In this series of quick bible studies, we’re focusing on biblical examples of faith in action. In other words, we’re searching the scriptures to find examples of people who have stepped out in faith.
Philemon 1:22 [NKJV] says, “But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.”
Philemon is one chapter, and it’s a letter written by Paul to Philemon (“our beloved friend and fellow laborer”) as well as to Apphia, Archippus, and the church in their house.
I was reading the book of Philemon (which is only one chapter) and verse 22 just jumped off the page! Here’s Paul, who is asking Philemon and the others to prepare a guest room for him – even before he is sure that he is going. In other words, Paul is asking them to step out in faith and prepare the room, and pray for him to be granted by God to come see them.
Paul is instructing the readers of the letter to pray for God to allow Paul to come visit them. And, as a result of your prayers, prepare a room in anticipation of the prayers being answered. Faith in action!
It reminds us of what Jesus said in Mark 11:22-24 [NKJV]:
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 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. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
And these scriptures in 1 John 5:14-15 [NKJV]:
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
And, Jesus’ words in Matthew 21:
18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?”
21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Here’s an expanded version of Philemon 1:22:
At the same time also prepare a guest room for me [in expectation of a visit], for I trust that through your prayers I will be [granted the gracious privilege of] coming to you [at Colossae].
The word “trust” in this phrase also means “hope”. Here are other verses that use the same word “trust” or “hope”:
Romans 8:25 (NKJV):
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We’ll continue our study of examples in the bible of people who have stepped out in faith in future posts!