And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
I recently listened to the testimony of Dr Ming Wang, a world-renowned laser eye surgeon. As a poor Chinese immigrant, he migrated to America where he studied at various schools. During his studies, he became a Christian. He later began the Wang Vision Institute and established a foundation to restore sight to orphans around the world.
During this time, he met Kajal, a little Indian girl, whose stepmother had poured acid into her eyes. He prayerfully performed the surgery to restore her sight but was sorely disappointed when the surgery failed. It shook his faith in God. He questioned why God would allow such a terrible thing to happen in the first place and even if He did, why would He not allow her to be healed. He battled with discouragement for months and did not feel able to continue helping orphan children. He felt God did not care to answer their prayer.
That year during his annual fundraising event, Kajal and her host families were special guests. He overheard an interesting comment made by one of the boys who had spent some time with Kajal during the course of that year. The boy turned to his father and told him that it was okay, he did not need an iPod anymore. At that point, Dr Wang realised the influence of Kajal on that boy’s life and on the life of the other American children around her. He realised that in spite of her suffering, Kajal had chosen to move on. She had chosen to still experience joy and happiness and to live her life as best she could in spite of what life had sent her way. He paralleled that to our relationship with God. The strength of our faith is not about immediately getting what we want when we ask God for something. Rather it’s about still having faith and confidence in God even when He doesn’t seem to give us what we ask for and about trusting that He will answer but in His time and in His way.
As much as I love sharing testimonies about God’s miraculous healing and deliverance, I love how real this one is. It reminds me of the reality that God will always give us what He knows is best for us. I am reminded of the stories of Jairus (Luke 8:40-42, 49-56) and Martha and Mary (John 11:1-16, 38-44). Both suffered the death of their loved one. Jesus chose not to heal either Jairus’s daughter or Lazarus, Martha and Mary’s brother, before they died. He could have but He did not. Instead, He got to them after their death and performed a greater miracle in their death than He could have done when they were alive and sick. God always has a bigger picture and plan! In both those cases, He still performed a miracle - He brought them back to life. It wasn’t what the families had asked for but He did answer their cry in His own way and in His own time.
But, what about those prayers that seem to go unanswered. We pray, we stand on God’s Word, we trust and yet nothing seems to be happening. What then? I believe God still answers. But I also believe He wants us to be able to determine which is more important to us - getting what we want or HIM? Sometimes, I think that what we want becomes so much more important to us than God Himself, that that thing becomes God to us.
Will you still trust God even when you don’t get what you want? Will you still serve Him even if things don’t work out the way you would like? One thing I do know is that God has a perfect and beautiful plan for each of us. When He tells us: “I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11), that means that He will always desire to give us far more than we could hope or ask for. But, we have to be willing to let go sometimes of our will and of our desire and trust that He has heard us, He is working on it and He will do what He knows is best. Can you trust Him enough to allow Him to give you His best for you?
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour I invite you to do so today. God will never give you less than His best for you. He will never ignore your cries or your requests but will always work out His good plan and purpose for you in His own way and in His own time. Just trust Him!
While at work thirty miles away, Gary received a frantic call from his wife, Robin. She was experiencing an intense headache and felt like she was having a stroke. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance where she was then flown by helicopter to another hospital where she underwent immediate surgery.
Gary quickly drove to the hospital praying all the way. He found out that his wife suffered a brain bleed and according to her doctor, seventy-one percent of people don’t survive what she was going through. After the surgery, she was put on life support and Gary sent out requests for prayer to friends and family. Someone from his church sent him a text which stated that this was not unto death but to the glory of God. He held tightly to that word while Robin had her good days and her bad days.
One day, as Gary pulled into his driveway after a visit to the hospital, he heard in his spirit the words: “Whose report are you gonna believe?” Out loud he responded: “I choose to believe Your Word!” The next day when he visited her, Robin was showing signs of improvement. Both Gary and the doctor agreed that she was looking better. As if in agreement with them, Robin threw her right arm up over her head! Her improvement continued over the next three months. Today she is fully recovered with no serious side effects and is even back out to work much to the amazement of her doctor.
What truly catches my attention is the Lord asking Gary whose report he was going to believe, to which Gary responded without hesitation that he chose to believe His Word. Gary remembered the Word from the Lord and expected nothing less than what God had told him would to come to pass. So, in spite of doctors cautioning him not to get too hopeful, he held on to his hope in God’s direct Word to him.
I really believe that God’s Word is powerful. I believe that it cannot return to Him empty. In other words, as I like to tell God, His Word must return to Him saying: “Mission accomplished!” It cannot return to Him without fulfilling the task He sent it to fulfil. Gary knew his wife would not die because he believed that God had told him so. Even though the doctors' words were discouraging, he chose to hold on to God’s Word not theirs.
Again, it’s a faith thing. You either believe God or you don’t. The key thing is knowing what He has said to you. I have learned to delve into His Word myself and allow Him to guide me to the scriptures suited to my situation. It is not easy holding on to His Word when there are voices around you telling you otherwise.
Psalm 119:105 says: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” God’s Word is there to guide us, to light up our path showing us the way we should go. It may not always be easy especially when you may only see directly in front of you and not further ahead. Yet, it’s also about trusting God to give you only so much guidance as needed, as He takes you through that situation. God wants us to trust Him every step of the way. I think that’s why He doesn’t give us the whole picture all at once. Gary could not see the end of this situation, neither could his wife. They both had to trust that, step by step, God would lead them to a safe destination.
At times I am asked about knowing God’s voice. I think that as God’s children, we know His voice. The problem is we may not always like what His voice is saying to us. Yet, at the end of the day, God will lead us to a safe and desirable destination and we will be able to look back and say: “Look what the Lord has done!”
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. God desires relationship with us, the kind of relationship where we know His voice and trust His Word to us especially in challenging situations. He will never lead us astray and will always be there to help us safely navigate every difficult path we face on the way to His desired purpose for us.
Cristina, an athlete and professional body-builder, was forced to deliver her baby by emergency C-section due to dangerously high blood pressure. She had been diagnosed with preeclampsia and doctors expected her blood pressure to stabilise after the baby was born. This did not happen. Instead, days after delivering her baby, she suffered a stroke and started to bleed. The doctors were able to stop the bleeding but told her that she could possibly die. If she did live, her mobility would be limited.
As the days passed, mobility proved difficult and she relied on her faith and prayer to help her through. She refused to accept what she had been told and prayed that God would bring her blood pressure down enough so that she could go outside. Her family, friends and church supported her in prayer and within a week her blood pressure went down and she was discharged from the hospital. Her blood pressure, however, remained elevated and caused fainting spells, dizziness, blurred vision and headaches. The doctors had very little hope for her recovery.
She desperately wanted to be the person and mother she desired to be and knew that with God’s help she could do it. She drew her strength from God and His Word. She changed her diet and started working out again. She improved slowly finally regaining her mobility and coming off her medication. It was not easy but she admits that prayer is what got her through. It took her four years to find complete healing. She is now able to enjoy motherhood and is back to competitive bodybuilding where she has won several awards. She is still off all medications and her blood pressure remains normal.
One of the things about Cristina that caught my attention, is the fact that she refused to accept or receive the negative news from doctors. She refused to accept her condition and chose not to simply lie down and die in it. She partnered with God and leaned heavily on prayer and on His strength to see her through. Yes, she struggled with her mobility and with the negative effects of high blood pressure. She was discouraged I am sure, with the negative reports from doctors, yet, she chose not to give up, she chose to keep going. I believe she simply chose to live and to live the best life God had for her. This meant that her focus was on what God could do not on the little she or the doctors could do.
I am reminded of the story of the two blind men sitting at the side of the road (Matthew 20:29-34). When they heard that Jesus was coming they shouted to get His attention. The crowd told them to be quiet but they cried out even more loudly. They too made up their minds that they were not going to remain in their condition. The answer to their healing was coming their way and they were not going to miss the opportunity to be healed by Him! The negative voices did not stop them. Their inability to see Jesus for themselves did not stop them. They heard that He was coming and their focus was on what they knew He could do for them.
As I said last week, the faith walk is not an easy one. It can be easier to trust what we can see but it is certainly not more rewarding. God desires that we live an abundant life in Christ. No, it does not mean a perfect life and it certainly does not mean a life free from sickness, disease, pain or disappointment. But, when we choose to partner with God, we can live the best life He has for us. We can have the confidence that God will always have our back and give us the strength we need to make it through tough times and seasons.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. God does not want us to live a limited life. He wants us to enjoy the best he has for us. And, with Him in it, all the strength, support, love and joy we need will sustain and keep us no matter what comes our way.
Recently, I was encouraged by the testimony of Barbara, who battled with a painful infection in her foot. It turned out to be a severe bone infection and some months after her initial doctor’s visit, she was told she would have to amputate her foot to possibly save her life. Although her faith was strong, at times she felt discouraged. At these times God used various people including her husband to encourage her. She even heard and received a word of knowledge on her healing. The healing, however, was not immediate yet she leaned on her faith in God believing that He would do what He promised. She believed that God would heal her in His time. At one time, when it seemed like the infection was going away another infection arose. It was very discouraging, yet, she felt God encouraging her to walk by faith not by sight.
During her fourth MRI, she remembers having a peace and feeling a river of life, hope, love, healing flowing from the top of her head to the sole of her feet. She believed God had done something, God had shown up. A few days later, when her doctor looked at her MRI he found no signs of a bone infection. In fact, he had to use the previous MRI to locate where the wound had been on her foot. Today Barbara is in excellent health and is thankful for the doctors, medicine and prayers that contributed to her healing. Thanks to this experience she has grown closer to God and has learned to walk by faith not by sight. She encourages us to believe in God’s perfect timing even when we don’t see the results of our healing.
I am encouraged by Barbara’s tenacious faith in God. Even when things were not going as she wanted, and in fact they got worse, she chose to hold on to God’s promise of healing. We love to hear about God’s promises but admittedly, when they are not manifesting as quickly as we would like, it can be easy for our faith to waver. We may even find ourselves turning away from God as desperation sets in and we seek other means of healing or deliverance.
I am reminded of the story of the Syrophenician woman who insisted that Jesus cast a demon out of her daughter (Mark 7:25-30). The Lord’s response may have seemed cold as He in turn responded that He must first help His own people, the Jews: “But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled for it is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it unto the dogs” (v. 27). Her response was even more amazing: “And she answered and said unto Him, Yes Lord, yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (v. 28). She absolutely refused to give up even though the Lord of the universe had just turned down her request! She believed in what Jesus could do for her daughter and she held on to that and refused to take no for an answer. Jesus, moved by her determination and faith, did as she requested and when she returned home her daughter was delivered.
Sometimes, we have to have tenacious faith. Even though things are not going the way we expect, even though things may be getting worse, once we know that we know that God has spoken, we need to hold on to His promise and trust that in His perfect timing He will bring it to pass.
I am also reminded of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8-38. The prophet Elisha had promised she would give birth to a son. It happened as he had promised. However, one day the child died. Although she held a dead child in her arms and she was distressed, she consistently told everyone who asked that it was well. She earnestly sought the prophet who prayed for him and he was restored to life. She had been promised a son and refused to accept his death. She chose to walk by faith not by sight!
The faith walk is not an easy one. The good thing is you don’t have to do it alone. God is right there on that journey with you and He is the One to bring His promise to pass. It’s about trusting His timing and expecting Him to keep His Word.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. God is still the God who is able to do the impossible and He keeps His promises. He is well able to make His own Word a reality in His own perfect timing. Just trust Him.
A few minutes after working out at the gym, Pastor Mark collapsed and died. When his son arrived paramedics were attempting to revive him. On the way to the hospital, he flatlined twice. In the ICU, they were able to revive him but there was little they could do.
He was airlifted to another hospital where he could receive further care. He was put in a medically induced coma and his family told that he might not wake up. The next day was his birthday and he was barely clinging to life. As his family cried out to God, his wife felt the Holy Spirit tell her to just stand. She knew that she could stand on who God was and that He was Healer, He was in control. She did not even have to worry about the words to speak in prayer, she could simply stand. This set the tone for their belief in Pastor Mark’s healing. Family and church members prayed earnestly for his healing.
Miraculously, about 72 hours after the heart attack, the doctor called his name and he woke up. It was like a Lazarus moment that gave them hope that he was going to make it. That Sunday he was able to watch church online and encourage the members on his progress. Later that day they received the news that he had no signs of brain damage or residual damage to his heart and they expected a full recovery. He was soon back in church sharing his testimony and is now back in the gym. He believes that God is not finished with him and that He has given him a second chance.
The main thing that stands out for me in this testimony is the fact that God told Pastor Mark’s wife to simply stand. The word stand can mean: to maintain one’s position; to remain firm in the face of… It could also mean to depend on. I think all three apply here. She had to choose to stand not on her own strength or ability but on God’s.
We too have to do the same. It’s about trusting God, standing on His Word and promises especially in the face of negative situations. It can be so easy to submit to the negative we see or hear and to allow that to dictate our faith and our actions. Standing may also mean not always knowing all the details but trusting that the God who knows it all will work it all out for our good.
I love the fact that at the end of the day, Pastor Mark believes firmly that God is not finished with him. Sometimes our battle, our challenge, may lead us to believe that it’s over. The reality is that just because the problem is too big for us to handle does not mean that it’s too big for God or that it's the end. There are too many lessons God may want us to learn in that season. It may seem like the end but it’s not. God is still working, He is still fighting, He is still shifting things around and putting things in place to bring about His desired end.
It is so important to know and listen to God’s voice in those trying seasons because whatever God tell us is what will indeed stand. Every other negative word will fail but God and His Word will stand! I have proven and continue to prove this truth. Whatever God told me in challenging situations came to pass. This was how God built my faith, trust and confidence in Him.
Today, I just want to remind you to stand. You may feel like giving up, you may feel like giving in, but make that choice to stand. Don’t stand on what your eyes may see but on who God is and on His Word. God is able and He never fails. He stands by His Word and always brings it to pass. He is not finished with you. This trial is not a full stop. It’s not the end of your story. God is still writing your story. There may be more chapters to complete. There may even be more books to write but God is still the author and He decides.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. God has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life. It’s not over. He’s not finished with you. Just trust who He is and what He is able to do. He won’t fail you.
While I’m waiting I’m getting stronger
My faith is rising and I will run on
While I’m waiting I’m lifting up on
wings as eagles
I believe I will trust in You.
(While I’m Waiting by Travis Greene)
The whole topic of waiting can be a ticklish one. The questions may arise: “How do I wait? What do I do while I wait? Should I be passive or active?” I certainly don’t have all the answers but as I told someone recently, waiting is not necessarily a passive exercise.
I think here of David. After he was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel, he continued to live a relatively normal life. He continued to submit himself to the relevant authorities and do as he was instructed. He served king Saul when the latter needed a musician to soothe his troubled spirit and even served his country when they needed a contender to fight against their Philistine enemy, Goliath. I think though that David’s most challenging season of waiting was while he was being pursued by king Saul. He knew he had been anointed king, but here was the present king trying to kill him. Many times he was discouraged and feared for his life. Maybe at times he wondered if he would ever become king.
He became the leader of those who were in distress, those in debt and those who were generally discontented (I Samuel 22:2). He could have chosen to keep to himself. Yet, whether or not he realised it, God was preparing him to lead an entire nation. Yes, he feared for his life and made many mistakes during this season, but God was moulding and shaping him more than he realised. He strengthened him in his times of despair and never left him even when he gave up. In this season, David was painfully learning to trust God even as first and foremost he waited on God to deliver him from his enemies.
Waiting is never an easy season to be in. It can be filled with uncertainty and fear as you wonder when deliverance will come, when and if your dreams will still come true. David said: “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). David held on to the fact that while he still alive he would see God’s goodness operating in his life. As bad as things looked for him at times, he held on to hope in God. He ends that Psalm with this encouragement: “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord” (v.14). In spite of it all, David knew that his help would come from the Lord, that God would provide the strength and encouragement needed in difficult times.
So much can happen while we wait. As I said before, waiting is not necessarily a passive exercise, it can be a very active one. While we wait we can grow, we can learn, we can occupy ourselves constructively. As Isaiah put it, we can even mount up on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). In short, we can learn to soar, to prosper and thrive while we wait. Jesus never waited for the storm to end, He simply walked on those rough waters and chose to be in control in the midst of the storm!
Waiting is NOT a dead season where nothing is happening. In fact, it can be a very active, productive one. It may mean working strategically on the problem; it may also mean allowing God to work in and through us so that when and however God chooses to bring that season to an end, we are more than ready to embrace all that God has in store for us.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to make that step today. Waiting is an inevitable part of life. It may not be an easy season but it is a necessary one. It is in this season that God may do His greatest work in us, moulding and shaping us into what He wants us be.
What my eyes can’t see, I still believe
Everything spoken to me
There’s no word that can come back void
I will trust the report of the Lord (While I’m Waiting, Travis Greene)
Today, I heard a song I have not heard for a long time. I found myself searching for it on YouTube and listening to it on replay. The above lyrics come from that song, While I’m Waiting, by Travis Greene. I am reminded of the reality that we may all be waiting for something - healing, financial breakthrough, restoration of a relationship, etc. I am beginning to believe that waiting is an integral part of our human existence. We don’t always like it but interestingly, we need it because it is in the waiting sometimes that God can do His greatest work in us. We would all like for the end result to come quickly yet, it is in that sometimes difficult season that we grow, we develop, we are made stronger, wiser, more able and equipped to handle whatever life brings our way.
I love the first few lines of the verse above. We would all prefer, I’m sure, to see so that we can believe. However, that is not always how God allows things to happen. I recall the story of Thomas, one of the twelve disciples who was not present when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection (John 20:24-29). When told of their meeting, Thomas declared that he would not believe until he was able to see and touch the nail scars in His hands and touch his side which had been pierced. We love to call him doubting Thomas but many of us are just like him. We find it difficult to hold on to faith when there is no physical evidence to back it up. Yet, God wants us to trust Him, to trust that His Word to us is all we need at times and it will come to pass. According to Isaiah 55:10-11, God’s Word will not return to Him empty but it will accomplish what He says it will accomplish. Have you ever trusted someone, trusted that they will do what they say? Well, it’s the same with God. We can trust that what He tells us He will do, He will truly do. The problem however, may not be what He says but the fact that we have to wait for it to come to pass. It is during this period that our faith and trust may begin to waver.
God had promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation (Genesis 12:2). The problem was Abraham’s wife, Sara, was barren. On top of that, they were both very old and his wife past the stage of child-bearing. There was nothing in their favour to help bring God’s Word to him to pass. This would have to be all God’s doing. Twenty-five years later God did as He had promised and Sarah gave birth to a son, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3). I am sure the wait was not any easy one. I do not think, however, that Abraham ever wavered in his faith that God would make him the father of many nations. He just had a hard time understanding exactly how God would do it in the face of their obvious limitations. And sometimes, it’s the same with us.
I don’t know what your waiting season looks like but I am pretty sure it is not an easy one. Your faith may have wavered many times and maybe there were times when you simply gave up. But God may be saying to you today, don’t give up. If He has given you a Word it is His responsibility to bring it to pass, not yours. You may not know how, when or who He will choose to use. You just have to trust that He will get the job done. It may take a few weeks, a few months, or even years but God is not constrained or controlled by time like we are. His timing will always be perfect. So, while you’re waiting, choose to still believe His Word to you no matter how long it takes.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. While you wait for problems to resolve, for situations to turn around, for breakthrough to come, God is not worried like you may be. He knows that His Word is sure and His timing is perfect. So, as difficult as it may be, trust Him because He WILL bring His Word to pass.
What makes the Bible interesting is the fact that the stories told generally have an intriguing twist that reflects God’s fascinating character. God never quite seems to do things in the way we would expect. The way in which He delivers, saves, keeps, sustains His people is sometimes simply mind-boggling. He clearly doesn’t think the way we do, or does things in the logical human way we would expect. He also uses the most unlikely people to carry out great works on His behalf.
The story of the four leprous men in 2 Kings 7:3-20 is one of many examples of this. Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, had besieged Samaria, the then capital of Israel. There was also a famine in Samaria at that time. As four leprous men sat at the gate of the city, they realised that they had to make a decision - they could enter the city and die there from the famine or they could remain at the gate where they would also die. They decided to go to the camp of the Syrians and surrender themselves to the Syrian army. Whether or not their lives were spared, it would certainly be better than their present situation.
Taking a bold step of faith is not always easy. It usually means coming out of our comfort zone to go to the unknown. Those lepers had no idea what they were going to meet or what would happen when they surrendered to the Syrians but they decided that they had had enough. They were stagnant where they were and needed to do something to change their present situation. Trusting God can sometimes feel like that. Even though where we are is not the best, stepping out of that comfortable space may cause us to feel uncertainty and fear. Yet, when we move forward keeping our eyes fixed on God, we can have the confidence that He sees and knows what we don’t and He will lead us the right way.
When the lepers arrived at the Syrian camp no one was there. The Lord had caused the Syrians to hear the sound of a great army and they had quickly left their camp leaving everything behind. Isn’t it like God to fight battles for us without needing us to be present for the battle? The Israelites had no idea what had happened in the Syrian camp and that God had caused the army to scatter in fear.
There are times when God may step in and fight on our behalf and we don’t have to lift a finger to do a thing. I can testify of this. Recently God fought a battle for me and I wasn’t even around. I didn’t even know a battle was raging but I found out about it after it was over. That’s one of the intriguing things about our God. When He says He will fight for us, He really does! We may not always need to work up a sweat, or even present an argument, God just does it Himself. I can honestly say that at times, He is truly working in the background, shifting things around or simply scaring the enemy away so that by the time we arrive on the scene, God has the situation covered! In the end, thanks to those lepers, the Israelites were able to go to the Syrian camp and gather the spoil. The expected battle never took place and the famine finally ended!
However God chooses to fight the battle for you, you can have the confidence that you don’t have to do it on your own. Some battles may seem to require no effort on your part but some certainly will. Yet, it is about trusting God to never allow you to go through any challenge alone. He is not standing on the sidelines watching you fight but He is right there in the fight with you! To me that is a great comfort because it means that God loves and cares about you so much that He is interested in being a part of those unpleasant seasons in your life. God loves you and He cares about you. It’s a personal thing between you and Him.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. God wants to be there in every season of your life, both good and bad. He wants to be there to guide you when you need it and He wants to be there to help you when you feel overwhelmed. There is nothing too difficult for God to do for you!
When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red like blood. “That’s blood,” they said. “Those kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Now to the plunder Moab!” (2 Kings 3:22-23)
God has such an ingenuous way of fighting for and defending His people. He had filled the valley with water as He had promised but He did not stop there. He had also promised them that He would not only provide for their needs but He would deliver their enemies into their hands.
Two things come to mind - God provided what they needed to strengthen and sustain them for the battle and He promised them victory in battle. God never does a thing half way. I love the fact that when God steps in, He does a complete work, He leaves nothing undone. Sometimes we may ask God for one thing and God not only fulfils that request but addresses other areas that require attention - even though we did not ask Him for help in those other areas.
We can never determine how God will fulfil His promise to us. When God told the kings that He would deliver their enemies into their hands they could not fathom how exactly He would do it. Yet, the following morning, God sent water to them in the valley. As the sun shone on that water early in the morning, to the Moabites it looked like blood and they believed that the kings had killed one another. They rushed off to gather the spoil only to find themselves running straight into their enemies who were able to defeat them.
When God makes a promise to you believe that He will keep it. Even though you cannot see how He will do it, believe that He will. Over and over I have said that trust in God is important. He wants us to trust Him believing that He is able and He will fulfil His promises to us. Even when things seem impossible, even when faith is difficult to muster, if God says it, His responsibility is to bring to pass His own Word! He did not tell the three kings how He was going to provide the water nor did He tell them how He was going to deliver their enemies into their hands. Yet, interestingly, when He did fulfil His Word, it was in a way no human could take the credit. He caused the water to miraculously come from Edom and fill the valley and He caused the morning sun to shine on that same water in just the right way that when the Moabites looked at it, it looked like blood.
God’s thoughts and ways are truly past finding out! When He steps into our situation, we usually can’t begin to imagine how He will work things out … but He does. Trusting God sometimes means leaving the how, what, where, when in His hands and allowing Him full control to work the way He wants and chooses to work. The reality is, we love to tell Him how to do it, who to use, when to do it, what to do. But, when we relinquish our plan and our desires to Him, He will never disappoint us! That’s the hard part. We tend to forget that we don’t know more than God. There is always that innate desire for control because we want to have a say in how He works things out. But, sometimes, it’s about absolute surrender, allowing His will and His way to take precedence over our will. And, when we surrender, the peace that comes is truly a peace that just does not make sense and it is then that He is able to do above and beyond what we could ask or imagine.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to make that step today. God wants to do above and beyond what you could ask or think. He wants to give you His best because He has a beautiful plan and purpose for your life. All He wants is for you to trust Him, to trust that His love for you means that He will never give you anything less than the best He desires to give you.
For thus saith the Lord, “Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle and your beasts.” (2 Kings 3:17)
When I see this verse it reminds me of the reality that impossible becomes possible once God is in it. And, usually in situations like that, your hands are completely tied. You can’t do it on your own and it’s all up to God to get it done.
King Ahab, the king of Israel was dead and his son Jehoram reigned in his place. When his father was alive, Masha, king of Moab would pay tribute to king Ahab giving him a hundred thousand lambs and the wool from a hundred thousand rams. However, when king Ahab died, the king of Moab decided to rebel against Israel. When this was made known to king Jehoram, he decided to go to battle against king Mesha and asked Jehoshaphat, king of Judah to join with him. The king of Edom also joined with them to battle. As they journeyed through the wilderness of Edom, they realised that they had no water for their men or for the animals with them. They therefore sent for the prophet Elisha to enquire of the Lord on their behalf. With the help of a minstrel, the Lord responded and instructed them to fill the valley with ditches. The Lord then filled the valley with enough water for them and their animals. (2 Kings 3:1-17, 20)
Immediately what comes to mind is the fact that God provides what we need when we need it. I am always in awe of the fact that God is a Master of the impossible. He informed them that they would not see how it would happen yet the valley would be filled with water. All they had to do was obey His instruction - fill the valley with ditches. Sometimes, obedience can be a difficult thing especially when what we are being asked to do doesn’t make any sense. God was simply telling them of course to prepare for the miracle yet there was nothing in nature that indicated how this would happen. There were probably no rain clouds in the sky, no signs at all that indicated where the water might come from. Sometimes, God just wants us to trust Him even when everything around us is suggesting that we should not. God’s ways and thoughts are truly higher than ours and when He gives an instruction, it is sometimes completely outside of our human understanding. Yet, this is where the trust comes in. It’s easy to trust, when we can clearly see how it will all work out, when we can see what or who God may use. But, when our eyes can’t see and our ears can’t hear any clue of God’s leading, it can be difficult to trust Him.
As I said earlier, God provides what we need when we need it. God allowed them to pass through that wilderness knowing that they would need water. It can be so like God to allow us sometimes to take difficult paths, paths that He knows would put us in a position to have to cry out to Him for help. The nice thing is that when we do cry out to Him, He is right there waiting with the answer we need. God never takes us along a path that would destroy us. Although it could, He knows that He is right there on that same path, waiting to serve us, waiting to deliver us, waiting to strengthen us, waiting to provide exactly what we need to make it through. God is interested in building relationship with us. What He allows us to go through is never in vain, there is always a purpose behind it. He wants us to experience HIM for ourselves - His provision, His love, His care, His ability to enable us to make it successfully through the most impossible of situations. God is still a personal God!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so today. Life will take us along difficult and sometimes unexpected paths. But God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us and He will be right there on those paths with us. We are never alone. Our God is there encouraging us, providing for us, keeping us...
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.