When I had to undergo surgery recently, I confess that I responded to it in a less than Christlike way. Beforehand, I had steadfastly believed God for my healing, and I implored Him to spare me from surgery. I was encouraged by the fact that, twice, the Lord had spared my husband from surgery in ways that were nothing short of miraculous, as I stood in faith for his supernatural healing. I truly believed that God would deliver me the same way. When it didn't happen, I became angry, disillusioned, and distrustful. As I cried out to God for relief, and for His perspective on the matter, He led me to Isaiah 30:15 (AMP), which says: "In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength."
As I pondered the need to "return" to the Lord, I thought of Jesus' words to Peter, just before the apostle disavowed his Savior: "Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV) I asked the Lord to forgive me, and to help me to go through this trial with God-honoring attitudes and actions. And I asked Him to strengthen my faith so that I could be a good witness to others, and encourage them in their own time of need.
In the Lord telling me to "rest" in Him, I recalled David's words in Psalm 37:7 (AMP): "Be still and rest in the Lord." My fretful state wasn't helping my recovery, and God wanted me to settle down, and allow my body and mind to get the rest they needed. As Proverbs 14:30 (AMP) says: "A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body." By cooperating with God in this way, I was cooperating with His healing process.
When the Lord told me that I would find strength in "quietness," He meant that He wanted me to stop complaining and grumbling about my situation. Not only would negative speech hinder someone else's faith, but it had the potential to hinder my own. Instead, God instructed me to follow the psalmist's example in Psalm 119:95 (TLB): "I will quietly keep my mind on Your promises." As I began focusing on God's Word, instead of my painful circumstances, I felt a strengthening in my faith that changed my conduct and conversation.
Lastly, the Lord wanted me to demonstrate "trusting confidence". He longed for me to believe that He had a good purpose for my difficulty and pain, and that He would cause them to profit me somehow. (Romans 8:28) Only by believing in His good intentions would I be able to trust Him the way I needed to in order to gain the victory. He says in His Word: "Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT)
If you are in a painful place today, I urge you to take this message to heart, and to cooperate with the Lord so that your hope and faith in Him will be renewed and restored, as mine were. Always trust in His promise which says, "Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed." (Romans 10:11 NASB)
Prayer: Lord, today I choose to return to You with all of my heart and soul. Teach me how to rest in You, to quiet my negative speech, and to trust in Your goodness and faithfulness. Thank You that as I keep my confidence in You, I will reap the rich rewards You have for me!
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