In my life with the Lord, He has brought me through the following and more:
Healed me from severe injury
Healed my beloved pets
Provided for me financially
Rescued me from danger
Delivered me from fear and depression
Helped me in my performance at work
Blessed me in my career
Protected those I love
I have also seen friends receive similar aid from the Lord, including marriages transformed and restored. God desires to work in every area of our lives.
I have been through my own troubles and challenges but God always took care of me, healed my hurts, and brought me to a better situation. The fact is, as I’ve mentioned before, we have an enemy – Satan – who hunts us, and for every attack I have survived, I have learned how to better wield the spiritual weapons that God has given to His children.
In 1 John 4:19, the Bible says that we love Him because He first loved us.
For a long time, I lived in ignorance of God's Word and His provision for me. I had never fully understood the love of God growing up and, even after I came back to the Lord some years back, it still took time to grasp hold of this truth from His Word. This is the truth that He genuinely cares about me and you individually, and all the events and cares in our lives. I had always thought that God loved me as part of a larger group; but I also thought He was mad at me (I wasn’t perfect) and at times I wasn’t even sure He liked me. Additionally, because I had no knowledge of my spiritual position in Christ, and the wrong mindset I had about God’s view of me, I was also an open target for Satan’s bullying. Satan hit me with numerous afflictions, and nearly claimed my life early on a number of times.
When I began to learn of God’s love and believe it – and I built up my belief by reading and studying and picking apart His Word and spending time with Him in prayer - I began to expect Him to show up in my life. To my delight, I found that as I would seek Him – talking to Him, sharing everyday life events with Him, asking His advice, etc. – He responded to me!
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “Then you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
I found that the Lord would reach out to me in different ways. Sometimes it was through a Scripture verse that would come to my mind. For example, one time in the privacy of my own mind, I thought, “Can you really love me, Lord?” The Scripture Jeremiah 31:3 immediately came to my mind, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.”
Sometimes something would happen in the natural world and I would instantly know it was a message from my Heavenly Father assuring me of His presence and His love – things that might not mean anything to anyone else but they were special to me.
For instance, I was out driving one day. It was a clear sunny afternoon going into evening. I simply commented out loud, “Gee, I'd really love to see a rainbow right now.” About 10 minutes later, a bright beautiful rainbow appeared way across the sky over a field I was driving past. It hadn't even rained! As soon as I saw it, I knew it was a gift from God!
Once I received revelation of God’s love for me, I loved Him even more. When I saw how warm, loving and caring – how wonderful – He is, I realized my life could only belong to Him.
I’m talking about an honest-to-goodness, real, here on earth, in the middle of your situation, relationship. But this isn’t just to FEEL good. Feelings can come as part of the experience of knowing and interacting with God but we shouldn’t depend on them. Our dependence is to be on His Word – what His Word says – on God Himself. Human feelings tend to flap in the breeze depending on which way the wind is blowing. That’s not depending on God. That’s not walking by faith.
So for example, if I’m in trouble and I’m praying to God for help and to deliver me out of my troubles, my nerves may be wrought with fear. I may look at my situation and say, “This looks really bad. There doesn’t appear to be any way I will get out of this trouble.” So my feelings at that moment may be very upset and rattled.
Yet when I go to God’s Word, Psalm 34:19 says, “Many evils may confront the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” So God SAYS He WILL deliver me out of them all.
I need to hold to God’s truth over a situation, and NOT to what I see or feel about the situation. I can help myself do this by meditating on that Scripture, or a collection of Scriptures on that subject (because there are many). When you meditate – you speak the Word of God, you memorize it, you declare it, you think about it – it gets into your mind and your heart. It becomes part of you, and when you grasp hold of it, faith is born. You can look at your trouble, the fear will melt away, and you know that you know that you know, “My God is bringing me OUT of this affliction! He is my Deliverer!”
This is the kind of relationship God wants with us – one where you are living and walking hand in hand with your Heavenly Father who just adores you!
When I first faced pursuing this relationship or not, one of the first things I had to decide was:
Am I happy? Do I feel fulfilled? Do I know my purpose and am I fulfilling it?
Am I in peace, or am I surviving in fear and dread from one day to the next, one fight to the next?
Do I feel confident about my life, or am I in fear and confusion about my future?
Am I living in peace and joy, or am I struggling with depression?
Do I feel healthy and look forward to each day with good expectations, or am I constantly upset and complaining about my existence?
The negative parts of the above questions are pretty much the place I lived in for years. I realized where I was at that point, and it was not a happy place. I was miserable most of the time. I tried to put on a happy façade but it wouldn't last. I needed a change. I had almost everything but I still needed a Savior.
Friend, Jesus did not die so we could live the same miserable existence as before, just with a Christian label on it. Jesus told us WHY He came:
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief (Satan) comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they (meaning us) may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
Jesus also said in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed, who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity."
Acts 10:38 supports this with: “How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with strength, ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by the power of the devil, for God was with Him.”
Recognize where you are right now. Admit it to yourself. Are you happy or unhappy? Could life be better? Do you need good news? Do you need release from addictions and bondages in your life? Do you feel trapped in your circumstances? Do you feel oppressed, downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken down by calamity? Do you seem to suffer with problem after problem and see no end in sight? I did. Now think: are you ready to take a step in a new direction?
My primary problem was that I didn’t know any better. I was raised with religious upbringing but I didn’t know God loved me. I didn’t really understand all that Jesus had died to provide to me. I didn’t know the authority in life that the Lord confers onto His children. I knew He was ABLE to help me but I wasn’t sure He was WILLING. When I considered the devastation of the some of the circumstances I was in at times, I thought THAT determined His attitude toward me. I felt afraid and alone. But God doesn’t tell us to consider our feelings OR our circumstances. What I learned is that I have to consider ONLY the Lord God and what He says in His Word.
God doesn't require "works" of us to receive help from Him - in other words, we don't have to do things to convince Him to help us - just like He doesn't require works to receive salvation. Salvation is a free gift that God offers to us through His grace (see Ephesians 2:8 and Galatians Chapter 3 – read carefully, even in several translations). You don’t have to get perfect or “clean up” before God will accept you. People are
not perfect; they have faults, weaknesses, addictions and struggles, even after coming to Jesus. (I know because I did.) Father God knows this. That is why Jesus willingly took our place for the punishment that could have been ours. God says, I’m inviting you to receive my Son Jesus to be your Savior. If you receive Jesus, you will not only be assured of spending eternity with Me in heaven, but you will also receive all that Jesus died to provide to you in the Atonement – blessing, healing, provision, protection and more. If your life needs clean-up, the Lord will work in your life to help you to do that as you seek Him.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, Jesus wants to heal and restore your life and make you whole. But He will not force Himself on you. You must invite Him into your heart and into your life. If you take a step toward Him, I guarantee He will run to welcome and embrace you!
Additional Scriptures for Study
Jeremiah 3:19, John 1:12, Romans 8:15, 1 John 3:1