There’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on in our country right now. Mass shootings, natural disasters, rollercoaster financial markets, rising prices on gas, food, and houses, are all causing massive instability in human minds and bodies. You see, Babylon is falling and it’s not going down quietly. As this wicked system falls in the light of the new Great Awakening, it’s slashing and clawing at the minds and bodies of God’s most precious creation, you, and me.
Diagnoses of cancer, heart disease and HIV are exploding like never before. In America, we currently have the highest suicide rate ever recorded. Barna reports that in all the years they’ve been surveying Americans, they have never seen such high numbers of people who say they are fearful of the future and chronically stressed out. We are under intense attack from hell’s armies but remember, the forces of heaven outnumber them two to one. The General of the host of heaven is so vastly superior to hell’s commander, that he has already decided the victory.
As children of God, whatever battle we are fighting right now, we aren’t fighting FOR victory, we fight FROM a position of victory. Big difference.
Many of you are in life and death battles right now for your physical and mental health, and your finances or family. Some days, weeks, months, can feel so Job-like with one sorrow piled on top of another. The pile-on can tempt you to question God’s goodness and provision. That’s exactly what Satan wants. In contrast, the “cloud of witnesses” in heaven is cheering you on saying, “Don’t give up. Don’t give in. God’s Word is true and powerful for you today!”
Lucifer and his demonic entities who hide behind humanistic, “I’m smarter than God,” belief systems will not tuck their tails and slink away in this epic war between Light and darkness. The Great Awakening is their worst nightmare, but they aren’t going to run from a fight. No, they are wounded animals and dangerous. They understand their day of power is over. Their master, Satan, knows the tock is ticking for him. Meanwhile, we’ve got wounded soldiers all over the battlefields who need care and attention.
My hope for this article is that I can bring care to some who need it and inspire all my readers to look around and see who needs care around you. Sometimes the very best medicine for my broken heart or broken body is to stop praying the same prayers for myself and turn my attention to someone else’s needs. I’ll share some simple ideas on caring for others but first, let me speak to those of you who are contending with some serious stuff right now. I want to remind you of things you know are true but need to hear again, in a fresh way. I know that’s what I often need when I am struck low with sickness, death, or some other dire situation.
God Dearly Loves You Beyond What You Can Imagine.
Do not buy into Satan’s garbage that God is distant from your suffering and trials because he hasn’t yet answered your prayers the way you want him to. Matthew 10:29-30, in the NLT, says, “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”
Let your mind roll this verse around a bit. I like to picture God as he sees and notices every little bird that falls. Then I think of his attention to every painful fall in my life.
One of my other go to passages is Isaiah 43:2-3. “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
God is not watching your suffering from a distance saying, “Hey, love ya, and hope that all works out for ya.” He is right in the middle of it with us. Whatever flood and fire you are in, God is near. He is the same God that showed up in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He’s sitting by your desk as you struggle to pay your bills. He’s there in the chemotherapy room and the funeral home. He is there. And why is he there? Because he’s not like some people who pull away from you in your chronic or serious situation because it’s too uncomfortable and unsettling for them. God will never do that.
It doesn’t matter whether you can feel God there with you now, although you sometimes will. What matters is that his nearness and care for you are established facts. Either his whole Word is true, or it isn’t at all. Do you doubt the love of a friend or family member when they are out of town, or away at work? Of course not. The inability to see or hear them in that moment doesn’t change your belief in their love for you. Trust in God’s love for you in the same way.
God Is Always Working Behind the Scenes to Bless You in Ten Thousand Ways
If you are young in the faith, you might not know this about God, but it’s 100% true. Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37, 39-41 in one sitting. You can’t help but notice all the moving parts God has in just the right place at the right time to elevate Joseph to power. Joseph’s journey of trials and pains ended with him saving his whole family from death by famine.
God is working in your life in the same way to bring about wondrous things for you, your family, your church, others around you and maybe people in different parts of the world. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work togetherfor the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” The original Greek here creates a wonderful picture of all your trials and challenges being employees of God’s. They must obey their boss and work for your good. Paul was not being trite with this verse. He was telling us that whatever evil Satan tosses at us, it instantly becomes part of God’s workforce to become blessing for you.
I know it doesn’t feel that way when your heart, mind or body is in terrible pain and that is dominating your landscape. Can I encourage you to hunker down deeper with God and say something out loud like, “This thing here that I’m going through is horrible but I declare that all my pain and suffering are not for nothing. God is using this circumstance to create something good for me.” I’m telling you; this will change the environment around you entirely.
For those of you who are not currently facing a hard trial or painful circumstance may I share a few suggestions of things that people have done that seriously encourage me and lift me up?
Send some flowers if you can swing it. Being reminded of God’s beauty and order and of someone’s love for you is a powerful thing.
Send texts saying things like, “This is the verse I prayed for you today,” or “I love you and am thinking about and praying for you. Is there some specific way I can pray for you today?”
Send an email or a card with favorite scripture verses that they can read over and over
If you’ve got some creativity and fun in your family, make a video, and send it. “Ten things I love about Grandpa,” from the grandkids is priceless and can be funny with young children. Goofy things that your pet does can also bring the gift of laughter when captured on a video.
Go out of your way to include suffering people in your plans if they are mobile. Invite that recent divorcee to your small group. Invite that friend who just lost his job over to your house for some takeout and your favorite funny movie.
Our creative God will give you more ideas if you want to be a spiritual medic carrying his grace and joy to people who desperately need it. Can you help a wounded soldier in God’s kingdom today?