“Tom suffered so terrible,” said one lady. “We had taken him to healing services and prayer groups all over the country. He seemed better for a while, and our hopes soared. Then the cancer returned and months of agony before he died. How could God be so inconsistent? I can’t believe it was His will that Tom die so young. He was a Christian and wanted to serve God. If God did this just to teach the rest of us a lesson, why did Tom have to suffer? I can’t believe I’m supposed to praise God for what has happened.”
This story sharply contrasts with Elaine’s.
“I fell, bruised my ribs and both knees badly. Walking was very painful. I slept for three days in my recliner. (Thank God for the recliner because sleeping in a bed was silly due to all the pain!) I worshiped and had peace. Friends told me to go to the hospital since I could have had a stroke—one was a nurse. I worshiped and praised God as a sacrifice of praise.
“I called my neighbors because I did not trust myself to drive. I was exhausted. The only person that could help was 20 miles away. After she drove me 10 miles to the hospital, I told her to leave me there. I worshiped God more in the hospital.
“Doctors could not find anything wrong with me, even with a CAT scan. I called my friend, Ruth Shinnes, author of Prayer Strategy. She picked some scriptures for me to pray. These scriptures ARE being answered! I personalize them and pray them out loud.”
“He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction” (Psalms 107:20).
I rejoice, for your word has healed Elaine and delivered her from destruction.
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy O Lord, endureth forever: forsake not the work of thine own hand” (Psalms 138:8).
Thank You for making perfect everything that concerns Elaine. You do not forsake her, for she is the work of Your hands.
“A few days later, the sump pump I had installed just two weeks before, was running every minute all through the night. When I opened my basement door I watched it throwing out water; the alley was a river! Later I learned that a feed pipe had broken and without that sump pump my basement would be a swimming pool.
“I called my plumber, and he shut off my water. Then I had to see if a next door neighbor had an outdoor spigot so I could attach it to mine with a hose to get water in my house. My neighbor is DEAF. I was also expecting a prospective renter to be coming ANY minute.
“As I ‘talked’ to my neighbor, the renter came. NO water in the house, and I have NO idea when I will get it fixed or how much it will cost! I had already spent over $20,000 for repairs and for Global tuition and Brazil. I am RETIRED.
“The seminary student was determined to rent my house despite no water, needed repairs which would take place within a month and pantry pests! He and his roommate helped me a combined total of 25 hours to pack and put things into my car over a four day period.
“Wow! Saying praise the Lord would be inadequate! I am still learning to be thankful for each trial and NOT complain since God does design that trial as a blessing to change us into His image. He would have us yield to Him in total dependence and react in worship and have peace.
“God is in the boat with me, holding me and uplifting me! Wow…wow…wow!”
The difference between these stories is in the viewpoint and consequently the outcome. Elaine accepted and prayed God’s Word on faith. She praised, no matter what she humanly thought, felt or saw. She chose to believe by faith in the nature of God’s love just as she accepts on faith all of God’s other promises in the Bible.
“Let this mind be in you, which is also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 KJV). “…be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23 Amp.). If we let God’s Word renew our minds, He will give us His viewpoint. That always means setting aside our desire for knowledge and understanding of the situation and deciding to trust Him.
Will we trust God’s plan for us is good, no matter what? Will we believe God loves us—with kindness, patience, and long-suffering? (1 Corinthians 13) Do we believe nothing can separate us from His love and that He cares for our well-being? (Romans 8:38-39)
God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours; they are so much higher. (Isaiah 55:8) Let’s keep learning to look to Him, trust Him and praise Him always.