20 Apr “Apprehension or Anticipation?” by Kathleen Wilson
I went through a period of discouragement recently, when, despite “doing all the right things,” I wasn’t experiencing the results I had been praying for. I don’t know what kind of challenge you might be facing right now – uncertainty about your finances, a difficult relationship, unsaved loved ones, a health crisis, an unresolved work issue, a stubborn habit, or a major loss – but I wanted to share some insights my good friend Holy Spirit gave me that helped me through the dark tunnel and out into the light.
The morning after an emotional meltdown, I read a devotional and felt the Holy Spirit had Chris Tiegreen write it just for me. The dark cloud of grief and discouragement lifted as I received new understanding of what God might be doing in my life. I experienced Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (NLT)
I realized, at a deeper level than I had before, that my attitude was determined largely by my focus. If I focused on my circumstance, situation, or trial, then I was prone to feel hopeless, helpless, frightened, angry, and victimized. If, on the other hand, I focused on God’s character, resources, and power, as revealed in His Word, then my negative emotions gave way to peace, hope, and faith.
God wants us to trust Him completely with any challenge we face in this lifetime. He desires we turn our insurmountable problems over to Him and respond in faith rather than react in fear. The apostle Peter tells us to set aside our self-righteous pride and self-sufficiency and humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting all our cares, anxieties, worries and concerns on Him, because He cares about us with infinite love and deepest affection. (1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP)
The title of this blog indicates that we have a choice when faced with difficulties – we can react with apprehension or respond with anticipation. In his devotional “Excited About Impossibilities,” Chris quoted Armin Gesswein – “When God is about to do something great, He starts with a difficulty. When He is about to do something truly magnificent, He starts with an impossibility.” As human beings, we tend to look at our problems, difficulties, and challenges from our perspective, rather than God’s. God’s perspective is the bigger the problem, the more difficult the circumstance, and the more impossible the situation, the greater the opportunity for Him to reveal His wisdom, power, and glory.
Chris admonishes us to get excited, rather than discouraged, when we encounter trials, trouble, and tribulation. I admit, I am not there yet. I still don’t “count it all joy when I meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2) However, rather than feel discouraged, I have started to look forward with anticipation to how God is going to work in my situation. My trials are not an indication of His neglect or lack of care, but rather a platform for good gifts and perfect solutions.
God wants us to partner with Him by responding in faith and prayer to any trial we encounter. For His miraculous work to take place in, through, and for us, we must abide in Him, ask according to His Word, and believe He is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. He sometimes answers prayer promptly, but in my experience, we often need to persevere in the asking and believing, sometimes through lengthy delays and unanticipated setbacks. Remember how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he made life much more difficult for the Israelites before letting them go? Why? God’s power and glory were revealed to such an extent that all the pagan gods were put to shame by comparison. Remember how Jesus delayed visiting the sick Lazarus, so that he died in the interval? Why? So, Christ could reveal to the crowds gathered for the funeral that “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25) and many believed and were saved.
Impossible situations, oppressive circumstances, and unsolvable problems all submit to His power.
In Isaiah 55:10-11 God reminds us, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goes out of My Mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
For our part, Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7:7-8 (AMP), “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” The Greek words for “ask, seek, and knock” are in the present continuous tense, so as the Amplified translation indicates, we need to persist in our efforts until we see the manifestation of God’s will.
In addition to asking and believing, the power of Holy Spirit is released in any situation by speaking God’s Word aloud into it. I have written about this before, that God creates through speaking His Word and He creates through us as we speak His Word. I recently organized all the Bible verses I had bookmarked on the You Version Bible App into topics for quick reference. What does God’s Word say about Healing? Provision? Faith? Deliverance? Perseverance? Hope? In addition to reading scripture and praying silently, I now regularly speak them aloud. Rhema, in Greek, literally means an “utterance” or “thing said.” It refers to the spoken Word of God and the action of that utterance. I recommend as a “Next Step” you research God’s Word and see what He says about your situation or circumstance, and then begin confessing scripture into it. I invite you to confidently expect His goodness to be revealed and anticipate seeing what His Work will accomplish.