“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” Malachi chapter 4 verse 2
In the past couple of weeks, quite a lot has happened in my world.
Serious illness has rocked my family, a loved one was involved in a nasty car accident, I have had my own pregnancy health issues and my husband and I continue to wait on what feels like an extremely long and drawn out medical decision.
In the natural realm, you could say things do not look too wonderful.
However, as believers, we live a super-natural existence and we do not have to succumb to our present circumstances. It is when we are faced with challenges our faith gets tested and we need to decide what we are going to dwell on, what we are going to choose to believe and proclaim over our lives.
Hope + Healing
A dear friend of mine gave me a beautiful, silk scarf that was prayed over with an attached tag that reads, this is “to inspire you with hope and to release healing.”
(see www.coloursofhope.com.au for further information about this ministry)
These two words, hope and healing, stood out to me, as they are what I am holding onto during this present time.
Hope is defined as, a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
I have hope and faith in God and believe what is said in His word is true.
1. God is a Good father who loves us and gives us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29 verse 11).
2. He works all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8 verse 28).
3. He will not let the godly fall (Psalm 37 verse 24).
4. He holds us up with his victorious right hand and helps us (Isaiah 41 verse 13).
5. He goes before us and protects us from behind (Psalm 139 verse 5).
Healing is defined as, the process of making whole and/or healthy again.
1. By His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53 verses 4-5).
2. God will restore health to us (Jeremiah 30 verse 17).
3. We have power over all manner of sickness through Jesus (Matthew 10 verse 1).
4. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4 verse 4).
5. Jesus came that we would have life and have it to the full (John 10 verse 10).
I am not going to pretend this is easy, no it is quite the opposite. It is a daily and sometimes hour-by-hour or minute-by-minute battle.
“For we are fighting not against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil powers (Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12).”
Standing for God’s truth requires a conscious effort and decision to choose what thoughts we will dwell on, what words we say and whose strength we are going to rely on. I know I do not get too far if I rely on my own strength in daily life let alone when difficult circumstances arise.
Be anxious for No-thing!
Anxiety is quite simply, awful and can be all consuming and debilitating. It is something I have battled with on and off throughout my life. I know I’m not alone as current statistics tell us, “It’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime and in any one year over 2 million Australians have anxiety” (Beyond Blue.org.au).
When anxiety tries to overtake me it can sometimes feel like a clamp tightening around my heart. When this happens, I know I need to look to my heavenly father and quote Philippians 4 verse 6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
I do not always get it right and sometimes my mind goes wayward but thankfully, I am making steps forward, even if they are baby steps at times.
Peace + Joy
When we do look to Him, a peace that passes all understanding will fill our being (Philippians chapter 4 verse 7). I for one have definitely experienced this, as in the natural it does not make sense to be filled with peace in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances. But that is how good our God is and how much he loves us and does not want us to worry about earthly problems.
We may even find ourselves, dare I say it, filled with joy. Now this really will baffle some people!
If you are currently in the midst of a challenging time, my prayer is that these words would be an encouragement to you. Stand firm in the promises of our heavenly father, proclaim hope and healing over your life, believe all things are possible and rest in God’s extravagant love he has for you.
Jo Fuller is a primary school teacher with degrees in journalism and education. She lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with her husband and young son and they are soon to welcome baby number two!
Jo Fuller's archive of articles may be viewed at http://www.presserviceinternational.org/jo-fuller.html