DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY July 22, 1998 vol. 9, no. 142
KEY TO LIVING GOD'S WILL
Column by Father John H. Hampsch, C.M.F.
To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE & SECTION TWO
"Faith: Key to the Heart of God"
Forty-Ninth Installment: Intelligent Commitment part one
Faith is not a prerequisite to fellowship with God, it is a byproduct of fellowship with God. The more you are united with the Lord, the greater your faith, just as the more you are in love with your spouse, the greater your trust in your spouse. So, in the prayer of faith, we trust in the Person, not the prayer. I told a woman who had cancer that she did not have to believe God would heal her, only that He loved her and would be with her and do what is best for her under all circumstances. She needed to believe in His love as a healing love.
She felt relief. "You mean it isn't necessary for me to believe that He will heal me?"
"No," I answered, "just leave that with Him. But believe His healing love is saturating you, and then trust Him."
The woman, with just weeks to live by all medical predictions, lived five more pain-free years. She eventually died of cancer but enjoyed quite an extension of her life beyond all human expectations.
The prayer of faith is a prayer of intelligent commitment to God. It's a prayer that shares our heart's desires with God in perfect confidence.
This means that if there is actually that confidence and trust, then there is no anxiety. Paul's advice from Philippians 4:7 is too often ignored. "Don't' worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God your needs and don't' forget to thank him for his answers. Present your needs to the Lord."
The consequent peace that passes all understanding is not peace of mind; it's peace of soul and heart (John 14:27) and 16:33). "My peace I give you not as the world gives you..." It is the peace that operates without anxiety and is far more effective. It is an outcropping of a faith-filled trust referred to in Proverbs 3:6: "Trust the Lord completely. Don't ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success."
Faith is dead, it's dumb, it's blind and it's ignorant. It is dead to doubts, dumb to discouragement, blind to impossibilities and is ignorant of everything but success. Yes, it's replete with paradoxes. But its optimism is irrepressible. Faith lifts up its hands through the threatening clouds and lays hold of the generous heart of Him who has all power in Heaven and on earth (Acts 14:16). Faith makes the uplook good, the outlook favorable, and the future glorious.
In the next installment, part two of "Intelligent Commitment."
KEYS TO LIVING GOD'S WILL