Steadfast. That’s the word the Lord gave me at the beginning of the year. What an odd word, I thought. I couldn’t help but wonder if something was about to shake my world or test me in my faith that would require me to be steadfast. It was a bit unnerving.
My suspicions were right. Not long after receiving my word, I was diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The diagnosis came as quite a shock, especially since I live a holistic, healthy lifestyle, and cancer doesn’t run in my family. Cancer is definitely no respecter of persons. It can hit anyone.
The Lord knew I would need a steadfast heart to endure the challenges of chemotherapy and its side effects. Each day, I’ve had to cling resolutely to what I know to be true in my heart despite what I feel in my body. And this is what I know to be true: God loves me, and His love for me is unchangeable. I know that regardless of what I may suffer, God is for me, and not against me. I am not alone in my trial.
God is with me. He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my provider. He meets my every need as I walk this difficult path. He is Jehovah Rophe, the Lord my healer. By the stripes upon His back, I am healed! He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord my peace and wholeness. And He is Jehovah Nissi, my banner of victory.
Perhaps like me, you are walking an unexpected, painful road. Take comfort in the fact that your situation comes as no surprise to the Lord. He knows your situation intimately, and He knows exactly what you need to emerge from your trial victoriously. No matter what you feel, know that you are not alone. God is with you. He is your provider, healer, peace, wholeness, and victory, and He walks every step with you. You can trust His love and His plan.
Of all the trials I’ve encountered in the past few months, waiting for my desired outcome (to regain my health) has been most difficult. I’ve had to set my own desires and plans aside, and I’ve had to trust the Lord while I wait for this season to pass. That doesn’t mean, however, that I am just lying around doing nothing. I may not be physically active right now, but spiritually and emotionally, I’m very active. I’m actively waiting, that is.
I’ve learned there is an art to waiting, and I want to share this art with you in hopes that it will benefit you as you wait on the Lord.
Learning to wait expectantly is crucial. This means you wait with confidence, expecting that the Lord is going to move on your behalf. Refuse to allow what you see and feel to dictate what you expect.
Reading God’s Word is the best way to build your faith. Search for God’s promises of provision in the Word as you wait, and then speak these truths daily over your situation. Put them on notecards or sticky notes to remind yourself of God’s truths (Psalm 5:3; Micah 7:7).
Choose to give thanks for what God has done in your life already. There is always something you can find to be thankful for. Thank Him, too, for what He promises to do now and in the future. Be proactive in your faith by praying and applying God’s Word to your circumstances, whatever they may be (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20; Philippians 4:6).
Don’t lose heart. Determine in your spirit today that you will not give up, no matter what. The only way to do this is to keep your eyes on Christ and to rely on His strength. Remind yourself daily that you are not alone in the fire. Another stands with you, and His name is Jesus. In His power, you can endure and overcome (1 Corinthians 15:58; James 1:12; Psalm 57:7).
Enter your season of trial with a humble, teachable heart. The goal shouldn’t be to just get through the trial, but to be changed into the very image of God as a result of it. Ask the Lord to not only refine you by the fire, but to help you emerge radiating the glory of His grace and mercy. Ask Him to reveal and burn off that which is not pleasing to Him, so that He alone can be seen. Our trials are never in vain when we emerge reflecting the image of our Maker. Only then is God revealed and people drawn to His saving grace. Come out shining! (Hebrews 4:16; 1 Corinthians 15:10).
Surround yourself with prayer warriors who will hold you up in your time of weakness. There is tremendous power in prayer. You can trust that the Lord hears your prayers. You can know that He will answer them (Matthew 18:19; 1 John 5:14).
As you encounter your trial, remind yourself who you are. You are a child of the Living God, and He is fighting for you. He is working behind the scenes of your life for your good. Also remember that your trial is preparing for you a great reward (Genesis 50:20; 2 Corinthians 4:17).
Written by Jeannine Moffitt
Photo by William Stitt