Assurance of Things Hoped For

December 3, 2018

By Virginia Brandt Berg

Audio length: 7:19
Download Audio (6.7MB)

The question is how you can know when you don’t need to pray for something any longer. Can you actually know the point at which you can cease asking God and you can begin to thank Him for what you’ve asked for? I believe that you can.

Let’s read the Bible definition of faith again. “Faith is assurance of things hoped for, a belief in things not seen.”1 So I believe that when you come to that vital place where you have the assurance of the thing that you’re hoping for, that you don’t need to ask for it any longer. Now that’s when you come to the place where you have the assurance. That’s the experience of faith, and it’s through this faith that God speaks to us when we pray.

Now there comes a question: How can you get from God the assurance that you have been heard, the vital conviction that you are being answered? If you’ll pray sincerely for that which you feel would be pleasing to God and you’ll hold on with a fixed determination, you will come to the conviction that you need pray for it no longer. Why? Because the assurance has come into your heart, because you know God has heard you and you don’t have to ask over and over again. In fact, you may feel that you just can’t pray for it any longer because by faith you have received the thing that you have asked for.

Now having meditated upon God’s promises until there’s born in your heart this assurance of things hoped for, then you come humbly before the Lord with your desire and then you enter into the faith that sees the thing you asked for. You believe as God’s Word says, that “every one that asketh receiveth.”2 You believe also the promise, “Whatsoever things ye desire, when you pray, believe you receive them, and ye shall have them.”3 Also, you believe 1 John 5:14 and 15: “This is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us; and if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him.”

You see, the same faith with which you began to pray gets stronger and stronger, and assured faith comes that keeps you from praying any longer for your desire. There’s such an assurance that God, your Father, has heard you, so your faith has truly become appropriation and possession. But remember, faith is a gift of God, and He gives the power to receive only as you’re faithful in prayer and in the reading of His blessed Word.

So many times we ask and then we don’t believe God, we don’t receive it. One time I’d asked God so long for something, and I was sitting there wondering about it. God spoke to my heart in that still small voice just as clearly, “Well, accept it! Accept it! Why don’t you accept it?”

The great point to remember here is that God’s Word is true. You must believe it in spite of every contradiction of what people say and the circumstances and conditions about you. God’s always faithful, but the Devil, who’s the father of lies, often tempts us to accept and believe feelings and circumstances instead of God’s Word.

We have that lesson about the healing of the nobleman’s son when he heard that Jesus came out of Judea into Galilee. He went and besought Jesus that He would come down and heal his son, for his son was at the point of death. It’s so often apt to be the case with us that when prayer is offered for our deliverance, we’re unwilling to believe unless we feel some wonderful power or extraordinary sensation. Sometimes there are such things, but many times there is not anything that we can see or feel or hear. But this nobleman didn’t require anything. There was urgency in the case. His son was near death, and he said, “Come down and see my child ere he die.” It was a faith which dared to press the cause earnestly and humbly, and the Lord rewarded him. He said, “Go thy way. Thy son liveth.”4

And that nobleman just turned about and went his way. There wasn’t anything else that he could cling to except to believe Christ’s word. He couldn’t immediately see his son to mark whether his condition was bettered or not. There was no visible confirmation, and he just had to believe that his son was recovered simply because Jesus had said so and His word was true. Oh, that we could believe that Christ has fulfilled His promises when we claim them in His name, even before we can see any earthly circumstances to warrant the belief.

We have yet to learn how different faith is from sight. How we limit God by looking just out of our five different faculties. We read that the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and he went his way. He didn’t look as to the way he felt, or saw, or heard. He just believed the Lord’s word. I wonder, would you have doubted the Lord’s deliverance until you met the servant who bore the glad tidings of the son’s recovery?

Let’s not limit God by asking to see this or that or that He send us some sign, some wonderful token. Let’s take Him at His Word. Believe His precious Word; it will never fail you. You can stand on the Word, and having done all, stand, for God is on the throne. Prayer does change things and will change things for you if you’ll only believe.

From a transcript of a Meditation Moments broadcast, adapted. Published on Anchor December 2018. Read by Debra Lee.

1 Hebrews 11:1.

2 Matthew 7:8.

3 Mark 11:24.

4 John 4:47–50.

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