Years ago when I worked as an in-home counselor, one of the greatest areas of work was the effort to encourage a family or individual to embrace the possibility that real change could occur, despite the presenting issue or problem. So often, the blanket of discouragement and hopelessness was so thick, it could be felt in the home environment making it all the more difficult for the person/persons to "buy in" to the treatment plan. And, I get it. It can be difficult to embrace hope and the idea that things will get better in the midst of crisis. Stress, worry, fear, and anxiety are real and can painfully crippling. So, for the believer, it's in critical moments like these that faith must into play.
Statements like, "I'm not a strong person" or "This is too much for me" or "It is what it is" or "I got dealt a bad hand" are simply contrary to the word of God, and are evidence that we do not fully understand or have a firm grasp on the reality the power of God that lies within us (Matthew 22:29). In Acts 1:8, after the Resurrection, Jesus informed His disciples that the Holy Spirit was coming and that they (disciples) would receive power.
Power (G1411) dunamis: force, miraculous power, ability, strength, excellence of soul, divine power acting on the minds of men
Well, the Holy Spirit has come and every born-again Christian possesses the dunamis power of God. It is God's gift to us. We have a reservoir of divine empowerment. So, why are so many of us not tapping into it? Why are we not accessing this supernatural ability to overcome emotional wounds, hurts, and brokenness? Could it be that we are waiting on God to do the hard work for us?
*** SPOILER ALERT***
God gives us his word, his power, his presence, his help--but he does not do the work for us. We must do the hard work, by faith, trusting the truth of God's word. Even the miracles Jesus performed, required the recipient's faith in action:
- John 2:1-11: Jesus changed the water into wine, after the wedding party filled the water pots with water at His command!
- John 5:1-9: The impotent man lying at the Pool of Bethesda was commanded by Jesus to take up his bed and walk
- John 9:1-7: Jesus healed the blind man and told him to wash in the pool of Siloam
These are just a few accounts of the miracles that Jesus performed. Each of these "miracle receivers" were in dire straits. Their situations seemed bleak and hopeless. It almost seemed like it would make more sense to give up than to follow a strange directive from Jesus. But that is what His power will do! Each person noted in the aforementioned references responded to the instruction, direction, promptings of Jesus and amazing things happened.
How willing are we to trust in the power of God when we have proverbially hit the mat and now the referee is counting? Yes, the struggle is real, no doubt about that. But, so is overcoming! We are more than conquerors. We are hard-wired to win. We are programmed to get up! Why? Because the resurrection power of Jesus within us. True and lasting, life-transformative change comes from the power of God working in and through us. All we have to do is receive that truth by faith and begin to put feet to it.
How do we do this? It starts with the word of God. Begin to speak and decree it out loud over your life. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). Scripture tells us that God is not like man, he does not lie or change his mind (Numbers 23:19). If he said it (and he did) he will bring it to pass! That is our assurance. Further, God does not play favorites (Acts 10:34). If he blessed, healed, delivered your neighbor or sibling or co-worker or someone on TV...why not you? You are as much his child as anyone else. That makes you a candidate.
Receive his promises! Be strengthened! Be encouraged! Be joyful! Be satisfied!
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for your word. Your word is truth that brings healing and wellness to my soul. I give you my worries and distress. I receive your peace and joy. I thank you that you have enabled me to live a life that brings you glory empowered to accomplish good things (2 Thessalonians 1:11). Amen and so be it according to your word.
- I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)
- In all things I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:28)
- I am above and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13)
- By my God I can run through troops and leap over walls (Psalm 18:29)
- The joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10)
- God makes my feet like hinds feet so that I may walk upon the high places (Psalm 18:23)