Bill Johnson says that any thought we have that doesn’t inspire hope is under the influence of a lie.
When things get rough, we tend to go straight for the S.O.S. prayers. “God, get me out of this mess!”
But what if God has a miracle he’s waiting to give us, but our fear and lack of trust keep us from receiving it.
Joshua and Caleb were two of the twelve spies sent to scout the land God had promised Israel. Ten men came back spreading stories of how futile God’s plans were. The giants in the land made the men look like grasshoppers, they said. The conviction of doom spread through Israel’s camp (Numbers 13).
Why? Because they looked through the eyes of human logic and reason.
Logically, Israel could not defeat their enemies. In their own strength they would lose the battle.
They didn’t believe God’s promises to them. The god they believed in was very tiny and lacked power.
Yet Joshua and Caleb had a very different perspective. They had been with the ten. They saw the giants. And they knew they would win. Not could. Not might, but WOULD win.
Why? Because their God was powerful and mighty and on their side. They knew God favored them.
Where We Fit In
We also have God’s favor. Why? Because when we received the beautiful gift of Jesus’ sacrifice, God placed us into Jesus (1 Cor. 1:30) and each one of us became His favored child. (John 17:23).
But we can’t presume that favor means easy and painless outcomes. God wants to grow us up. If we let our kids just play video games and devour all the treats in the pantry, they would become weak in character and body.
Difficulties develop us. God doesn’t necessarily create the difficulties in our lives, but he wants to use everything the enemy throws at us to take us to a new level in Him and wreak vengeance on the enemy in the process
So how do we move from fearful and defeated thinking into trust and victory in the midst of trials?
You have to discover how God views your circumstances.
If you haven’t learned to hear Him well yet, practice being still and listening. If your mind is overrun by fearful thoughts that drown out His quiet voice, play some praise music. Or write down the fearful thought and ask God, “What do you say about that?”
Then listen. Write down what you hear. Everything God says to you will line up with His character. It will never contradict His love and kindness toward you (Gal. 5:22).
He may just give you one word. Peace. Or Hope. Or Be Still. Or Trust. Then pull up an online Bible and search for that word, or for scripture that aligns with what you heard. You can even google, “Bible verses about (blank).”
Take the ones that resonate with you. Stand on those. Put them on post it notes in your car and on your bathroom mirror. Speak them aloud. Pray them over your situation. Stand firm on what He (and His word) is speaking to you and declare it with Him over your difficulty.
You’ll develop a picture of how God views your circumstance.
Do you want to walk in agreement with Him or walk in the fear and mistrust that nags at us? Well, what if I’m wrong. What if I’m making this up?
What if you’re not? What if you’re actually being given the strategy to come through your circumstance with hope and peace? Standing firm on truth (1 Cor. 16:13).
God speaks to us all the time. We just have to practice listening and trusting and stepping into what we believe He’s doing.
Father, teach me how to hear Your voice. To quiet my mind and bring it to stillness and rest in You. To trust that You will guide me if I get off Your path. That You are the one who applauds and rewards risk when I’m taking steps of faith that feel new and uncertain. Help me to discern when the enemy is feeding the fear and show me how to send him packing. I want to stand firm in faith and trust that what You have for me is good, because You are good and Your goodness surrounds me and wants to invade my life and bring great blessing to me and my family. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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