Written by: Darlene Zschech
Article source: JOY! Magazine
Darlene preached this message as she faced her greatest battle – cancer, and fought back and won. I trust it will be a huge encouragement to those who are facing severe battles in their lives. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-2
Acknowledge the Lord for who He is
Shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer, I laid on my bed one night trembling. It was almost like an out-of-body experience and I felt very vulnerable. The Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart. He asked me, “What do you believe?”. I could feel myself saying, “I believe You, I believe in Your promise, I belive in Jesus and that He paid the ultimate price, and I believe that You are the redeemer and that You are looking after my family, I believe in Your church, I believe You are the Saviour, I believe you are the Alpha and Omega, I believe You are the one”. My list went on and on. The Holy Spirit came back to me and I felt an intense whisper in my heart; He said “Do you believe that I love you?” I answered “yes I do”. Again He asked “Do you know that I love you?”, then finally He said, “Daughter I love you with an everlasting love, I love you”. When I repeat these words to myself, even now, I feel the Holy Spirit driving down this truth into the very fabric of who I am . No matter what goes wrong or how one feels, from sickness, depression, or disappointment – you must know that you are loved. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38–39.
Nothing can separate us from the Love of God – nothing, nothing, nothing
Its incredible to know that even at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry – the very first thing God says is “This is My beloved Son”. God crowns Jesus with love, establishing His identity. Almost immediately the enemy comes and tries to corrode that identity and gnaws at that trust that the Father has for His Son. And the enemy works in the very same way today, chipping away at our knowledge that we are loved. God loves the Church, He loves you. A member of our church came to me and handed me a book of Scriptures that she felt God had given to her for me. Every single Scripture was about the love of God. If felt God saying to me, “I am not mad at you”. People face challenges all the time and I want to say “God is not punishing you, He is not angry at you – He is a good father”. There are three things that I learnt out of this and want to share with you:
Believe what you can’t see
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1. Become certain of what you do not see, fill yourself with God’s Word in order to shape you and heal you. Write His Word down and fill your home with it. Write down the Words of life everywhere so that when you can’t see results, you will still be certain of them. His Words can’t lie and they cannot return empty. They just cannot!
Allow God to do a work in you
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” – 2 Chronicles 20:17. God has set seasons, winter is a season. Some are walking through winter right now. When you look at a blossoming tree in winter, it looks barren but inside there is so much happening. The principle of winter is that God Himself, who sets the seasons is in action, is working towards spring so that the tree can bear its magnificence as He has ordained it. Going through winter, you allow God to do a work in you. Winter doesn’t last forever, spring is coming.
Feed your faith and starve your fear
There is this story about a little boy standing on the roof of his house as it is burning. There is smoke everywhere and he can’t see anything, he is terrified. He hears his daddy say “Jump, jump”, but he shouts back and says, “I can’t daddy, I can’t see you”. Then he hears his daddy say, “but I can see you my boy, jump!” And so it is, there are times when you will face the wall and will have to ask yourself if you believe. When you can’t work anything out, you must remember the promises of God in you. Faith is the evidence of the unseen – fear entraps us. What you believe will write the path that you will walk on. Feed your faith and starve your fear.
What do you confess?
What we talk about and what we confess comes straight out of what we feed on and what we believe. I found that some people got quite uncomfortable with my positive confession. Often when I spoke they said “that’s good, but what do the doctors say?”. I just repeated God’s Words. It is what I believed. “But if I go to the east, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him. When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him; when He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him. But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps. I have kept to His way without turning aside.. I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” – Job 23: 8-12. What are you confessing? Remember, it is not just the power of positive speaking, it’s the truth over fact – life over death. There is victory in the Cross. Every time you take communion, you are remembering that Jesus made a way. He rose again with healing. Remember the Cross and the hope that it stands for. Hope is the anchor for our souls. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” – Philippians 4:4-6.
Practice confirming God’s Word
Soak yourself in God’s Word so that if will overflow out of you. Our declaration is so important. You need to take in God’s Word in order to believe what it says. Speak out what you want to become. Jesus is alive and at work in your life. He fills you with hope that does not disappoint. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18 :21.
There is no substitute for God’s presence
Bring God into your presence. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Play Gospel music all day and see it will carry you through every storm. In the worst of times and the best of times – our great God Emmanuel. Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart. Singing and saying thank you is the key. God’s love has set us free to be fuelled with joy. In His presence is fullness of joy – this joy defies any human understanding or circumstance. There is no substitute for His presence. Never get too busy to sit with the Lord. No matter what journey you are facing, God’s presence is overwhelming and amazing. “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zeph 3:17. In any circumstance – you will be amazed at the hope you will find in His presence. Sing, sing, sing. We know in whom we believe and all of our hope and all of out trust is in the Lod God Almighty.
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