/ Nathan Eshelman

Sweetness of Prayer in the Bitterness of Life

The Christian life is filled with many sorrows--many trials and disappointments. In the midst of those problems, persecutions, disappointments, and discouragements--do not lose hope. Persevere in prayer. Seek sweetness in prayer. When prayers seem to go unanswered, continue to pray by faith that Christ would see you through the trial at hand, because he will! The bitterness is for a season for the believer; and the sweetness is for an eternity.

Calvin, speaking of "unanswered" prayers said:

God, even when he does not comply with our wishes, is still attentive and kindly to our prayers, so that hope relying upon his word will never disappoint us. But believers need to be sustained by this patience, since they would not long stand unless they relied upon it. For the Lord proves his people by no light trials...but often drives them to extremity, and allows them, so driven, to lie a long time in the mire before he gives them any taste of his sweetness… What could they do here but be discouraged and rush into despair if they were not, when afflicted, desolate, and already half-dead, revived by the thought that God has regard for them and will bring an end to their present misfortunes? Nevertheless, however they stand upon the assurance of that hope, they do not meanwhile cease to pray, for unless there be in prayer a constancy to persevere, we pray in vain. (Institutes, 3.20.52)
Friends, do not rush into despair in the midst of discouragement-- rush into prayer. Even when it seems as though God is not answering our prayers, we must remember that he is "attentive and kindly" towards them--and us--those on whom his love rests. Be revived by the thought that your God hears you. Bitterness will turn to sweetness as you persevere by faith.


Nathan Eshelman

Nathan Eshelman

Pastor in Orlando, studied at Puritan Reformed Theological & Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminaries. One of the chambermen on the podcast The Jerusalem Chamber. Married to Lydia with 5 children.

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