S. MATT. xxi. 22. All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
WHAT a world, then, my brethren, this would be, if we believed ! Now it is full of discontent, heaviness, aching of the heart, weariness of soul, looking forward to things which we have not, repining for things which we have lost, feeding on ashes, complaining of what we have or have not, indulgence in things which bring remorse, sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind.
And yet what idle fretting, what waste of heart and soul and mind and strength all this is, since our Lord Himself says, what we ask we may have! Who would fret about that he had not, if he really believed that for asking, he might have it? Who would be anxious about that which he feareth, if he believed that, on asking, it might be removed ? Who would vex himself, as if life had no joy nor peace nor abiding rest, if he believed that on asking, he might have more than his fill, more than he could contain of inward joy and radiant gladness or deep peace, and never-failing rest ? Who would, all his life-long, in restless weariness, chase after shadows of happiness which he never overtakes, if he knew that, if he would ask it of God, it would, hour by hour, be shed around him, meet him in all his ways, brighten all sadness, deepen all gladness ?
But you will say perhaps, ' Has this asking and having no conditions ?' Clearly all promises have conditions, in the very nature of things. A father would not give his son poison or a sword, if he thought he would destroy himself; or his patrimony, if he knew that he would waste it. To us Almighty God makes promises, as to His children, whom He loves and whom He has made to love Him. He knows and wills and loves our good and our well-being, better than we. It would not belong to His character as All-wise and All-loving, to give us foolish or vain or hurtful things. It cannot be part of His meaning, that He would give us such things, as it would be contrary to His very love to give us, to our own hurt. But it is true, that this asking and having has no bound, except our own real good.