At the beginning of this year I had the opportunity and the privilege of teaching two sessions on a course called ‘Steps to freedom from fear’, at Ellel Grange. When I looked at the course notes to begin to prepare for the sessions, I had to admit to the Lord and myself that I was still working through fears in my own life. I told the Lord that if I was to do the teaching it had to come from a place of reality in my own walk with him.
Three weeks before _the course I was scheduled to have sinus surgery under general anaesthetic. As I approached that date I realised that I was experiencing the answer to my prayer; that I would have to trust the Lord to help me face my fears about the operation and the unpleasant recovery period afterwards.
I can truly say that I experienced His peace on the day of the operation, and during the enforced rest afterwards. When I came to do the teaching on the course I felt that I was able to be real with those I was speaking to, because of what I’d just been through.
But the Lord wasn’t finished in His response to my prayer. Two weeks after the course I had to have a skin biopsy, and a week after that a wisdom tooth removed, each of which meant me facing more fears, but also again experiencing the Lord’s presence with me as I did.
I’ve often read the verses from James 1 at the beginning of this Seed knowing that I’ve not truly welcomed trials in my life. Last year I felt the Lord spoke to me about the connection between verse 2, which tells us that we should count it all joy when we encounter those trials, and verse 5, which tells us that if we lack wisdom we can ask the Lord for it.
I felt Him say to me that we can ask for His wisdom and perspective in trials, so that they’re not meaningless, and can truly help us towards maturity in our walk of faith and our relationship with him. I don’t think receiving that wisdom always means that we have an explanation for all we suffer in life, but I do believe it helps us to trust the Lord as we go through those times and not be overcome by them. Perhaps, sometimes, it’s simply the assurance that ‘all things truly work together for good to those who love God’.
For me, a sinus operation, a biopsy, which thankfully found no evidence of skin cancer, and a difficult wisdom tooth extraction, though unpleasant in themselves, were opportunities to experience the sufficiency of God’s grace, and to begin to find freedom from fears that had lurked in my heart for a long time.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that Your presence with me in trials can somehow transform them for my good and my growth. Help me to receive Your wisdom as I go through them, and to see them from Your perspective, and trust You in them. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.