The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"More To the Picture"
Sometimes prayers that seemingly must be answered apparently are not. "I cry unto Thee, and Thou dost not hear me" (Job 30:20).
Had we been in Jerusalem on a dark day 2,000 years ago, we might have earnestly sought God's help for a man unjustly accused and tried for capital crimes against the state. The horrible injustice of Roman execution by a cross awaited the accused. We might have prayed…
"Lord, this man has done nothing amiss! On the contrary, He has done all things well! I have seen Him help so many people by His words, His actions, and even miracles He performed! Please, Lord, save this man from the terrible fate that will cause Him undeserved shame, suffering and death. Please, Lord, help this man!"
No nobler or more well-meaning prayer could be offered. If answered, however, the consequence would have involved the eternal damnation of the entire human race.
"Christ died for our sins… we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (I Corinthians 15:3; Romans 5:9).
"Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour" (John 12:27).
God would not and could not answer prayers that were doubtless prayed for the Lord Jesus Christ. He had sent His beloved Son into the world for the purpose of dying and rising again for us. Thereby He effected our rescue from sin and its condemnation, a rescue that would not have happened had the aforementioned prayers for the Lord Jesus been answered. "Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).
With God, there is always more to the picture than meets the eye. If good and noble prayers seemingly go unanswered, it may be that our Lord's response involves far greater purposes than our eyes can envision. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24). Sometimes He answers by a cross. Our Heavenly Father's ways transcend our understanding, and the current of His grace often flows through dark valleys of pain, sorrow and loss. "We went through fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place" (Psalm 66:12)
2,000 years ago, prayers doubtless ascended to the throne of Heaven for a just man. That God did not answer (or that He answered in a way beyond the understanding of those who prayed) led to eternal salvation for all who receive the grace of Calvary's cross and Calvary's Christ. The same principle may apply when prayers we pray seem to find no response from the heart and hand of God. He may well be working to fulfill a purpose far beyond our capacity to understand, answering our prayers by a cross that makes possible a resurrection. Yes, as we pray, let us remember that with God, there is always more to picture than meets the eye.
"Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Weekly Memory Verse
For in Thee, O LORD, do I hope: Thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.