I was reading a little about the Tour de France coming up here July 4th. Do you want to
guess how many miles long it is? 2,200 miles. That’s insane! I was also reading that in order
to stay healthy the bikers must eat between 6,000 - 9,000 calories a day. I personally don’t
know about all that biking, but eating that much sounds like fun.
Let’s imagine someone is in the midst of this grueling race and prays to God asking,
“Lord, change my circumstance. Get me out of here.” (Which is what I’d be saying after an
hour, ok half hour) Could God change that circumstance? Of course! It is no problem for him
to convince the biker to quit, or take him out of the race by any other means. But would that be
the best prayer?
Let’s try a different approach. Imagine instead the biker prays, “Lord, give me strength
to endure.” And I believe an Almighty God could strengthen that biker to endure and even finish
the race. Wouldn’t that be a better prayer.
Here’s where I’m going with this. So many times we pray to God, “Lord, change my
circumstance.” Whether it be a relationship that is an emotional drain, a financial pressure, a
job status, or any other intense situation. And he most definitely could. You need to know that
about God. His arm is not too short, his power is unlimited, and he could change our
circumstance. But would it be best?
I don’t always think so, and here’s why. You see so many times he is working on our
faith during those times. I’ve been a pastor long enough to observe that Christians in general
handle good times worse than they handle bad times. In good times they often fail to pray, fail
to cling, fail to trust. But when a circumstance is difficult faith is renewed.
So perhaps a better prayer is, “Lord, change my strength.” Let me see how you can
empower passed and through this present difficulty. Let me experience the goodness of you
working in me and through me.
We’ve been considering this at Amazing Love during our sermon series on the Lord’s
Prayer as we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come.” God’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. When we pray
for his kingdom to come we pray that faith would be worked in our hearts and the hearts of
those around us. And so many times God’s answer to this prayer is not a change of
circumstance but a change of strength.
Whatever situation you are in right now, however grueling the race, I pray that you’d
have faith to believe there is a God who is there for you and cares for you. He sent his Son
Jesus to prove his concern, as he bore the cross and cleansed our soul. I invite you to hear his
call this day, he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you
rest.” (Matthew 11:28) He may grant this rest any number of ways through change of
circumstance or change of strength. But may you know most of all, he’s concerned with your
life of faith. And now may you experience his strength, goodness, and love. God bless!