get is that God is preparing a better blessing. By simply making stumbling blocks go away, no real change happens in the human heart. The whole point of growing in Christ is to develop Christ-like character. This involves being able to look at challenges differently. This involves a change of heart. And this is precisely the blessing many people don’t get when they pray day after day for their burdens, challenges, and trials to be lifted. They focus on the problem, but they don’t focus on themselves and their character.
God Promises to Change the Way We Look at Problems
Max Lucado’s quote goes to the heart of the many daily miracles the Lord continues to heap upon those who seek him-he changes their character. Instead of simply waving a hand and making whatever is driving you bankrupt, making you sick, frustrating you, and otherwise making you miseries go away, God wants a bigger blessing for you. The reality is that money and bodies fade. What doesn’t fade is our character. It is the only thing we can take to heaven with us. And this is precisely why character change is extremely important to God. As Lucado says, God promises to change the way we look at our problems. And this is often what is needed to truly rise above, overcome, and become a better person. Think about your most pressing challenges. What change of perspective will make you feel at peace instead of frustrated? What change of point of view will make you feel level-headed instead of anxious? Considering changing your prayers accordingly.