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How to Persevere When Your Mountain Doesn’t Move

4. Do keep on praying as you persevere.

Some mountains are worn down very slowly over time and that’s why Jesus told us to persevere in prayer. He said:

In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ Luke 18:2–3 ESV)

Day after day she came and made her request and finally, even though the judge was not a good man, he gave her what she asked for just so that she would go away. Jesus says, ‘how much more then should you expect to see results from your persistence in prayer? You aren’t praying to a bad man, you are praying to a good God!’

So if you pray against your mountain — in faith — and it seems like nothing happens, pray again. In prayer, you should persevere. And then pray again the next day. And then the next day. And then the next day. Sometimes mountains move one inch and one prayer at a time.

Do keep on praying and do not turn on God.

5. Do not turn on God, but persevere.

The middle third of the Book of Job is taken up with speeches as Job and his three friends try to figure out why he is suffering so terribly. His friends contend that he must be a great sinner — Job contends that this is not the case. He argues for his innocence — and at the end, God vindicates his case; but along the way, Job does not always speak as carefully as he might. In fact at one point Job seems to speak of God as if he is an enemy; as if he is, like a killer whale, making sport out of his victim.

But that is not what is going on. A young man who has been listening to the exchange speaks up in God’s defense and he speaks some of the wisest human words in the entire book. He says, “Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any” (Job 36:5 ESV)

God doesn’t hate you, Job! That isn’t what this is about. God is something good in this situation even if no one can see what that is. He defends God further saying, “He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity… Behold, God is exalted in his power; who is a teacher like him?” (Job 36:15–22 ESV).

God has purposes in our pain — perhaps to save us, perhaps to teach us — perhaps to do something we will never understand.

But he is good.

Hating God doesn’t make it any better. In the end, it is the worst of all decisions.

So when your mountain doesn’t move don’t turn on God, but do widen your perspective.

6. Do widen your perspective to persevere.

Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered because we are asking for the wrong things. James, the brother of Jesus said: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3 ESV)

Sometimes we pray for what we want rather than praying for what would glorify God. Jesus was very clear about why he was giving us power in prayer. He said: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 ESV)

We were promised power so that the Father would be glorified in the Son — not so that we would never personally suffer.

That’s a significant distinction.

As human beings in particular relationships and with particular limitations, we tend to pray for what we want. We want our loved ones to be ok. We want them to be well. We want them to flourish.

That’s ok.

You can and you should pray for that — but because you know that God sees the whole board, and because you know that he has ultimate purposes whereas you have immediate purposes, it is never a bad thing to end your prayers by saying, “Nevertheless Lord, not my will but thine be done”.

I want my loved one to be healed — but I understand that you might be working a different (and better?!) plan.

I want my loved one to be ok — but I understand that your definition of ok might be different (and better?!) than mine.

Paul Carter
Paul Carter
Paul is the happy husband of Shauna Lee and the proud papa of 5 beautiful children, Madison, Max, Mikayla, Peyton and Noa. He blogs over at The Gospel Coalition Canada and hosts a devotional podcast called Into The Word.

Chick-fil-A Summer Skills Camp Stirs Up Controversy With People Calling it “Child Labor”

A Chick-fil-A Summer Camp has sparked a lively debate about teaching children life skills through blue collar jobs. While some view it as an innovative educational opportunity, others see it as a controversial initiative that treads close to child labor.

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12-Year-Old Girl Dies by Suicide After Being Relentlessly Bullied and Harassed at School

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