“Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:22-23
Giving a child everything it wants and asks for is never good for the child, unless you by chance have a child that is of such a timid nature that it rarely, if ever, asks for anything. It’s been my observation that most children will, if encouraged, ask for far more than they need or even ought to have. If the child’s desires and requests are indulged they then develop expectations that people will always indulge them when they want something. What’s more, they will often develop the attitude that they, somehow, deserve everything they’re lavished with. The danger of this attitude becomes acute when they see that some of their peers are not as well provided for as they are and this leads to the conclusion that they are somehow better than they poorer peers.
It’s far better for a child to learn through denial that the world doesn’t revolve around them and that sometimes the hand of providence doesn’t provide all that we might want or think we need. This tunes expectations towards reality and strengthens the endurance of the moral fiber of the character.
Our Heavenly Father knows this. It was no accident that Jesus was born into a poor carpenters family. Mary and Joseph, and the circumstances of their household were chosen because they would encourage and ensure the development of a pure, godly character in our Savior.
There are some that would interpret our focus text, and others passages of a similar message, to make a lie of the truths I’ve just written. They would use them to teach that it’s God’s will that we should have every good thing and if we would just exercise faith wealth and prosperity would be ours.
But to say this is to misunderstand what faith is. Faith is knowledge that leads to action. And in the case of the things we ask for we need a knowledge of God’s will for us. Only when we know what God knows and our hearts are tuned to accept that and only that are we ready to ask in faith. And only then will we receive all that we ask for.