Today is Feb 17, 2017. My church’s Senior Pastor (Pastor Joseph Prince of New Creation Church) told us that the number 17 means victory and that this year, 2017, is going to be a very special year because 17 means victory. He also told us (and which I have checked and confirmed) that this year is the year of Jubilee in the Jewish calendar. Today’s date is 17. So it should be a very special day.
Nevertheless, I woke up this morning with a very heavy heart. Many things were troubling me, I felt I am a failure in life, not being able to achieve what I have set out to do. As I reflected on the things of the past, I kind of felt I am a jinx. There have been many tragedies..By afternoon, I was so low in spirit that I felt that life has no more meaning. There was bitterness in me, against everyone..and against God..I was very, very depressed. Fortunately, I do not have the courage to end my life. Above all, God provided me with a good friend encouraging me not to give up.
In that darkest moment, I remembered this website and I saw the blog with the scripture that says “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it” (Matthew 21:22 (NLT)). I looked up this scripture to read it in context and realised that these words were spoken from the very mouth of God, our LORD Jesus. Jesus began His sentence ‘I tell you the truth..’. Certainly whatever Jesus said is the truth. When He emphasised it by saying it… It is so much the absolute truth! Why am I not believing that?
I checked out the NIV version:
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Jesus said those words after He had cursed the fig tree and the fig tree had withered. Then Jesus said you can say to the mountain ‘Go and throw yourself…’. As I pondered on these two scenarios, they can actually mean that even when our prayers are ‘demanding’ and kind of ‘self-centred’, it does not matter.
In the past, when I read the story of the cursing of the fig tree, I never really understand why our LORD Jesus, who is so full of compassion should want to curse a fig tree. When I was young and attending bible study, I was taught by my church leaders that if we do not bear fruits, we will be thrown away. However, after a whole life of knowing how merciful, compassionate and gracious God is, I do not think that that teaching is correct. Now as I read this scripture, I believe our LORD Jesus wanted to demonstrate to the disciples that even if their request was to curse and wither a tree, they can still receive what they ask in prayer, if they believe.
Back to Jesus’ teaching that “…you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea..'”. I reflected on this. Look, Jesus could have taught us to pray that God provide us the resources to move the mountains. However Jesus said you can tell the mountain to throw itself into the sea. I asked God what this mean. God impressed upon me that not only do we believe that God will do the impossible but we are to know we have the authority and power to pray for the impossible. Pray, not babbling like the pagans (Matthew 6:7), but pray with authority, believing. Then God brought to my memory the following verse that we have the power and authority because of Christ Jesus.
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself. Ephesians 1:19-23 (New Living Translation).
I read the scripture Matthew 21:21-22 again and again. As I meditated upon it, I believe that God has heard my crying this afternoon and He has led me to read this scripture and gave me the understanding that I can pray and all that I have to do is to believe. FAITH!
All of a sudden, my strength comes back to me. I find great hopes in everything. The LORD has heard my cries and has spoken to me.
My friend, I share this with you. If you are in a difficult situation, or like me, you felt you have been in the dark tunnel for a very long time and there seems no way out, believe that God hears your prayers. We can pray for anything. If we believe, we will have what we ask for in prayers!
Faith is all that is needed. And this faith is believing that God will grant us our heart’s desire. God will. Not just believing that God can but believing that God will grant us our heart’s desire.
Indeed, today, 17 Feb 2017 is a very special day. This day shall mark the beginning of new hopes for us all.
Matthew 21:21-22 (New International Version)