How to Navigate the Worst Season of Your Life Part 1

John Ettore   -  

In my last post, I gave an introduction to the message I preached the week after my wife died titled, “How to Navigate the Worst Season of Your life.” In that message I answered four questions. I will attempt to answer those four questions over the next four posts. Today’s question: Why didn’t Hope get healed? (You can plug in your loved-one’s name here, or any “unanswered prayer” you’ve experienced)

My answer to that question is, I don’t know. I know that is unsatisfying. But I used every weapon in my spiritual arsenal, and was completely convinced she would be healed, and it didn’t happen. The only thing I can offer you is what I call my “4 Box Theology”

Box one is, “Five Biblical Reasons” why we don’t experience the results from our prayers. These are Sin, Unbelief, Satanic opposition, God’s timing, and God’s will. These are all found plainly in the Scriptures.

Once I have exhausted this box, I move on to the second box. I call this box, the “Revelation Box.” This is when you need the Holy Spirit to reveal to you why your prayers are not working. One example would be a friend of mine who was a prophet who traveled the world healing others, and yet he had a nasal condition he couldn’t get healed for years. One day he was in a meeting and the preacher told him, “You haven’t forgiven your father.” My friend knew that was true and forgave his father right then and there. Immediately his condition was instantaneously healed.

The third box is the hardest box to live with. It is the “Questions Mark Box.” Box one and two give us answers to our dilemma. This box leaves us hanging. Unresolved. Unsatisfied. Frustrated. Disappointed. BUT it also opens the door, if we will let it, to a gift from God – a peace that passes our understanding.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

You see, if peace is dependent on understanding everything, there would be no need for the “peace that exceeds anything we can understand.” There will be times in life when you do not understand things – like why bad things happen to good people – and more specifically, to your good person. And if your only avenue to peace is gaining understanding, you will end up frustrated, angry, and spiritually stuck. That is why He offers us this supernatural peace. Yes, I know, I would rather Him give us the answers too, but if He isn’t going to, I’d rather have His peace than bitterness.

The last box is the “Sovereignty of God” box. I don’t like this one either because it means He is in control, and I’m not. But, at the end of the day, God rules. And He is good. So no matter what my situation is, or how I am perceiving my situation, I know God is good, and one day, hopefully, He will explain it to me. But even if He doesn’t, I will choose to humble myself under His mighty hand – His hand of blessings and comfort.

And finally, what I do know is that if I allow the disappointment of not seeing Hope healed short-circuit my prayer life, I won’t see any more miracles. I won’t experience any answered prayers because I’m not praying.

I want to encourage you to put all of your “unanswered” prayers in a drawer and close the drawer. Then open the drawer of your “prayables” and start praying again. I believe that as you begin to get some wins, some results from your new prayers, it will help restore your faith, your hope, your trust in God’s goodness, and bring joy back into your relationship with God – and others.

I hope this helps.