After all I experienced last year, all the death and pain and loss, all the discomfort and hurt and disappointment, I can honestly say, I still haven’t learnt how to completely deal with it. I thought I had, but I have been truly humbled by losing Riamien, as I saw how much I still needed to learn about processing the disappointment and hurt and loss. I saw it in the shock I felt when I heard the news, then the sudden anger & disappointment I felt towards God…all the crying I did and shouting and babbling between tears that my friend Jean, at that moment – had to deal with…luckily he was very understanding and patient and handled me with such love and grace. He didn’t give me answers and he sat and prayed with me, speaking only when God allowed him and I am so blessed and thankful for that. He truly is an amazing spiritual brother.
At about 12pm that evening I was still awake and Doug heard the news, and sent me a sermon by Bill Johnson that speaks exactly about this loss and how we deal with it. Doug and a few others had me travel down to meet them at the coast last year when I had also suffered another loss, so I think he just knew this was needed. Bill Johnson speaks in this sermon about a few things but especially about learning to process disappointment & how to walk through & navigate when things don’t turn out how expected or prayed for or whatever it may be. I truly believe, in every part of my spirit and soul, that this is something we need to learn to do otherwise many things in our life will be out of balance.
Learning to process disappointment & how to walk through & navigate when things don’t turn out how expected, may be one of the most difficult lessons to learn. It is something which may have to be repeated every time you go through a disappointment, so that you learn to apply and understand the concept but it is of great value. We need to learn to minister to ourselves and know how to navigate this disappointment to be able to fully step into what God has intended for us, to step fully into our calling.
We cannot be trusted with the fulfilment of promise until we know how to trust God when things don’t look so good. Therefore we need to trust in Him.
We need to trust the Lord with all our heart, leaning not on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all our ways so that He may direct our paths. (Paraphrased from Proverbs 3v5&6).
The word Yedah is translated from the Hebrew as “acknowledge” about only once in Bible.. the rest of the time it speaks of “to know”. So put that in the place of “acknowledge” and you’ll have:
Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways – KNOW (acknowledge) Him, and He will direct your paths.(Proverbs 3v5&6)
We need to trust Him in everything. Trust Him with everything. Take all the stuff that seem or are hard to navigate or process and make them easy to navigate or process – in all our ways KNOW HIM.
And He prepares a table before me, in the presence of my enemies. (Psalm 23v5)
This verse tells of the table God prepares for us in the presence of our enemies, in front of the devil. It is a place of intimacy, intimate gathering, a place of closeness and refuge. We need to find that place, in the midst of disappointment, in the midst of all the chaos, despite what we feel at that moment – find that place of communion and then He will help us navigate.
It is like finding the eye of the tornado. It is the place where it is most peaceful. Drawing closer to God, drawing near to Him and KNOWing Him in all things and all ways.
In times of difficulty, actually so many times, we throw in the towel and say that ‘this isn’t what we signed up for.’ In a moment of great tragedy or loss or some disappointment, we give up. We get angry, we get sad – which is normal and is probably okay in trying to come to terms with whatever has happened, but when we make that decision that this is not what we signed up for then we are wrong, because we did. We did when we said ‘yes’ to the Lord, when we accepted Him.
God has such a profound ability to redeem any terrible or horrific situation that many people including those in churches will assume the conclusion that God designed that terrible/horrific situation and to just assume that is wrong. Often, I have made the mistake of thinking that and assuming such nonsense and falling into the devil’s trap. This is where we need to understand the difference between what God approves, what He ordains and what the enemy means for evil.
Death, loss, destruction – those are Satan’s fingerprints, they are NOT God’s. (This is something Jean and many others have told me over and over, but something I quickly seem to forget…)
Bill asks and says the following and I love how he puts it and I totally agree:
Q: Can God use disease?
A: Of course He can. He is able to shift things to use to His advantage. But we would never think God led someone into sin but the church often says He leads people into disease to make them stronger. This is not true. God would no more lead someone into sickness/disease than He would lead them into sin.
If we look at drug addicts who get free from drugs, we will see that they usually end up ministering to other drug addicts with great authority. When truly free, they walk with authority in that area and God uses them to set others free. That applies to many situations.
God’s ability is so profound in His capability of taking a fallen person and raising them up and giving them authority in the area that they fell in, that those who haven’t yet come to Christ can easily make the mistake of thinking that God is leading them into sin so that He could use their sin for something better.
But we know that is not true.
If we understand the concept of grace correctly then we should naturally come to that conclusion (that God does not lead us into sin). Paul deals with that exact question in Romans asking ‘so should we sin so we can see grace abound?’
But in this question, he just outlines the fact that God’s grace is more than enough and answers the question by saying, ‘no, absolutely not.’
The point being that God would never lead you into any horrific sin so that later in life He could use you to promote the Gospel. And as that is true, He would never afflict anyone into disease so that they or their family would be a better family or whatever the reason we may think.
May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in Him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15v13)
Faith will bring answers but not all the answers and that is why there is something like enduring faith. If faith brought all the answers, you wouldn’t need enduring faith. So faith brings answers, but enduring faith brings answers with character.
There is a great privilege in seeing God touch people’s lives. That is stated and made clear in the book of Acts, as miracles and breakthrough is seen. The power of God is displayed in miracles and then also displayed in endurance.
Bill Johnson talks about Steven, in the Bible. What a great servant he was – to have served Jesus, the Great Deliverer, until the very day of his martyrdom, when the Great Deliverer did not deliver him. It just shows the great honour there is, in standing in the midst of mystery when there hasn’t been a breakthrough and to still have that ‘yes to the Lord’ in your heart. There is just something so special about keeping the resolve when things didn’t work out as you thought. Keeping the trust in the One Most Trustworthy is the great privilege of the Christian life.
Falling into the hands of the Living God is a terrifying thing. (Hebrews 10v31)
To have God in control can often be a scary thought. Giving all control up and knowing it is all in His hands is scary, especially in the situation of a loved one who is sick or something that means a lot to you. But it can also be a very wonderful thing. Waiting on Him to make the decisions is an amazing thing, because delayed answers gain interest. And wherever God says no – it is because He has a better ‘yes’ to follow.
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10v32-36)
The power of God on our life is to demonstrate the Kingdom. It is to demonstrate the delivering, redeeming power of Jesus, but there are times that this doesn’t seem to work or to happen. And it is then, that the power lies in the ability to remain ‘yes’ before the Lord when our circumstances seem to deny what we thought would happen. There is power in the miracles but there is also power in the endurance.
Referring back to Psalm 23v5 – In the celebration He makes the devil watch. Every time we say we love Jesus, it is like He plays it over the devil’s intercom so that he hears it.
So whether we get a promotion at work, do well in a test or a loved one dies – in all your ways KNOW HIM. Take a moment to feast on the One THAT IS more than enough. When you do that, the disease that comes from disappointment cannot and will not devour the heart.
We need to learn to do that. Many times, I myself or others, put all the weight of our/their walk with God on an answer we think should happen. No matter how Biblically sound it appears to be – the weight of God’s entire character rests on one particular breakthrough. And to do this, I’ve realized and have been told too, is so ridiculous and so extremely dangerous! To put our whole walk with Christ, everything we’ve experienced with Him; His call – when He called us by name, called us to relationship with Him and we said ‘yes’ and repentance came and we believed in His name and we were born-again; to put all that into question if we don’t become or get what we thought we should – is dangerous. It is absolutely foolish because that is exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us to constantly put everything in a corner with no understanding of it.
The question then is that although I believe in miracles, what if I never saw one for the rest of my life? What would I do?
Bill says – Even if he never saw one for the rest of his life, he’d already seen too much to change how he lives. He can’t put the weight of how he’s going to live on just one more prophetic word, just one more miracle or one more encounter. He’s already seen enough.
And that’s how we need to see this.
God has called us to fight for breakthrough for His glory, but when things don’t work out, there are probably things that are wrapped around these problems that we do not know how to dismantle. But He is giving us insight and maturing us. The formulae that we have for breakthrough to happen should be destroyed. Because it isn’t a formula, it is a relationship with this Being where He breathes life into us, every moment, day by day. And we need to take these losses as painful as they are – or as tragic as they are – and they need to drive us into that secret place with the Lord where we say ‘God you’ve gotta increase the anointing, increase our understanding where it’s needed so that these things that are wrapped around these problems, that have not yet yielded to the name Jesus – show me what I can do?’
Whenever there’s a loss or disappointment – being able to stand with an absolute ‘yes’ to God, is where strength is discovered.
Anyone who has gone through a loss or is dealing with it right now will be able to testify to not being particularly strong right now, as they are all depleted of strength, drained from emotion. But that’s where God says His strength is perfected in weakness (refer to 2 Corinthians 12v9 or Philippians4v13 or Nehemiah8v10).
Anytime there is someone depleted of all the strength they can muster up, yet they’ve retained their ‘yes’ to God – that is some of the most profound strength that exists on this planet. It’s the ‘yes’ in the midst of no ability to pull ourselves up by the boot straps…it’s that ‘yes’. That trusting with all your heart. Faith brings answers. Enduring faith brings answers. And then there is Romans 8v28:
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God – those whom He has called according to His purpose.
That promise isn’t even necessary if there are things that don’t make it past faith and past enduring faith.
We cannot lose trust in the One who is perfectly good. We need to realise that there are things we do not understand and if for some reason it seems to appear that there was a NO – that there’s a better YES coming and when we realize that, it turns our hearts to that hope and promise.
It’s not endurance – it is hope with promise.
All things work together for good. That is for all the things that get past faith and enduring faith. It’s the confidence that God is able to use the worst of situations for His glory. And in eternity you’ll look back at all the things you questioned and say ‘AMEN.’
Funerals put us in touch with eternity. This life is a mere breath, a shadow. Eternity is a substance and that’s what we’re living for. Anytime we lose sight of that, eternity is what keeps us and our morals sound. It’s like athletes who train for 4 years to run a 10 second race. It is basically just a moment. We live, for however long it is, for that one moment…To hear, ‘Well done.’ Everything is for that ONE moment.
So all I know now, is that I have gotta get back to that table. That table that God has put there, and although I may be surrounded by my enemy – he’s the one that is powerless as I draw near to feast on the One who is perfectly faithful.
The prayer that Bill Johnson left me with is as follows:
“That God would raise up a generation of champions that hold the resolve of a profound ‘yes’ regardless of circumstances, yet a people that grow in anointing and wisdom to unravel the things that surround disease, affliction and torment. That there would be an increase of breakthrough anointing, that there would be an unusual grace & ability to find the table that has been set in the midst of enemies, in the midst of confusing situations and to be able to feast. I also thank Him for making the devil watch our relationship which increasingly grows. I bless the Lord. Amen.”
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1v17)