For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)

Sometimes, when I'm praying for others, all I focus on are the situations they find themselves in.   It may be a health issue or a financial crisis or maybe a relational breakdown they are having with a spouse or other family member.    Praying for others is important and God wants me to do it.  But I want my prayers to be powerful and effective as they will be if I am right with God.   If I pray that God will fix everyone's problems, I will be excited when He fixes them and disheartened when He doesn't.   Does that mean I am right with God when He fixes the problem and not right when He doesn't?

Over the years I've learned that God doesn't love us by fixing our problems.  God loves us by showing us His presence and sometimes His purpose in our problems.   Still, I always pray that God will fix the problem.  That's what Jesus was doing in the garden the night He died for us and what Paul was doing when he asked God to take away a thorn in his flesh.   In fact they each prayed three times for God to fix their problem.   God didn't fix their problem, instead He helped them find eternity in their problem.   According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus endured the cross because He was focused on the joy that lay ahead of Him.   In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul is focused on the power of God being displayed in his life through the problem God did not take away.

If and when you pray for me, please feel free to ask God to take my problems away.   But please do me a big favor.   Ask God to help me focus on the glory I will share with Him in eternity for all we do as He walks with me through my problem.  Pray that I won't miss Jesus and that I will purpose to serve Him faithfully today and that I would make this my priority.   The answer to the first prayer will benefit me for a little while.   The answer to the second prayer will benefit me forever!  Pray like this for me and I will do the same for you!   I'm looking forward to the glory we will share with Jesus in eternity because of the problems God did not take away!