God Is Who He Says He Is | By Stephanie Cain

Last year was the hardest year of my life. 

First of all, my mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

I left a job for a new job, but I was eventually laid off from that new job. The day after I started my second new job of the year, my husband broke his collarbone in two places requiring surgery.

My son had a minor procedure done, and at the end of the year, my father lost a foot to disease. 

One high point(Praise God!) was when my mom was declared cancer free. 

Clearly, 2019 was a year of battle, but it was the year that I truly learned about trusting in the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart” is so easy to say and can so easily be an empty, Christian catchphrase.

However, as each of these big changes would happen in my life, I would hear a simple question in my spirit – “Do you trust the Lord?” 

This may have changed a little with each battle. 

When I lost my job it was, “Do you trust the Lord? Is He your Provider?” 

When my mom and dad both had major, life threatening illnesses it was, “Do you trust the Lord? Does He have a plan for their future? Does He have a plan for your future? Is He the Creator and the Healer?”

But what it really boiled down to was this:

  1. Is the Lord who He says He is?
  2. Does He do what He says He will do?
  3. Do you trust Him for it?

Because if God is who He says He is (Provider, Savior, Creator, Father, Healer, Lover of our Souls, Victor) and does what He says He will do (Provide, Heal, Love, Forgive, Never Leave, Work for Good, Has a Future for Us, Redeem), then why would we not trust Him?!

I recently had a management change at my job with a new regional manager. She came in like a wrecking ball and had everyone afraid to lose their job. She even had me going for a minute, but then a moment of clarity hit. Who gave me that job? Who really controls whether I have that job or not? Who really is my provision? It is not the person that I interviewed with. It is not the person that signs my paycheck, and it is not that new management. 

It is the LORD! The Lord holds my present and my future. There is so much freedom and peace that comes with knowing that all you need to do is show up, do your best as unto the Lord, and love people. The rest of it the Lord will take care of faithfully. You CAN trust him for it!

So you may be thinking like I would have been if I was reading this post a few months ago: that’s nice and all, but how?? How do I trust the Lord for such big things? This is my house note we are talking about! Or this is my mom and my son’s grandma we are talking about! 

Here is what I did; I reminded myself of times when God had been faithful to do what He said He would in the past- big or small- and I told myself “If He was faithful then, He will be faithful now.”

And maybe you do not have a time you can think of- that is ok. There are plenty of testimonies in the Bible of healings, provision, guidance, redemption, and restoration. Find one and stand on that! If God could heal the man with a withered hand, He can heal my mom. If the Lord provided food for 5,000+ people out of two fish and some bread, He can provide for my family of three. When the enemy brings anxiety, fear, and doubt because you cannot see the solution yourself, remind yourself that God is who He says He is, that He does what He says He will do, and that you can trust Him for it.

How Bad Do You Want It?| By Chelsea Verdin

What does desperate faith look like?

For me, it is the story of the paralyzed man in the gospels. 

“A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Mark 2:1-5 (NIV)

Most recently, after hearing this story for what seemed like the millionth time in service, I could hear Jesus ask me, “How desperate are you? How far are you willing to go?” 

It was kind of like a “what would you do for a Klondike bar” moment. 

What would I do to meet with Jesus? How far would I go to see His glory? How desperate am I for His presence? 

I was baffled, and honestly, I wanted to say “Lord, I would do anything, go anywhere just to be with you.” 

That was my heart’s intentions and cries because of how much I love Jesus, but as I have looked at my life, I have seen where I have fallen short. It has made me reevaluate my desperation for Christ.

You see the level of our desperation depends on the level of our want. How bad do we want it? 

If a drug addict can sell everything they own for something that ultimately destroys their body, then why are we not more desperate for Christ who is good and ultimately the giver of life? 

Maybe our problem as Christians is not that we are addicted to Christ’s goodness and the work of His glory, (it is very easy for most of us to pray about things we need or want), but maybe it is that we have not spent enough time with Jesus to have developed an addiction for more of Him. Just more of what He can give us.

Just as the four friends who carried their friend on a mat showed Jesus their faith, we must also be willing to go the extra mile in our actions. They could have spoken their desperation and later brought Jesus to their friend, but that was not good enough for them. They needed Jesus to see him, to see their hunger, to feel the intensity of how badly they wanted their friend healed. When our actions match the intent of our heart, we have stepped into pure desperation.

Those friends could have seen the crowd and the impossibility to get through, but they reasoned in their minds that turning back seemed more impossible than getting to Jesus. We have to come to a point when we are so utterly desperate for the presence and glory of Jesus that the impossible seems logical.

We have to be willing to climb those mountains, dig those openings, and lay ourselves paralyzed by the world, but desperate to sit at the feet of Jesus.