ADVICE FOR A FRIEND
I’m going to get a little personal here. I’m going to post an email I sent to a friend who is struggling with faith. It is about my experience with the passing of my beloved husband in October, 2020, but I think we all struggle with faith for one thing or another, and we all have the same weaknesses. While He works individually with each of us, some of His methods follow a very similar pattern, and our sharing can sometimes benefit others. So, here is that letter: I pray it helps someone.
I’m not a pillar of faith like I’d like to be, but losing Glen plunged me into a pit where I had to have faith to get out. I determined to know Jesus more and I told Him I don’t want to live in uncertainty about what’s going to happen anymore. I read everything I could find on suffering, loneliness and giving it to God. I stood on John 14:21, asking Jesus to reveal Himself as He promised there.
I dug into the promises, praying that they would come alive for me, and He Who is Faithful came through! There is no shortcut from spending lots and lots of time in the Word, and books of teaching. VCY Radio was another thing He used. The teachings are great.
I think you might be indoctrinated by your church, and the teaching that we have to have faith in God directly for the situation. We do, but we can’t muster it up by ourselves, and it has to be faith in Him, not His works. Then the specific belief will just come naturally. When Jesus said that the people were healed by their faith, it was faith in HIM not His healing abilities. He wants to do everything for us, not just those critical things.
I think the secret to faith is to become like a child and sit on His lap, get to know Him both in the Spirit and in Truth by His Word. I have filled many pages in notebooks with promises, and I haven’t even skimmed the surface! There is no end to His promises, and there’s one or more for anything we could go through. He hides them in the pages so we have to hunt like a treasure, which they are.
He can’t lie and He can’t fail, so every promise is for every believer. I talk to Him about everything and He always tells me what to do and where I put things (you know, that “safe place” that we always forget about).
Now I see how things work, (somewhat) Like James saying not to waver. That’s something that we can’t do ourselves. God does it all. EVERYTHING. That’s why I’m writing the nature things on my daily posts, to show people that He has His hands in EVERY little thing even in this material world., Then He CERTAINLY has every little thing in our lives under control.
The biggest thing, I think, is to make sure we’re submitted to His will. Even if (and especially if) it’s different from our desire or opinion. When Glen was in ICU for almost two weeks, he was in bad shape, non-responsive, and sedated for pain besides. I couldn’t tell him what I wanted to tell him. Still, I felt sure that he would be home, and that I’d be taking care of him in recovery. I prepared for that in practical things and in my mind. There was no doubt in my mind. But when they said there was no hope, and put him in hospice, it was a huge spiritual shock!!!! But I still felt that it might be an “Abraham-Isaac-on Mt. Moriah” thing, and He could still heal him. The Lord put me in a corner then, and asked me if I could give Glen to Him and even praise Him for it. I still had the Abraham/Isaac thing in my mind. So I said, yes. But, I felt it wasn’t a sincere, “Yes”. I felt I would be killing him. But I got the message then that this was the real thing—no Mt. Moriah— death, and no saying good bye. WOW! No healing, no notice, just praise Him for taking my loved one!!! I said, “I can’t FEEL like praising You, but I love You, and You are allowing this, and I do always want Your Will, so, yes, I will praise You for this because it’s Your will, but I can’t feel happy about it.” That changed my life right then and there. Not that it was all roses, far from it. The first 6 months I lived in fear of dying, no one would find me, and my animals would starve. I gradually gave everything to Him—-or I should say, I am still in the process. I don’t think we can say we, at one time give it all. It’s ongoing, I believe. As long as we’re in these bodies, it’s ongoing.
I can even say, “It’s good for me that I have been afflicted” (Ps 119:71) I NEVER thought I’d be able to say that! But He has done so much for me and taught me so much, that He will do for anyone who truly seeks Him.
I saw something yesterday on VCY TV that talked about how we’re children and servants of the King. Of course, in our minds we know that.
A master takes care of his servants. A master was always obligated to provide food, shelter, rest, protection, provision for his servants. Also, a father is obligated to provide those things for his children. We can ask with Abrahan ~ ~ “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25) Why can’t we believe that the all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful, all-rich God wouldn’t do that for us? We’re both, a servant and a child, and He can do so much more than an earthly master or father, besides being infallible.
Or, like Spurgeon said, “If He has done the greater (salvation) will He not do the lesser” (provide for us and guide us, etc)
He goes on to talk about how much God has in His granaries, and will He not give us the tiny handful of grain we need? When we contemplate how huge and powerful He is, and how little we need in comparison, it becomes ridiculous not to believe. He can work out any situation!!!! And still, it takes time and work to get ourselves in the position to receive it. We don’t make faith ourselves, we rest in His arms and let Him give it to us,….like a small helpless child, which we are.
But I think the biggest thing is thankfulness for all the little and big things around us that He is constantly doing. When I realized that He has His hands on EVERYTHING, even the tiny things, (like for instance , something slips from your hands, but you catch it just in time—-HE DID THAT!)
When I got that in my head, I thank Him all day, and that opens up communication with Him and gives Him praise, which, after all, is our purpose on this earth, right? That opens communication both ways, so then He is able to get through to us for guiding us in decisions, because we are connecting our minds with our spirits, so it flows!
I learned to focus on Him instead of the problems, or potential problems, and the problems looks a lot smaller!!!! I just say, “You’ll work it out, and You’ll give me the strength to take whatever I’ll go through.” (whether or not I feel that way—let your spirit rule) Then I praise Him for it. Like someone said: “You equipped me for this, and for anything that will come because of this.” So true!
At first, we have to thank Him when we don’t feel thankful. It’s not about emotions, EVER. Soon, you’ll actually feel thankful. Dr. Stanley on VCY had a series about that soon after Glen passed, and it helped me see how important thankfulness is. If nothing else, there’s always salvation and life on the new earth and new heavens with Him forever!!!! Then, we start to see Him in this life more and more.
What it boils down to is this: Don’t worry about faith, He’ll provide that along with everything else you will ever need. Concentrate on enjoying His presence in your life, and accepting His perfect will for your life———–better yet, not just accepting it, but praying for it, welcoming it, no matter if your emotions like it or not. Let your spirit rule your thinking, and your spirit wants the perfect will of God in your life, so, relax in His arms and stay in His Word and see what He has to say to you. He’ll also show you verses that you can use to stand against the devil’s lies. “It is written”
Spend your whole day with Him, no matter what you’re doing, relishing His presence around and in You. He’s there, He wants us to acknowledge His constant presence and let Him work in us and our situations. Block out the world and “normal” entertainment. No matter how good it seems, it’s time not spent with Him.