In these uncertain times, it’s helpful to keep in mind how God has worked in our financial situations in the past.  What keeps me steady is thinking back to when I was burned out from working in a particularly demanding office.  I prayed and prayed for a less stressful job but to no avail.  Finally, my husband suggested I resign altogether and pursue a writing career.  It would be mean a loss of income for us, but I desperately needed a change.

All of us know that when we have a need, we are to take it to the Lord in prayer.  We also know that we’re supposed to stay “prayerfully suspended” until we receive an answer.  Persistence is necessary if we want to live out God’s will for our lives.  Prolonged prayer takes patience and perseverance.  No one likes enduring the wait.  We may be tempted to ask God, “Where are You when I need You? Why aren’t You listening to me?”

God answers our prayers in His own sweet time.  There are various reasons for that:

1) He wants to refine our character and nothing changes us quicker than having problems we can’t solve.

2) Difficult circumstances make us more dependent on Him, and that’s a good thing.

3) As our concerns become more urgent and we pray more fervently, we mature in our faith.

4) Our pain makes us wiser and better equipped to minister to others.

5) Satan is at work and must be overcome so we can experience true freedom.

7) Sometimes what we thought we wanted was not the best thing for us.

8) When the wait is finally over, we’ll see that God was faithful and we’ll remember it for a long, long time.

I’ve learned from experience that when I pray persistently, seeking God’s will, everything eventually works out and I’m amazed at the results.  Hindsight is wonderful, isn’t it?  Today, 10 years after I quit my stressful job, I work in the peace and quiet of my home.  I’ve written hundreds of articles, have several book collaborations, and have a new ministry in conjunction with Starting from Scratch When You’re Single Again.  Though we have had to be careful, money has never been a huge problem for my family.

My personal history proves that we serve an amazing God.  Look back at His faithfulness in your own life and hold that experience front and center no matter how frightening the future may appear.  “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:11-12).