"Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!"|
- Luke 1:28 NIV
Not long ago, I went through a very difficult time. It seemed as though a lot of hardships and trials were hitting me all at once, and I was really struggling with doubt and despair. I sought the Lord for comfort and reassurance, and I asked Him to give me a promise from His Word that I could cling to. He led me to the verse above, and impressed upon me that I should meditate on it, and make it my declaration of faith while I was walking through my trials. From then on, I said over and over, day and night--"I am highly favored and the Lord is with me!" The truth was that I didn't feel the least bit favored by God. And I didn't particularly feel like He was with me, either. I was feeling lost, alone, forgotten, and abandoned. But in obedience to the Lord--and by faith, not feelings--I declared His promise to me every time I was tempted to give in to fear or doubt. Not only did God see me through to the victory, but His winning strategy enabled me to have more peace and joy, right in the midst of my troubles.
Over the years, God has taught me how to declare victory in the face of defeat, success in the face of failure, abundance in the face of lack. When I'm in the midst of negative circumstances, the Lord always prompts me to get into agreement with His Word and His promises, rather than dwelling on my problems. For instance, when illness threatens, I feel so much better when I continually say, "My health is springing forth speedily!" (Isaiah 58:8 KJV) It's not that I'm denying that I'm feeling poorly. It's just that I know the Bible says that we can't please God without faith, and that He is certain to reward our faith somehow, whenever we choose to exercise it. (Hebrews 11:6) Besides that, I've found that I feel so much worse when I walk around saying things like, "I think I'm coming down with something. I really feel awful." Say things like that over and over, and I guarantee that you'll feel worse by the minute. And how is God supposed to reward us for that, anyway? I'd much rather go directly to the Lord for His healing touch, and then declare His promises of healing and wholeness, smack in the face of sickness. Even if God leads me to go to the doctor, that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop claiming His promises for deliverance. He has promised to reward my faith, so whatever happens, I'm going to find a way to give Him something to work with.
I believe that there are some victories that can only be won when we claim them by faith BEFORE they are realized. Nowadays, as soon as trouble hits, I begin declaring, "The blessings of God are chasing me down and overtaking me!" (Deuteronomy 28:2) As I say these words over and over, a fresh sense of hope begins to rise in my heart. I begin to see myself blessed instead of oppressed, victorious instead of a victim. And I believe that it makes all the difference in my outcome each and every time. If you are facing disheartening difficulties today, let me encourage you to begin declaring that you are abundantly blessed, right in the middle of your trials. Not only will supernatural peace and joy overtake you, but so will the victory that the Lord has in store for you!
Prayer: Lord, when adversity is staring me in the face, and I'm tempted to become doubtful and fearful, remind me to declare Your mighty promises of blessing and deliverance, right in the midst of my trouble. Teach me how to live by faith, not by feelings, and to speak words of life and blessing at all times. Thank You for equipping me for victory and success, as I put Your winning strategy to work in my daily life!
- J. M. Farro