And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Rom. 8:28 NASB
If it had not been for the things I have gone through in my life, I would not be who I am today. God would not be using me in the way that he is in the lives of others, in spreading his gospel message throughout the world, and in comforting and encouraging the abused, the downtrodden, the lonely and the afflicted.
Because of the suffering I have gone through in my life, I have also learned God’s heart. I felt and feel what God feels via me going through the kinds of sufferings that Jesus had to endure, and by suffering, at the hands of my beloved, what God has often endured from his bride, his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Whenever the Lord would have me write on passages of scripture, such as the major and minor prophets, or many of the New Testament books, where God’s people were being addressed concerning their lack of love for God via their disobedience and rebellion, I knew what God felt, because I had experienced the same from my husband. So, that is why I often identified with Hosea.
Sovereignty of God
I know that my God is completely sovereign over all that he has made. I also know that he is fully loving, kind, merciful, compassionate and forgiving. But, for a good portion of my life, although I knew this in my head, I did not really believe it in my heart. For, what I went through in my life, first with my dad, and then with my husband, taught me that God was limited, that he could do nothing about my circumstances, and that Satan still had power over me.
So, following that time of moral failure in my own life, and the revival that my Lord took me through, he taught me several very significant things:
1. I was believing a lie that God was not completely sovereign over my life, and that Satan still had power over me, and that there was still a question as to who was going to win this battle for my life and my mind.
2. I still had unforgiveness in my heart, but the only name, at that time, that the Lord gave me was Jesus. Deep down inside me I had held it against Jesus that he did not protect me from it all. So, I had to let go of that hurt, and forgive my Lord, although he had done me no wrong, and I had to accept God’s absolute sovereignty over every aspect of my life.
3. I had been resisting Satan like an abused child resisting her dad’s advances, with arms crossed over my face, hoping to not get hit, but knowing the hits were going to come anyway, so with a defeatist approach, that did lead me, at times, to give up and to give in.
4. Satan did NOT have any power over me, for Jesus already won that battle for me at the cross. I just had to live like I believed that, and I had to put on the armor of God daily with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against me. I had to use the offensive weapons of the Word of God, and truth, whenever Satan would lie to me and tell me that I was helpless against him.
I can tell you now that believing these things in my heart and acting on them, accordingly, radically altered the direction of my life from that moment on.
This is not to say that I have not battled fear, for I have. This is not to say that I have not ever believed Satan’s lies again. I have, at least for a time, until God opened my eyes to see the truth. And, then I rejected the lies, put on the truth, and moved forward.
I believe so many of us end up living defeated lives because we believe the lies and not the truth, in the depths of our souls, which is evident by what we do. We have to remember here that Satan is an angel of light, a deceiver, and so his lies are not always going to be obvious to us.
Just because people may treat us badly, abuse us, use us, betray us, cheat on us and lie to us, does not mean we have to succumb to those messages which say we are nothing, we are defeated, we are hopeless or we are helpless. For, if we are children of God, we are not any of those things! We are mighty conquerors through Christ Jesus who loves us, and who gave his life up for us! Amen!
So, we can walk in victory over sin, over Satan and over doubts and fears. Daily we can put on that armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us, and we can walk in victory, and not in defeat.
If we are truly in Christ Jesus, through faith in him, we have everything we need in Christ to walk by faith and not by sight, to walk in freedom, and not in bondage, to be overcomers, rather than to be overcome by evil. We can resist Satan, flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith.
We can forgive those who have hurt us, and we can be free of the deep wounds in our hearts brought about by mistreatment, abuse, persecution, etc. And, we can love our enemies with the love of God, and be merciful to them, and be compassionate towards them in helping them to know Jesus Christ and the freedom that is in him from bitterness, unforgiveness, sinful addictions, and fear of what others might do to us, etc.
And, a big part of this healing will come when we accept God’s absolute sovereignty over our lives, and we submit to his will for our lives, and truly believe that he is going to work all things for good (for what is in our best interest) for us who love God, who are following in his footsteps, and who are called according to his purposes. We have to let go and let God if we are going to find true freedom in Christ Jesus and know his perfect peace, and to be able to have joy in our hearts even in the midst of some of the most difficult situations we will ever face.