Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
  ~ about hope and faith

Believe and Receive

By Virginia Brandt Berg

Audio 5.85MB

I well remember a time in my own life when I had prayed, ceaselessly it seemed, and in fact had done almost everything else that I knew to do, and yet there was no answer to my prayer. I had come to the end of myself and could do nothing more. But why did not God answer? I took my Bible, and turning the pages I prayed earnestly, when my eyes fell on these very words: “Having done all, stand.”[1]

Immediately I saw the truth. I had been asking and asking of the Lord, but there had been no receiving on my part. And I said to myself, “Why, here I have been virtually blaming the Lord for not answering my prayer when I have not been doing my part at all, though I felt I had done everything I could think of. I will do what this verse of scripture says; that is, “Having done all, to stand.”

Immediately upon this determination the following words formed themselves in my mind. Though I had never thought of them before, they seemed to come from my very heart, sentence after sentence, until each verse took shape:

I take the stand, I count it done,
God answers through His precious Son.
It is His Word, it cannot fail,
Though all the powers of hell assail.
So come what may, the promise mine.
I'll hold it to the end of time.

I take the stand, I count it done,
God answers through His precious Son.
He's never failed, oh, praise His name;
For Jesus Christ is just the same.
So live or die, or sink or swim,
Through every test I'll trust in Him.

I believed that the Lord had heard me, that His Word could not fail, and that what I was asking was absolutely within His will. So I began to praise and thank Him that the answer was on the way. “And having done all” I stood my ground with real expectancy of soon seeing the complete realization.

Within six hours the prayer was definitely answered, but I could not praise Him any more than I had when I took the “stand of faith” upon His Word, for so deep had been my assurance and so keen my expectation that it was already mine by faith — “the evidence of things not seen.”[2]

I know how deep-seated is the natural desire to have some visible evidence that our petition is granted, but to have any other evidence than God’s Word is not faith. God says so, and that’s enough. The man or woman who walks by faith needs no other evidence than that. We shall see because we have believed, not believe because we have seen.

David says in Psalm 27:13, “I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” You will note that he had not yet seen the answer, but “he believed to see.”

It is during this period when we are “believing to see” (after we have taken the stand of faith, yet we have not seen the full realization), that there comes the test period. You remember that Daniel went through this trying time and how the Lord spoke these words unto him: “From the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard.” Yet God’s Word teaches that there was a delay of three weeks before Daniel really received the answer, though the scripture says he was heard from the very first day.[3] What sweet comfort there is in this story, for we can say to our own hearts right now, “From the first day that you prayed, He heard you.”

The answer’s coming,
Never fear,
The answer’s coming,
It’s almost here.
Keep on believing,
Just trust and obey,
The answer’s coming,
It’s on the way.
— Phil Kerr

I would like to add one more verse of scripture at this point. This is one of the sweetest faith verses in God’s Word: “They that believe have entered into rest.”[4]

It would really be amusing at times if it were not so serious how very difficult it is for people to grasp this simple principle of faith that can secure them so many blessings and definite answers to prayer. Difficult perhaps because it is so simple.

Countless times I have prayed with people, claiming some precious promise from His Word and feeling that everything was right, and within His will, and that we might really praise Him for the answer; but upon arising from my knees, I would find to my amazement that the one I had been praying with was not believing at all, but simply hoping that the Lord had somehow heard.

Then over and over again I’ve said, “Why, your part is to believe that you receive. Only believe, sister, only believe.” And they would repeat the words after me, but I knew from their expression that they were not believing for that moment, but hoping in an indefinite sort of way for some future evidence that God had heard that prayer. And sometimes months and even years afterwards they have come excited as a child, faces all aglow, jubilant in spirit, as if they had just made a brand-new discovery of which no one had ever told them a thing. “Why, sister, the Lord has just revealed to me the most wonderful thing — I am just to believe that I have received, just as Mark 11:24 says, ‘When you pray, believe that you receive and you shall have.’ Oh, it’s so wonderful to find that all I have to do is just believe.”

Somewhat wearily one has to answer, “That is just what I have been trying to tell you for two years”; and I have had them look back at me rather surprised and say, “Oh, is that what you were trying to explain to me?”

So after all, God’s Spirit must enlighten the heart to understand this great principle of faith. Ask Him and He will “do exceeding abundantly, above all you ask or think.”[5]

Originally published 1934. Republished on Anchor April 2012.


1 Ephesians 6:13.
2 Hebrews 11:1.
3 Daniel 10:12–13.
4 Hebrews 4:3.
5 Ephesians 3:20.

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