I have to admit, it seems at times that John jumps around a lot in his thoughts. And the jump between verses 13 and 14 seems a bit startling as well. How do we go from talking about the confidence we have in our salvation and God hearing our prayers and answering them.
But in this case, perhaps the jump isn’t as big as we might first think. The apostle Paul wrote,
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
In other words, if God loved us so much that he would give what was most precious to him, his Son, won’t he give us all things we need?
And I think John is making the same point here. He says,
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him. (13-15)
Sometimes we are reluctant to come to God with our requests. Perhaps we feel we are being too selfish or self-centered.
But as children of God, we should come before God with confidence no matter our request. Why?
Because if we loved us enough to save us when we cried out to him, he will love us enough to listen to us whenever we come before him with any request we may have, large or small.
And because he saved us, we can be confident that he is looking out for our best. That means he will never give us anything that would harm us, but only the things that would benefit us.
That’s where the caveat comes in. If we ask anything according to his will, he will hear us. If what we ask for is something he knows is for our good, he will hear us, and grant our request. If it is not, he will not.
So let us not hesitate to come before God with our requests. But let us come before him as trusting children. And as his trusting children, let us always believe that he desires our best through his yeses and nos.
After all, through the cross, he has certainly proved himself worthy of that trust.