And he said, 'go again,' seven times. - 1 Kings 18:43
Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of response, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are serious about a matter that concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God and never for a moment gave way to the fear that he would not be suited for Jehovah's courts. Six times the servant returned, but on each occasion no word was spoken but "Go again."
We must not dream of unbelief but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel's peak, and if nothing is seen, she sends again and again. So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is quickened to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled but not crushed: Her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement, but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer, but believing souls have learned to be submissive and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord. Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation: Deadly blows are then struck at our corruption, and the sinful images are cleansed. The great danger is that men should faint and miss the blessing.
Reader, do not fall into that sin, but continue to watch and pray. At last the little cloud was seen, the sure forerunner of torrents of rain; and even so with you, the token for good will surely be given, and you will rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man with passions just like us: His power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing persistence, and it will be with you according to your desire.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Ezekiel 31
verse 2 Psalms 79
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.