September 27, 2018
Is This News or Truth?
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6 (NIV)
News and truth aren’t always one and the same.
I’m learning this through a medical situation I’ve been facing over the last year. It all started with words from my doctor that I never expected to hear.
“Lysa, I’m so sorry. You have cancer.”
I wish I could properly describe what happened in that moment. Everything around me got incredibly quiet and seemed to move very slowly. I could hear the doctor continuing to talk, but I couldn’t make out his words. I could feel words trying to form in my mouth, but there was no energy to actually speak. I knew I should probably cry, but no tears seemed available.
I am absolutely a woman who believes with all my heart that the presence of God is in the midst of my life. But in that moment, He felt distant and mysterious. I just felt stunned. And then I felt okay. And then I felt stunned again.
I wanted to hold it together. But then falling apart seemed quite reasonable.
It’s scary when doctors shock you with test results, and you don’t know what the future holds.
In the days that followed my cancer news, God tenderly reminded me of an email my sweet friend Shaunti Feldhahn once sent me about another difficulty I was walking through. Her note said, “Lysa, this is news. This is not truth.”
I’ve always thought of news and truth as one and the same. What the doctor gave me was news. Honest news, based on test results and medical facts.
But I have access to a truth that transcends news. The restoration that is impossible with human limitations is always possible for a limitless God. Truth is what factors God into the equation.
So, I find myself looking at the word impossible a little differently today.
“Impossible,” in light of Shaunti’s note, could be completely different if I just stick an apostrophe between the first two letters. Then it becomes I’m-Possible. God is the Great I AM. Therefore, He is my possibility for hope and healing.
I’m-Possible is a much more comforting way to look at anything that feels quite impossible.
I suspect many of us have things in our life that feel impossible. Maybe you just got some bad news. News of an impossible financial situation. News of an impossible job situation. News of an impossible kid situation. News of an impossible friend situation. News of an impossible medical situation.
Whatever news you just got or will get, I pray Shaunti’s advice helps you, too.
That is news.
And this is God’s Truth:
I AM THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
I AM FOREVER FAITHFUL.
“He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever” (Psalm 146:6, NIV).
I AM WITH YOU.
I AM HOLDING YOU.
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand” (Psalm 73:23, NIV).
I AM YOUR HIDING PLACE.
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7, NIV).
One of the greatest comforts to me through all this has been knowing that somehow, God will use this for good. And that God will be my possible in the midst of what can sometimes feel so impossible.
Of course, I still have those less spiritually secure moments when I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. And cry. And pitch a little hissy fit.
But how thankful I am for the Great I AM. The One who will absolutely “Guide me in [His] truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:5a, NIV).
I love you, sweet friend. And I’m praying for you today. Praying that every time the word impossible creeps up and starts to steal your hope, you will see the words I’m-Possible and hold on to Him.
Dear Lord, You are I AM, I’m-Possible. You are the Way, the Truth and the Life, and You are forever faithful. Thank You for being with me always, holding me close and being my hiding place. Help me lean on these truths when the news I receive feels impossible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 25:5, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (NIV)
Do you ever struggle with the fact that your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would? Instead of being pulled into the anxiety of disappointment, discover how to better process unmet expectations and other painful situations with help from Lysa TerKeurst’s newest book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way. Pre-order your copy here today, and get the first 3 chapters immediately!
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which truth Lysa shared about God, the Great I AM, do you most need to cling to right now? Join in the conversation here and then be sure to write it down and carry it with you this week — focusing on and memorizing the Truth.
© 2018 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
For the next fews days I invite you on a journey to the miraculous with Steven Furtick through his SUN STAND STILL Devotional.
The Prayer That Stopped the Sun
Right here on Day 1, I’m going to throw out a challenge to you: If you’re not daring to believe God for the impossible… you’re sleeping through some of the best parts of your Christian life. And further still, if the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God. You should be living by audacious faith every day. Audacity is not just for elite Christians. It’s intended for every believer. So today we’re beginning a spiritual journey toward trusting God for what seems impossible. I’m thrilled to think about what its going to do for our lives and our world.
A story from the life of Joshua serves as our template for audacious faith.
The Israelites unleash a surprise attack on the Amorites, and right from the beginning the battle goes well. But as the sun sinks toward the horizon, General Joshua faces a decision. The victory isn’t complete, and once it gets dark, the rest of the Amorites will slip away. Joshua sizes up the situation and delivers one of the most gloriously unorthodox prayers in the Bible. He has the audacity to ask God to make the sun stop in the sky. To freeze time on behalf of His people.
And God gives Joshua exactly what he asked for.
With everything in me, I believe God still desires to make the sun stand still over the life of every believer. Obviously, not in the unique way He did for Joshua, but in ways that are equally spectacular (although not always quite as dramatic), God is perfectly willing to perform the impossible in our everyday lives. If we have the audacity to ask.
Is there something that is seemingly impossible that you’d like to see God do through you? Maybe God has already been working in your spirit, planting a desire, sparking ideas about the much bigger things He wants to accomplish.
There’s nothing our world needs more desperately today – in individuals, families, businesses, churches, and communities – than Gods saving, supernatural acts. And God is ready to act if we will be bold enough to ask, not just for a good day or a better life, but for the impossible and then will step forward to act in audacious faith.
“It wasn’t long before My-Master-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and destroyed it and its king under a holy curse, just as he had done to Jericho and its king. He also learned that the people of Gibeon had come to terms with Israel and were living as neighbors. He and his people were alarmed: Gibeon was a big city—as big as any with a king and bigger than Ai—and all its men were seasoned fighters. Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon: “Come and help me. Let’s attack Gibeon; they’ve joined up with Joshua and the People of Israel.” So the five Amorite (Western) kings—the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon—combined their armies and set out to attack Gibeon. The men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua camped at Gilgal, “Don’t let us down now! Come up here quickly! Save us! Help us! All the Amorite kings who live up in the hills have ganged up on us.” So Joshua set out from Gilgal, his whole army with him—all those tough soldiers! GOD told him, “Don’t give them a second thought. I’ve put them under your thumb—not one of them will stand up to you.” Joshua marched all night from Gilgal and took them by total surprise. GOD threw them into total confusion before Israel, a major victory at Gibeon. Israel chased them along the ridge to Beth Horon and fought them all the way down to Azekah and Makkedah. As they ran from the People of Israel, down from the Beth Horon ridge and all the way to Azekah, GOD pitched huge stones on them out of the sky and many died. More died from the hailstones than the People of Israel killed with the sword. The day GOD gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to GOD, with all Israel listening: “Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.” And Sun stopped, Moon stood stock still Until he defeated his enemies. The day GOD gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to GOD, with all Israel listening: “Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.” And Sun stopped, Moon stood stock still Until he defeated his enemies. (You can find this written in the Book of Jashar.) The sun stopped in its tracks in mid sky; just sat there all day. There’s never been a day like that before or since— GOD took orders from a human voice! Truly, GOD fought for Israel.”
Joshua 10:1-14 MSG
From the (Un)qualified devotional by STEVEN Furtick
“Your brother,” he said, “came here falsely and took your blessing.” Esau said, “Not for nothing was he named Jacob, the Heel. Twice now he’s tricked me: first he took my birthright and now he’s taken my blessing.” He begged, “Haven’t you kept back any blessing for me?””
Genesis 27:35-36 MSG
One of the most dramatically unqualified biblical heroes I can think of is Jacob. He was a liar, a con, a trickster, a fraud. He spent much of his life haunted by bad decisions and exiled to the chaos of self-inflicted consequences. And yet God called him, chose him, and even blessed him.
Jacob ended up playing a major role in God’s plan to redeem the world. He emerged simultaneously as one of the most important figures in Scripture and one of the most screwed up.
Jacob was a poster child for the confusion and complications that weaknesses produce. But he was also a dramatic example of someone who was, at least by the end of his life, able to embrace his insufficiencies, look past them, and trust in God.
And when he did, God took over. He overruled Jacob’s limitations and trumped his disqualifications. Jacob was acutely, painfully, spectacularly human. That’s probably why I can relate to his failures faster than his feats. But ultimately God redeemed, redefined, and realigned Jacob through his weaknesses, not in spite of them. And that’s what He will do for you and me, when we embrace who we really are. He wants to bless the real you, with all your insufficiencies and weaknesses. He is the one who has called you, equipped you, and empowered you. And He is able to open doors of opportunity just for you…just as you are.
“For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus. May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!”
Galatians 6:14-18 MSG