And the angel said unto them, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Today, while wondering what to share in this post, I decided to watch the 700 Club just in case I heard a testimony that could inspire what to write. God did not disappoint. I listened to the testimony of a man called Benny who collapsed suddenly and had to be taken to the hospital.
He and his wife were getting ready to start their day when he suddenly fainted, fell backward and hit his head on the floor. She rushed him to the hospital where it was discovered that he had two skull fractures and bleeding in the brain. The doctors were worried about brain swelling and seizures. His wife contacted family and friends from church for prayer, and, as the lead singer of the Christian band, “Empowered” the news of his condition led to hundreds of people praying for his healing. He was finally sent home to rest. His wife worried whether he would be able to walk, function and think normally again. She finally reached the point where she gave it God and put her trust in Him and she received God’s peace.
Relinquishing your fears to God can be a difficult task. There is always the fear that your prayers will not be answered or that they will not be answered in the way you would hope. We tend to feel the need to have control and the thought of losing that control makes us fearful. We feel as if we can do it better than even God Himself but oh how wrong we usually are. Only when we truly let go can God start working on our behalf. I have experienced this many times, that need to hold on, trying to “work it out” myself and my way – as if God is totally incompetent and unable to do a good job. But, whenever I choose to release the problem into God’s hands, His peace takes over and I feel the burden lifted.
One day, Benny heard the audible voice of God telling him that He had huge and great plans for him coming out of his injury. He wanted people to know that He, God, had healed him, that what He had done for him He can do for them if they would just press in and call out to Him. Right there, God got my attention. As I heard these words which God audibly spoke to Benny, I was reminded of the title of a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick: “It had to happen.” We don’t usually like when bad things happen to us. In fact, truth be told, many of us would earnestly try to pray away bad things hoping that they never would come our way. Sometimes God answers our prayer ... but sometimes He doesn’t, at least, not in the way we would expect. God’s words to Benny tells me that God can use anything – good or bad – to bring about His purpose and plan for our lives. We can’t always tell God how to do His job. His ways and thoughts are still higher than ours reaching far beyond the limitations of our human logic.
In his sermon “It had to happen” Pastor Steven looks at the book of Acts and the apostle Paul’s journey to Rome to stand trial before Caesar. His journey by ship is interrupted by a violent storm which destroys the ship in which he and his fellow prisoners are travelling. However, God spares the lives of everyone on board (Acts 27:14-44). The shipwreck initially looked like such a disadvantage, the kind of “bad thing” we would all like to avoid. However, it turned out to be an opportunity for ministry that no one could have foreseen. While on the island of Malta, where Paul, his fellow prisoners and the ship’s crew end up after the shipwreck, Paul meets Publius, the chief man of the island and finds out that his father is sick. He lays hands on him and heals him and this prompts others with diseases to come to him and they too are healed (Acts 28:7-9).
The shipwreck and near loss of lives did not make sense. Yet, what looked like such a negative event, turned out to be God setting up an opportunity for ministry, an opportunity to reveal to people the goodness, mercy and miraculous healing power of God. Imagine, God loved those people on the island of Malta enough to cause a shipwreck to bring their healing, salvation and deliverance to them!
Let’s face it, God knows exactly what He is doing. Maybe your hurt and pain is your point of ministry to bring comfort and emotional healing to others. Maybe challenges in different areas of your life are your “God opportunity” to bring salvation, hope and deliverance to lost souls.
Benny’s life has changed since his healing. Yes, he was ministering to people through his music ministry before but now, since his injury, he feels even more compelled to tell people about Jesus, about what He has done for him and what He will do for them. All of this never would have happened had he not gone through his painful experience.
Be thankful not just in spite of the bad but for it. You never know the great and wonderful plans God has for you - and others - through it.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your life as personal Lord and Saviour, I encourage you to do so now. God has beautiful plans for your life. He is not thrown off by the bad things but rather uses them to bring about His purpose for you.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.