For He Himself has said: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Sometimes in our desire for God, we make statements or ask for things that are a reflection of our acute desire for Him. But, what we may not realize at the time, and in the midst of our fervor for Him, is that what we are asking for may take us into a storm that we did not anticipate.
In another testimony I viewed on the 700 Club, the above was so true. Joe, a fifty-five year old man, had asked God to show him His glory and to glorify Himself through him anyway he desired. He did not anticipate, however, what he would have to go through to experience that. After taking a shower one day, he carried out his usual checks on his body searching for leeches which were prevalent where he lived. He found none but instead felt a lump in one of his armpits. Upon checking with his doctor, it was discovered that he had stage four cancer and was given six to twelve months to live. Over the next several months his situation grew worse. He lost a lot of weight and became severely ill. During this time, he and his wife stood together in prayer and faith in God.
What I find interesting is both of their responses to the news of his illness. They did not cower in fear but instead chose to trust and have faith in God, that He would do the impossible. When trials come it can be so very easy to become afraid. It seems as if fear is right there, just waiting for the opportunity to step in and, once, we allow it, it comes in like a flood and wreaks havoc on our mind, our emotions, our faith. Yet, it is still our choice. Fear cannot come and take up residence unless we allow it. In my own life, I have recently realized the power I have over fear – I actually have the power to welcome it or reject it. As a child of God, whatever is not of God, I have the power to reject and cast off ... I don’t have to accept it and allow it control in my life!
As the months passed, Joe’s situation seemed more and more hopeless, yet neither he nor his wife chose to lose their faith in God. From the pictures shown in the video, you could see the effects of the cancer on his body. He lost so much weight he was unrecognizable, even to himself. He even reached the point where he couldn’t walk or eat. I am choosing to mention the pictures of his weight loss because the facts showed the negative and debilitating effects of the cancer on his body. Yet, he chose to stand on the truth. As he put it, the truth is Jesus (John 14:6) and the truth says that he could be set free (John 8:32). The truth also says that he could be healed (Isaiah 53:5b). So, he chose to stand on the truth of what God could do for him not the facts of what the cancer was doing to his body.
Facts can be and feel so real that it can be difficult to hold on to anything else. Yet, as children of God, we have a truth that far outweighs any fact no matter how real it is. God, I believe, is not moved by the facts that everyone can see, He is moved only by Himself, who He is and what He is capable of in spite of our perception of reality.
The story of king Hezekiah comes to my mind (2 Kings 20:1-11). He was sick and near death and the Lord told him through the prophet Isaiah that he was going to die. He immediately turned to God in the hope of having his life spared. God did not disappoint him and instead added fifteen years to his life. This story comes to my mind because Hezekiah could have given up and accepted what God told him was going to happen because he knew he was terribly ill. Instead, he chose to turn to God, the One who had told him he was going to die and beg for his life. He realized that, one, he could reason with God, and two, only God could extend his life. He chose not to focus on the fact that he was going to die but instead on the merciful God who could save his life. As hopeless as his situation was, he chose to stand on the truth - that God is the Giver and Restorer of life and He was well able to heal him.
In our story, Joe was healed of cancer. God had told his wife that He would heal him at two and a half chemotherapies. She believed God and after two and a half treatments, they did another pet scan and learned that the cancer had completely left his body. He believes that the power of God healed him.
God can do anything, but we do have a part to play in the outcome of our storm. We can choose to stand on the truth of what God can do or the facts that say that not even God can handle this. I believe God always gives us a Word while we are going through. It is usually a Word that doesn’t even line up with what the facts are showing. My encouragement to us today is this: God is able, God is faithful and whatever word He speaks to us in our season of trial and testing, He will bring to pass!
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. In this life, with so many negative facts coming our way, we need truth that we can stand on, truth that points us to the God who is able to cancel out and turn around every negative situation we will face!
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.