When a crisis hits that brings us to our knees, the Word of God tells us to be “anxious for nothing” (Phil 4:6), “give thanks in all circumstances” (Eph 5:20) and even “consider it pure joy” (James 1:2).
At first, this seems absurd, masochistic and even cruel. But, a closer look reveals just the opposite: The loving heart of a Father wanting to reassure his children that everything will be alright because He’s in charge.
The Good Shepherd
Jesus often referred to Himself as “the good shepherd” and His children, as “the sheep of His pasture” (John 10:11-18).
A unique characteristic of sheep is that they are not beasts of burden. Unlike a donkey, horse, camel, ox, or elephant, sheep cannot carry anything on their backs, not a saddle, sack, or rider—they will all slip right off!
By making this comparison, Jesus was telling us something about ourselves. Like sheep, human beings are not well equipped to carry anxieties, troubles and woes. They weigh us down, burden our hearts and even break our spirits. That’s why Psalm 34:18 tells us “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Did you catch that? God is always close, right there with us, ready to come and rescue, especially those who are broken and hurting.
So, what is the proper Biblical response when faced with tragedy, hardship, injustice, betrayal, disease, loss…death?
God gave us feelings, so we will likely experience a gamut of emotions: Fear, shock, denial, rage, mourning, confusion, depression, and more. Naturally!
But we are not meant to stay stuck there. By turning to God and inviting Him into our pain, we will receive grace and strength to face another day, and then another, and another, until slowly the path out of the swamp unfolds beneath our feet.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.”
~ Psalm 28:7.
My Darkest Hour
When I thought I was losing my husband to cancer four years ago, fear simply froze my brain and I could hardly breathe. I asked my family and friends to pray for me because I was overcome with emotions. They did, and I was strengthened.
A Lamp To My Feet
Then, slowly, the Lord taught me lessons I will never forget. As I pored over Scripture, He made certain promises jump off the pages in such an obvious way that I knew He was speaking directly to me. They were promises about healing my husband.
I wrote down every promise God gave me, memorized them and they became part of my prayers. I also turned them into a recorded CD that I listened to and prayed with daily (you can get this same CD titled “Healing Scriptures” at www.healedhealthyandwhole.com).
This key spiritual strategy kept me from cracking when the doctors spoke words of doom and the lab tests confirmed over and over that the cancer was still there wanting to spread and kill.
These events would trigger waves of fear that would crash over me. I simply had to take refuge in God’s promises, repeat them over and over—and sometimes even shout them out loud. Without them, I would have drowned in sorrow, given up the fight, and probably succumbed to a terrible illness myself.
They cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and He saved them from their distress.
He sent forth His Word and healed them.
The Armor of God
Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God, those spiritual weapons every Christian is urged to use in times of battle. The most offensive weapon of those listed is the sword of the Spirit, a reference to the very Word of God.
The Word that created all that is and hurled the heavens into space also has divine power “to demolish strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4). Whenever I declared God’s promises, it was like battling with a sword and I experienced how the spirits of fear, confusion, despair, loss, or death would retreat (evil always retreats in the presence of God). My mind would then recover its clarity and balance and I could again “see” our situation through eyes of faith.
Against All Odds
Our battle was long and fierce, but God is always true to His Word no matter what the circumstances look like. I spent many months in spiritual warfare and believing against all odds for my husband’s healing.
Finally, on January 12, 2013 our deliverance finally came and the doctors declared my husband cancer free. It was an unforgettable D-day for us both! (You can read the full story in our book www.healedhealthyandwhole.com)
Since then, I know in the depths of my being how powerful and true God’s Word is and how when He gives you a promise, the heavens and earth may pass away, but He will fulfill it.
May this give you courage, as today you search for His will in your situation. And when has spoken to you through the Scriptures, trust Him with all your heart though you have to face many trials and tempations. Your deliverance—however God has shaped that for you—will surely come!
“Call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
~ Psalm 50:15