I’m not sure that any other time in my life competes with this one in terms of how I’ve found constant comfort in the Word of God. I’ve claimed more promises, prayed more Psalms, found more hope, and never been more convicted and rebuked through the pages of Scripture than at any other time in my life. Not only that, but many of you reading our story have been equally encouraged and challenged through the Word as you’ve shared your own verses and passages with us (especially those of you who have hit the same brick wall at the Embassy that we have). So I thought I’d take a minute and list a few that have made a considerable impact on Tasha and me both. In a way, they sort of create a Scriptural timeline of our spiritual journey over here–a way to physically track what God has been telling us–the divine voice speaking into our situation.
Matthew 6:27 – “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – I read this on October 8, just a few days after our original canceled court date. I needed that reminder in a major way.
Mark 4:40 – “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”– This verse jumped off the pages of Scripture for me back on October 18th. This was during that long period of waiting for our court date to be rescheduled, wondering what in the world God was up to. Jesus was rebuking his disciples for their lack of faith as their boat was being tossed around on the sea in the midst of a wild storm. For me, it was a rebuke as well. I felt the Lord asking me why I had lost my faith, when the reality of His track record in my life is that He is forever faithful and in constant control. Why should I fear when Jesus is in the boat? I may not understand what He is doing, but He is IN the boat.
Matthew 15:8 – “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” – On October 26th I confessed to the Lord: “Bottom line is I don’t trust You like I say I do. I doubt Your promises. I doubt that You are going to see this through. And I confess that right now.”
Luke 12:32 – “Fear not little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” I claimed this on November 2nd.
Mark 9:24 – “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” – Nov. 3
Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – On November 6th I began claiming this verse. There were 10 business days left until November 20th, the day we were all planning to fly home together. We sincerely believed that the Lord was going to answer our prayer in those 10 business days.
November 17th, the day after we got the devastating news from the Embassy, I had no words to pray. So I opened up my Bible and did a massive promise-claim from the Psalms.
Ps. 147:3 – “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
141:8 – “But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;”
136:23 – “It is He who remembered us in our low estate.”
124:1, 3 – “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side…they they would have swallowed us alive.”
121:5 – “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.”
121:1-2 – “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
112:6-7 – “The righteous will never be moved…He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.”
…on and on it went.
Psalm 139 – My mother-in-law, Robbie Litke, reminded of this great chapter on November 23rd. I re-read it. Before I knew it, verse 12 had gripped my heart so heavily that I grabbed the guitar and a song began pouring forth. The verse says, “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
John 14:27 – “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to You, Not as the world gives to I give to You.” – It was also on Nov. 23rd that I read this verse and then wrote in my prayer journal: “Lord, I could feel your peace in such a tangible way on Monday as I left the Embassy. Though I had every right to be discouraged and broken down, Your peace flooded my heart.”
Lamentations 3:20-24 – “My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” – My buddy Tim Norton, a missionary to Madagascar who has seen his own share of troubles, reminded me on Nov. 25th that God’s faithfulness is great.
I could go on all day. The truth that God’s Word is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword could not have been proven any stronger in our lives than in the past few weeks. Thank You, Lord, for speaking directly to our situation.
What Scriptures have brought conviction or healing in your own situation? What is He saying directly to you?