If you've ever heard me share my testimony of how I was abused by my father throughout my childhood, you know I've gone through some really difficult times. In fact, there were some things that were so painful, I wondered if I would survive them. But I did, and now one of my greatest desires is to help others know how to trust God and lean on Him so they can overcome their struggles too.
There's a huge difference between a Christian who just tries to make it on their own and one who really relies on the Holy Spirit to enable them to do whatever they need to do. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to take His place here in the earth. He can be everywhere, all the time, and because He lives in us as born-again believers, Jesus will never leave us or forsake us.
In John 15:26 (AMPC), Jesus told His disciples, "When the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes...the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me." It's so amazing to realize that the Holy Spirit is always with us and He's the Strengthener we need to get through every problem we have to face.
Victors or Grasshoppers?
In Numbers 13, the Israelites were facing a big problem. They were just outside the land of Canaan, which is the promised land God led them to after they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. Moses sent 12 spies to scout out the land, and when they returned, 10 of them had a bad report, and two had a good report.
The spies told Moses, "We came to the land to which you sent us; surely it flows with milk and honey.... But the people who dwell there are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; moreover, there we saw the sons of Anak [of great stature and courage]" (vv. 27-28 AMPC). But Caleb said, "Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it" (v. 30). In verses 32 and 33, the 10 spies "brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land...is a land that devours its inhabitants.... There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."
For the Israelites to possess their promised land, they were going to have to dispossess the current occupants—the giants. God had not cleared out all of the problems because He wanted to teach them how to trust Him, to lean on Him for the strength they needed to overcome their enemies. Caleb acted in faith because he had his eyes on God, but the spies who brought the "evil report" couldn't see themselves as anything but grasshoppers facing giants because they weren't trusting God.
You Can Face Your Giants
We all have giants—problems in life that we have to overcome. I don't like them any more than anybody else does, but I've discovered that we learn more about how to trust God when we go through difficulties than we do in other seasons of our lives. The truth is when we don't have anyone but God to get us through something, He can use it to make us stronger in Him, and then He can use us to do greater things than we ever imagined we could do.
God doesn't want us to live weak, wimpy, helpless, pathetic, barely-get-by lives. That's why He sent the Holy Spirit to be our "Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby)." Acts 1:8 says, "But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth."
The Holy Spirit is with you all the time, and His power gives you "ability, efficiency, and might" to be a witness for Christ. This means that in Christ, you have the power to be the kind of person in this world who represents Him as a light in a dark place...who has peace in the midst of the storm...who has the power not to worry when you have a huge problem and hope even when it looks like there is no hope at all.
I want to encourage you to take time to get to know God for yourself. Spend time with Him in prayer and through studying His Word. Wait on the Lord and receive the strength He has for you today (Isaiah 40:31). Put your focus on Him and pray, "God, I trust You. Please strengthen me today to do whatever I need to do, through Christ. I give you my will and want to know what Your will is for me. I need Your strength, wisdom and guidance in every area of my life. I believe You will work out all things for my good (Romans 8:28). You are my strength and I won't give up!"
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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