O Sovereign LORD, the strong one who rescued me, you protected me on the day of battle.
Regardless of how we sometimes “feel” God is neither blind to our needs nor deaf to our cries. He is a present help in time of need, and it should never surprise us that those who have come to know Him the most intimately, and to love Him the most deeply, are those who have had the most frequent and the most dire experiences of desperation.
Often you will talk with people who have been through terrible situations, and when you ask them, “Why didn’t you fall apart?” they will tell you, “A supernatural peace came over me, and I literally felt the peace of God envelope me.”
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14
When we rest in Christ and praise Him in all things, good and bad, He makes all things work together for our good! When we are in the midst of hard times it is often hard to think “straight.” If we can simply tell our minds to STOP the worry thoughts, then we can make a conscious effort to sit down, and take control of those thoughts by placing them on what the Word of God says.
I think, for me, the realization that all things must work for “God’s purposes” and not my own selfish purposes, gives me peace and strength in the middle of life’s daily battles.
I am encouraged, often, when I think about the story of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25. They were causing an uproar with their street preaching. They were flogged, stripped and beaten with rods, and thrown into prison.
Instead of wringing their hands, picking up their cell phones and calling their Christian friends to “pray for them” they began to pray loudly and praise the Lord. Just at that very time God sent a violent earthquake to rock the foundations of the prison and it caused the prison doors to fly open. The jailer, who had been told to guard them with his very own life, almost fell on his sword. Instead of running away, as we probably would have, Paul and Silas, converted the jailer, and his whole family, to Christ.
Oh, if we could all be this mature in Christ! When we get into hard situations, if we could only look at them as a means to an end for Christ’s purposes and not our own! We read the following in Acts 16:35
“When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”
I have told this before, but it’s worth repeating, I believe. When I was being taught by the Lord to come directly to Him with my needs, He once spoke to my heart the following: “I want you to quit telling your “poor little me” stories to everyone who will listen. You are trying to manipulate them to feel sorry for you and come to your rescue. Your friends are not God. I am God. I want you to depend only on Me.”
It was hard, because I am the chatty type. In fact, in high school I was often referred to as “Chatty Cathie.”
I literally had to go one day at a time, telling my needs to God and trusting that He would meet them. I can tell you my faith grew by leaps and bounds during that experience.
If I was hungry, someone would come into work and say, “I have an extra sandwich and I felt impressed to share it with you.” I simply thanked them, and silently praised God.
After being out of work on short-term disability and only 65% of my pay, I wondered if I would make it back and forth to work on the small amount of gas I had. I lived in a rural part of New Mexico at that time that had no public transportation. There was just no way I could miss anymore work.
I prayed and gave that need up to God. I told Him, “Father, what am I going to do? You know my heart and you know my health. I simply want to work and I don’t have enough gas to last me until the next payday.”
That very day, a friend of mine came up to me at work. At first she looked a bit embarrassed, but as she stood by my desk I could see the power of the Holy Spirit come over her and she spoke boldly, “I don’t want to embarrass you, Cathie, but I was on my way to work this morning, when I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “Buy Cathie a tank of gas.” I almost broke down in tears, as I thanked her. When we got off work, I followed her to the gas station and she filled my gas tank.”
Because of my own experiences, I know that God is still in the miracle business. He is our Father, and when we let Him, He will supply our every need. All we need do, like Paul and Silas, is to praise Him in the midst of our bad situations. He made us, He knows our problems, and He longs to meet our needs.
In 2 Corinthians 9:8 we read this:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
By the way, God doesn’t always use the people you would think He would use to meet our needs. He often uses the unsaved so that we can turn it into a testimony to them of his goodness. I have found that some of the very folks that Christians judge, will turn and help you out quicker then the so called “righteous” In Isaiah 23:18 we read the following regarding an prostitute who was used by God to help His people:
“Her gain and her harlot’s wages will be set apart to the LORD; it will not be stored up or hoarded, but her gain will become sufficient food and choice attire for those who dwell in the presence of the LORD.”
My husband used to read my messages daily and one day recently he said to me, “You sure use a lot of scriptures out of Isaiah.”
I told him that the reason I do so is that God started ministering to me, as a single mom, out of that book of the Bible many years ago. I find it rich with substance for the hurting man or woman of God. God started speaking to me out of Isaiah 52 when I was coming out of depending on other people, and started my journey of trusting Him and Him alone.
If you are starting that journey yourself, you might want to start in Isaiah 52, as the Spirit of God leads.
We should never give up, Beloved! The battle is the Lords, and the victory is ours. We can know the very same protection that Paul and Silas experienced, as we get our eyes off of the problem, and put them on the problem solver!
Father, help us today to go into any battle in Your strength. You, the God of our salvation, will preserve our soul, and we can overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of OUR testimony! In Your Name, the Name above all names we pray. Amen and Amen
May God’s ever present help be with you today and always!
In His Unconditional Love,