I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:13-15
We are coming to the close of John’s letter here in these verses, and so between yesterday and these last few days of January, you’ll notice that once again, John is a good teacher: He left some big points for the end, some things to resonate in our minds long after we've finished reading.
John says that he writes these things to us believers so “that you may know that you have eternal life.” If we take it in the context of the entire letter, we can feel John’s final urgings to us, dying for us to understand where his motivation is coming from: He’s not telling us these things to be harsh, mean, or critical of our faith. He’s telling us so that we know that we abide in God, so we understand the glory that is coming for us. He is telling us these things because he loves us. This feels extra important today, in regards to yesterday’s verses about eternal life.
This deep knowing, a rich understanding that we have eternal life is what John is after, a knowing that changes more than what we believe, but who we are. A knowing that changes the way we parent, or how we interact in our marriages. A knowing that affects how we see the world around us, in regards to a greater plan.
John tells us that this knowing should lead to a deep confidence- “That if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
This is something we hear in the Bible all the time, the general sentiment of “ask, and you will receive” (Matthew 7:7). But I love what John says here- that he will hear us if we ask anything according to his will.
Romans tells us that God’s will for us is for our good and his Glory. I would even go so far to say that it is our very best good, our ultimate life.
God will hear us and grant our requests if they are within the bounds of the very best plan for our lives. If it’s not in the best plan, he won’t give it to us. I am learning this January that this truly is a good thing.
He won’t let us settle for less, and this is the most loving thing he can do.
I pray that today, we would approach him with confidence, like John says we can, asking for the things we need and desire. I pray that we would accept God’s responses still with confidence, knowing that whatever his answer, it is within our best plan.