Double For Your Trouble
Recently someone asked me to pray for them to have hope. This morning God put this heavy on my heart so I sat down to right and started thinking about hope in my life.
While I was going through treatment I was often reminded of just how sick I was. I have said before that there were times we were not sure if I would make it. When I was diagnosed on the day of my consultation I was told immediately (before the pathology came back) that I had breast cancer that had spread to my lymphnodes. We would find out in the next two weeks if it was in my bone or brain. Then my doctor proceeded to tell me my treatment plan: the most aggressive chemo they make, the maximum amount of radiation and a six hour surgery where they took everything! Well meaning people like to share their cancer stories....especially how breast cancer comes back. I will never forget one lady sharing that her mother had it come back twice and then she died. Then there were the statistics that were not in my favor.
The next day my doctor told me it was time to gather the elders of the church around and lay hands on me and pray for me. James 5: 13-15, "Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out." MSG That Sunday my minister and friend, Margaret, did just that. The whole church came forward and I believe I was healed. Exodus 15: 26, "For I am the Lord who heals you.” I believed I was healed and I also believe that my faith healed me.
My faith healed me because I believed what God could do. No matter what hardships, difficulties or trials we go through, if we stand firm on God's Word, we have hope! Hebrews 6: 19, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain." Just as an anchor holds a boat in place in the midst of strong currents or storms that is how hope can hold us firm. Matthew 17: 20, "He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
When people would share sad stories or statistics came up it would be easy to waiver and doubt. But I had to keep my focus on God because He can do anything and He knew more than any statistic or doctor. I could feel his presence and it calmed me. Zephaniah 3: 17, "Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs. "
Are you going through a hard time? Maybe it is a relationship, a job, school, a sick child, aging parents, a diagnosis, the unknown, a death, road blocks, etc. If you are having a tough time, try this. Put your hand over your heart and be quiet and still. Feel that? That is called purpose. Jesus has you alive for a reason! Jeremiah 29: 11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
With Jesus we have power that we can use to help us during these times. He does not give us the spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1: 7, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." I saw a quote that said God loves us more in a moment than anyone else loves us in a lifetime! I think that puts it in perspective! Think of the person who loves you the most and then think of God loving you in one moment more than a lifetime of that person's love.
Charles Allen said, "when you think a situation or purpose is hopeless you are slamming the door in the face of God." As long as we have God we have hope. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Sometimes God does not change our situation because He is trying to change our heart. He wants us to learn to trust Him even through the hard times. Romans 15: 13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"
If you are going through a tough times remember, in the Old Testament when Isaiah was written, God's people were going through a very dark time. They were being held captive against their will and mistreated by other nations. They were going be given double for their trouble. God wants to give you double for your trouble. Isaiah 61: 7, "Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours." So trust in God during this time. Have hope and know that you will receive a double for your trouble!
Have hope today "and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,..." Hebrews 12: 1 Have faith and move those mountains!