The Fight to Remain Hopeful in Devastating Times
All the power of Jesus flows through me because He deposited it in me through the Holy Spirit. If I speak to a mountain and I have only faith as small as a mustard seed—the tiniest thing on earth—then it will be moved. I have to have that faith, though. Faith has to be there. What is faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV).
When God spoke the world into being, He spoke. But who was listening? No one, right? So why did He have to speak if no one was actually listening? He spoke because He took what was invisible and made it visible. That is how He spoke. He spoke the invisible into the visible. When we speak, we are bringing the invisible to the visible. That is how the power works in and through us.
But we cannot do that unless our imagination can imagine it. We have to be able to imagine it. Our imagination is generally for vain use, thinking of the negatives and the what-ifs. We think, “How will I live with this? How will I live with that?” versus “What can God do here? I can imagine this person healed and walking.” There are two ways of using your imagination: a way that gives God glory and brings miracles to pass or the way of negativity.
God meets you where your faith is. In the Bible, when Jesus was walking around, He met people exactly where they were. The majority of the time, there had to be a point of expectation where they were expecting to receive something from Jesus. They didn’t necessarily have to expect to receive a miracle, but they had to have an expectation. What is expectation? It’s another word for hope. You have to have a hope.
I think, so many times, in all of the trials, we become discouraged and overridden with the inability to have hope. We lose our expectation. We become bitter and burdened. We are not full of hope and seeking, knowing and believing God is going to bring about His promises and make them come to pass. We have to have a point of expectation.
During this issue I have had, I recognized the point of expectation was immediate healing. When that didn’t come to pass, I lost my expectation. I had to go back and say, “Okay, what is my expectation? I have to reestablish my expectation. I have to reignite my hope.” It’s kind of like hope is our part and faith is God’s part. The faith you have is a gift from God. You can’t conjure it up. He gave it to you. It is deposited in you. He gave you the very ability to believe in Him.
I had to ask myself, “What do I expect? Who is my hope in? Do I really believe Jesus is who He says He is? Do I believe?” He asked His disciples at one point, “This is what everyone else is saying about me. But who do you say I am?” I really had to answer that question. Who do I say God is? Who do I believe Him to be? Even though I haven’t seen this manifested in my own body, do I believe who He says He is?
I began to listen to the Word pour in and realized my fear was limiting my ability to receive from God. It had punched out my expectation and my hope. I started saying, “Do not be afraid. Only believe. Don’t be in fear. Only believe. Believe only; do not fear.” You can only do one or the other. I started quoting these Scriptures. “I will come and heal. I will, and you will be clean.”
I am saying Jesus is willing. Greater is He who is in me than anything else in the world. There is nothing that can come against me that’s greater than the One who is in me. Jesus is willing. He says, “I will.” His will is aligned with God’s will. So if He will, God will. If God wants to, Jesus wants to. God is willing. Jesus has compassion on us. That is His heart’s desire. He does not want to see us hurting. He wants to see us prosper and be in good health.
I realized I have been robbed of my joy, my hope, my thankfulness, and my health. Not only was I robbed of my physical health, I also was robbed of my joy and my hope. I had to start being thankful and started thinking, “God, thank You, Father, that I can walk. Thank You, Father, that my neck isn’t broken. Thank You, Father, that I am awake another day. Thank You that I am seen and not viewed. Thank You, Father, that I am loved. Thank You that I know Your Word. It is deposited in me. Help awaken it.” As I truly started to motivate and keep my hope up, I stopped walking alone.
The thing is, the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion. He wants to separate you from your pack. He wants to make you prey. Really, the only way to get to your prey is to get them away from their pack, where they are safe.
This journey for me has been isolating. It has been isolating physically. I can’t really hug and kiss my children or people in general because I don’t know if they can be as gentle as they need to be. So to protect myself, I’ve had to say, “No, thank you. We can hand hug.” The other thing is this has limited my intimacy with my husband because I can’t fully function physically right now.
Mentally and emotionally, I can’t engage in conversations with people. I just don’t have it in me. I don’t have small talk in me. I’m easily exhausted. I can only take on these little bitty bites of social activity. The thought of being social burdens me so much. I don’t want to be social right now. I don’t want drop-by visitors. I don’t want people to bring me food because I don’t want to have to talk to them. I don’t want to have to engage socially. If they want to leave it on the porch, thank you for blessing me. But it’s not really a blessing for me to have to engage and entertain right now. It hurts my neck to turn and be in conversation. It hurts my eyes to look up to the left and down to the right. It’s just random little things. It’s truly been isolating. I’ve been all alone. I don’t even want to text because it hurts my arm, neck, and eyes to have my phone in front of me. It’s been a silent time.
The truth is I am not alone. I couldn’t be more loved, adored, and surrounded by the Father and the people who are around me. I just don’t want to engage with them right now. But I know they’re my friends. They will be there until the end. They are fighting for me, standing in the gap for me. It’s almost like they remind me I am not alone and that increases my hope.
One of my daughters made me realize I had lost my smile. She made me realize I had given up on joy because the pain was so severe that I had lost my ability to smile and engage in laughter. Other days, I didn’t do as much. I sat around and didn’t speak. I didn’t have anything to say.
That’s enough. It’s not okay to steal my joy because that’s attached to my hope and my health. That is one thing I need to keep. I continue to encourage myself. I tell myself I shouldn’t be afraid and I should believe only. I asked the Father to rid me of doubt. I read the Word and realized God meets you where your faith is.
Remember the woman with the issue of blood? Her faith was, “If I only touch the hem of His garment, then I will be healed.” The centurion would speak the Word only. That was his faith. The guy at the gate called Beautiful wasn’t even expecting to be healed, but he looked at Peter and John with the expectation to receive something. That was his point of faith. Jesus met them there.
I reestablished my point of expectation, just proclaimed it out loud, “I repent for losing my expectation. This is my expectation. This is what I believe.” I had a face to face visit with Jesus. I pictured Him in my mind, and I said, “I don’t want to be like Your disciples, who, even though they saw You, walked with You, and saw Your miracles, were still in awe and shocked by them because they didn’t really know who You were. But I know You. I know who You are. I have walked with You. I know You are willing. I know You are trustworthy. I know You have sent Your Holy Spirit, and greater are You than that which is in me. Father, this is what I expect. I expect that every time I have a symptom, I can speak Your name only and it will be gone in Jesus’ name. I know that every symptom doesn’t mean healing didn’t come. It came two thousand years ago, and healing is present. I believe and expect my body to receive that healing immediately. When a new symptom comes, it is exactly what it is. It is the enemy trying to make the symptoms louder than my knowledge and relationally knowing who God is and what He desires for me. Those new symptoms, I will not let them tear me down in fear. I will rebuke fear in the name of Jesus. Now I pray, Father, that You will set me free from the fear that has entangled me.”
I reestablished my expectation and said, “This is what I expect to happen.” It made me fight before I move. I speak, and I pray. I speak to my mountain, and I expect. I am not just praying and hoping, wishing a wishful hope. I am praying, fully expecting it to happen. I am expecting the visible to submit to the invisible. How awesome is that? And He is doing it.