One day when my five-year-old grandson, William, was staying at my house, he showed me a scratch on his little finger, and he suggested that we pray for his healing. We joined hands and each of us spoke a simple prayer out loud, and then we went about our day together. When I saw William again a few days later, he noticed that the scratch on his finger still hadn't fully healed, and he exclaimed, "Grammy, we must have prayed for the wrong finger!" I couldn't help but marvel that there were no signs of doubt, unbelief, or self-pity in my young grandson. No questions such as, "Why hasn't God healed my finger after we prayed for it?" Only childlike trust in God that He is the One to go to in times of need, and He WILL answer our prayers if we look to Him in faith.
After this incident, the Lord led me to do a study on the kind of childlike faith that Jesus praised in the Bible. In the Gospel of Matthew, we find a very enlightening passage on the subject. "At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' He called a little child and set him before them, and said, 'I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self - your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-4 AMP) First and foremost, in order to enter God's kingdom, we must turn to the Lord in heartfelt repentance for our sins, and surrender our lives to Him in earnest. We must learn to cooperate with God so that He can change us on the inside, and enable us to leave behind our old ways of thinking. As we become more and more like children who are "trusting, humble, and forgiving," we will become "greatest in the kingdom of heaven," and the Lord will bless us and use us in exciting ways for His glory.
If we want to have the faith of a child, then we must be TRUSTING. We must take God at His Word, and believe that He is a good God at all times. We must believe that He wants to bless us with good things, and we must never be suspicious of Him or His intentions. When we hear about a promise from Scripture, we should have an attitude that says, "That's for me!" We won't get depressed when we see others being blessed because we know that God's supply of blessings is limitless, and He will never run out of ways to do us good. Since children don't overthink things or try to figure out the solutions to their problems on their own, as we follow their example, we will look to the Lord for answers, knowing that He is greater than anything we will ever face, and His will for us is always knowable and doable. Scripture says: "Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track." (Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG)
Scripture goes on to say that in order to have the faith of a child, we must be HUMBLE. When little children are corrected or reprimanded, they are usually quick to be sorry, and to want to make things right with their loved ones. They haven't yet learned to be prideful the way adults tend to be. I have never heard a toddler say, "What have you done for me lately?!" They are not ambitious or haughty, and they tend to be more meek and teachable than adults. Little children are also more likely to ask for help than adults are. Scripture says: "The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God's help live in joy." (Psalm 69:32 NLT) Those who turn to the Lord for help in their time of need will witness Him intervening on their behalf. The result will be gladness, joy, and a stronger faith in God.
Little children by nature are more FORGIVING than adults. When their prayers go unanswered, they don't get mad at God. They instinctively know that God is never the problem, and that He, in fact, is always the answer. When little ones face disappointment, they don't stop praying. They never lose hope. When they fall down, they always get back up. When someone they love hurts them, they may throw a fit or pout for a while, but it isn't long before they forgive and seek reconciliation. Scripture says: "Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." (Colossians 3:13 TLB) While an adult who feels slighted, offended, or insulted may give their offender "the cold shoulder" for weeks, months, or even years, a small child is likely to run up and hug the one who hurt them before too long.
Perhaps you are thinking, "Of course it's easy for a child to have faith when they haven't really suffered or faced countless disappointments." While that may be true in some cases, it certainly is not true in my grandson, William's, case. He came into this world with two collapsed lungs, and had to endure a period of painful medical treatment in the intensive care unit during his first few days of life. Since then, he has faced one challenge after another, and he continues to deal with more doctors and health care providers than most children his age have ever had to deal with. He prays to the Lord for everything, never doubting that his prayers will be answered, because he believes that God is a good God, and He loves to bless His children. William is a tremendous inspiration to me, and his childlike, undaunted faith always convicts me in a good way.
What about you? Have you allowed the hardships and disappointments of life to dampen your faith? Repent! And put all your questions and doubts in the hands of a loving God who can't resist blessing someone with childlike faith.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times that I have been cynical, doubtful, and fearful. Give me a trusting heart that will always believe and know that You are a God who longs to bless His children. Guard me from the kind of pride that will block Your blessings, and hinder You from revealing more of Yourself to me. Teach me how to forgive everyone quickly and thoroughly the way You do. Thank You that as I demonstrate childlike faith in You and Your Word, I will live out the rest of my days filled with supernatural peace and joy!
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