"Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
- Isaiah 53:1 NKJV
After the birth of my first child over 30 years ago, I began having pain and stiffness in my back that made it difficult for me to function. When I sought medical attention for relief, the doctor told me that I had an affliction which would eventually put me in a wheel chair. Since this specialist was so reputable and renowned that he cared for the governor of my state at the time, I took his word in the matter. It wasn't until years later, when I began studying God's Word, that I discovered that the Lord had other plans for me.
Isaiah 53:1 (NKJV) says: "Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" God revealed to me through the Scriptures that He had a better report for me--one of health and wholeness--but I had to take His Word over the doctor’s. He led me to focus on verses 4 and 5 (AMP) of this passage: "Surely [Christ] has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains...and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole." Here, the Lord was telling me that if I would only put my faith in the good report of healing and wholeness that is available through Christ, I wouldn't have to suffer the gloomy fate that my doctor had predicted for me.
The Bible tells the story of how, after Moses led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, God tried to direct them into the Promised Land, a land where they could thrive and prosper. But when twelve scouts were sent out to inspect the land, ten of them returned with negative reports, while only two came back with good reports. (Number 13:32) Because the majority of the people refused to believe God's promises over the "evil reports" they heard, the Lord sentenced them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, never to see the Promised Land for themselves. What we have to remember as followers of Christ is that God has good plans for our lives, while the devil has evil plans for us. Jesus said: "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." (John 10:10 AMP) When we believe in the evil one's negative report over God's promises of protection, provision, and blessing in a situation, we just may be opening the door for our enemy to work destruction in our lives, and in our families.
I've discovered that believing God for good things brings peace, joy, and reward. On the other hand, putting our faith in bad reports brings anxiety, torment, and trouble. In Philippians 4, the apostle Paul says that in order for us to walk in "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding," we must "meditate" only on "whatever things are of good report." (v. 7, 8 NKJV) Supernatural peace is our inheritance in Christ. But we forfeit that peace when we continually think on negative reports that we hear from others about ourselves or our loved ones.
I am thankful to be able to tell you today that, more than 30 years after hearing that doctor's bad report, my back gives me very little trouble, and I live an active life. I shudder to think of what condition I would be in today if I had not made the decision to believe God over my physician. Maybe you’ve just heard a negative report about your health, your job, your finances, or a loved one. If so, I urge you to seek the Lord and ask Him, “What do YOU have to say about this, Lord?”
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that I put more faith in the reports of others than I did in Yours. Help me to dig into Your Word and discover all the good things You have in store for those who believe. Thank You that as I cling to Your promises of protection, provision, and blessing, I will experience life at its very best!
- J. M. Farro