I don’t believe you learn life’s greatest lessons in the darkest valleys.
I know, I know. Call me crazy. I believe this verse:
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
(2 Timothy 3:16)
God doesn’t teach by destruction; He teaches by instruction through His Word.
That said, however, life can teach you stuff. While you don’t have to go to the school of hard knocks—head instead to the school of divine instruction!—you can learn the hard way if you have to.
Today, I do want to share a few things I learned walking through the hardest times of my life—with the Word of God.
1. God prepares a feast for you in the presence of your enemies
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
I was convinced last year was the absolute worst year of my life.
However, looking back, I can see God’s overwhelming goodness despite all the negative that was happening.
Because what you focus on grows, and I took extra care to focus on all the positive things going on.
I truly felt like God has set before me a table in the midst of my enemies. For instance, my body was racked with pain and fatigue, but there were so many other blessings and I made tons of great memories even despite it!
I know a lot of people like to focus on the negative and completely miss all the other blessings God has given them.
If you have lost anything, God is the reason you have not lost everything.
– Bishop David O. Oyedepo
I thank God that He saw my destiny and saw fit to place me in America in 2019 so I can still live a great life and make myself as comfortable as possible until the miracle manifests!
However, as someone who’s officially been declared arthritis-free on my 16th birthday to the shock of the doctors, I would like to proceed to shout His goodness from the rooftops for the rest of my dying days. ?
2. The joy of the Lord is 100% accessible in every situation.
“The Teacher is always silent during the test” is nowhere in the Bible!
The Teacher is the Holy Spirit and Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would never leave us and will teach us all things. (John 14:26)
You feel like God’s left you alone? His presence and existence doesn’t depend on your feelings, buddy.
If it did, yeah, we’d all be done for. Because feelings are fickle and the less you depend on them, the better off you’ll be.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The footnote on that verse in the NKJV actually says “an abundantly available help”!
I will never leave you nor forsake you.
– God, Hebrews 13:5
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
– Jesus, Matthew 28:20
Just because you’re going through a trial doesn’t mean Jesus was removed from your heart or the Holy Spirit left you. ?
In other words, God is not silent. He hasn’t left you, if you’ve kicked the devil out and invited Jesus in as your Lord and Savior.
And because He is with you, talk to Him anytime.
For instance, Psalm 23 says He’s WITH us in the valley. (Psalm 23:4) He didn’t put you in the valley, but He’s with you—not to just give you a fist bump and say “You’ve got this, buddy!” but to bring you OUT of it. (1 Samuel 2:8, Psalm 40:2)
Because His joy is accessible 100% of the time, in every situation.
In the hardest times of my life, I just started praying in tongues and thanking God for everything He’s already done. As a result, I was filled and overcome with joy.
(I talked about this in one of my very first posts: How to Kick the Devil’s Butt in Your Everyday Life – #1.)
The devil doesn’t want you to have joy. He loves to bash people over the head with depression.
For instance, did you know one in six Americans takes antidepressants? At one point, antidepressants were the only thing doctors could offer me.
However, the joy of the Lord supersedes anything the world can offer. And it doesn’t depend on your circumstances.
Because God is NOT far away. He’s NOT silent. He’s THERE.
For example, God has been very talkative, to me and my parents, as we walk through this! Just learn to hear His voice. (Hint: The #1 way God speaks to us is through His Word. :o))
3. He didn’t send this.
Give me all the crap you want about God putting sickness on people. I just don’t care.
For example, when I was seven years old, God told me the date all my arthritis symptoms would disappear. I did not argue with Him. Instead, I agreed. The next day—the date He told me: May 22, 2011—all my arthritis symptoms disappeared.
In 2015, when my arthritis flared up badly, God gave me multiple dreams about my healing manifesting and all my symptoms leaving. April 2017, they left.
August 2018, when I really pursued healing again after another recent flare, God gave me another dream about my healing.
June 27, 2019, my rheumatologist searched, and searched, and searched—and she could find no trace of arthritis.
Every time symptoms tried to come back to my body, I responded in faith—and EVERY time the symptoms left!
I am still standing for my total and complete healing. That last time symptoms returned to my body is the last they ever return to my body! Where medicine has failed, Jesus has never failed.
God doesn’t do two different things. He has always been a healer to His children.
For instance, Jesus, Who could only do what the Father did (John 5:19), spent 1/3 of His time doing miracles and healing people.
And since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)…
Jesus is still in the miracle-working business, buddy!
Even as I work through some of the worst health stuff I’ve faced, it’s only become clearer and clearer that this sickness was not sent from God.
For instance, too many people face a battle in their health and either shape a wrong doctrine out of it or fall away from the faith altogether. People put twisted ideas in their head that God gave them their sickness.
For example, the sister of a famous atheist today died when he was young. When told that God killed his sister, he said, “If there is a God, I hate Him.”
Today, He is totally against God and His Word.
But not me.
Because if there’s anything I’ve learned walking through these things, it’s that God is a healer and He is helping me each and every single day. My health stuff going on right now is the devil and it doesn’t take a genius to see that.
And if you are facing something in your life today, I want to encourage you that if it’s a sickness or tragedy, God did not send it.
Shut out the crap and find out what HIS WORD says, not someone’s opinion based on their life failure. :o)
I’m convinced if you disregard any opinion contrary to God’s Word, you’ll have a pretty darn great life. ?
In conclusion, three things I learned during the hardest times of my life are:
1. God prepares a feast for you in the presence of your enemies. (Psalm 23:5) Convinced all you see is bad? Focus on His blessings. For example, you’ve most likely got it so much better than someone else. What you focus on grows; focus on the positive wherever possible. “Whatsoever things are of good report, meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
2. The joy of the Lord is 100% accessible in every situation. God has not left you and He is not silent! (Hebrews 13:5) Dive deep into His Word and get closer to Him through whatever you are facing. The joy of the Lord is your strength—if you can receive His joy, you’re going to make it through. (Nehemiah 8:10) That’s a fact! Actually, that’s the truth.
3. God didn’t send this. And don’t confuse what God allows with what His will is. Basically, He will “allow” you to get sick, but God’s will is that He wants you healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 8:17, 1 Peter 2:24)
God is so, so good. I can see His goodness in everything and as He helps me soar right through the hard times.
How has God brought you through the hardest times in your life?
Leaving the hard times to the archives,