I wrote that we "did what we trained for." I feel compelled to tell you the five things our training led to. If you are now in or ever face such a situation, these might be a help to you. Print them out, write them down.
Or they might help someone you know right now. If so, forward this email.
For us, it started with a late afternoon call on a Wednesday as we were packing for a trip. Nothing could have shocked us more than three words, "You have cancer."
What happened next was remarkable.
We sheltered our hearts during deep, hard struggles with fear and anxiety with five attributes of God that defeat the negative.
In the middle of a crisis. In the throes of chaos. When the darkness is creeping in … five aspects of God’s presence will sustain warriors and help the weak to get back up. Here are the five:
1. GOD LOVES YOU WITH A PASSION.
We can’t improve on His love. There’s no way to earn more love from Him – you can’t get rid of it – you can’t improve on it.
Romans 8:35-37 “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us."
Billy Graham said: “God’s love is unchangeable; He knows exactly what we are and loves us anyway.”
2. HIS WORD IS TRUE.
God's word is the written covenant of his nature, his heart. God has never lied. His word holds the universe together and his word will hold you, too.
Psalms 119:160-162 “The very essence of your words is truth; I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure.”
A. W. Tozer said: “The Bible is the inevitable outcome of God's continuous speech. It is the infallible declaration of His mind.”
3. HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT.
Psalm 46 has been a foundational word for Judi and me for decades. Read the entire chapter. Here’s a powerful excerpt.
Psalms 46:1,2/11 “God is our refuge and strength,He is a Father who is always there...and he answers prayer.
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.”
Robert Barriger said: “It is the promise of the Father that every prayer uttered by a saint is heard by God in the throne room of heaven.”
4. FEAR IS A LIE
The enemy always lies. Fear is a ready accusation
The Bible states “Fear not” 365 times – that’s one for every day. Faith overcomes fear.
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you;Like gum on the shoe that seems to stick for days … fear can stay in the shadows and come out when you least expect it.
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
1 John 1:5/7 “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
Light always exposes the darkness. And the light we find freedom from fear, accusation, and the lies of the enemy.
Psalm 23:4 “Even when I walk5. HOPE IS ALIVE.
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.”
The Cross changes everything. Jesus broke the power of sin and death and is your advocate at every minute of your life! When He defeated the enemy He became our hope.
Hope is alive – hope has a name – hope’s name is Jesus!
Romans 15:13 “Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope!”
Robert Critchley wrote in his great song,
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.”
These five are not an exhaustive list of God’s attributes – but they are the areas of his love that sustained me and Judi in the most difficult times and darkest nights.
Find your scriptures. Find those things that resonate with your heart. Judi and I also did communion together often.
Today we are just three months into this ordeal, and now a week since we heard the declaration, "You are cancer-free."
We are blessed, amazed and grateful.
God is a big God.
There is nothing he hasn’t already seen or conquered.
P.S. We're back to normal now! Next Monday at 8 pm Central we will start a powerful six-week intensive on identity, purpose, and brotherhood. “Just a Bartender, Unexpected People Change the World."
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