Tag Archives: peace and joy

06. Does God give words of knowledge? The Bible is full of them!

If it is a word from God, it will be based on God’s Word. Any promise God gives will generate peace, not turmoil. If you are struggling or fearful that it may not happen, re-evaluate.

Every promise in God’s Word is a word of knowledge.

God’s words of knowledge

People often ask me if I believe God gives personal promises or a word of knowledge to an individual. I believe he has given a Book full of personal promises to us. Every promise in his Word is a word of knowledge for me. But, yes, I do believe he makes those promises personal in a very real way sometimes. God does occasionally give a word of knowledge, but I think we need to be very careful with this.

I have worked with women, for example, whose husbands had left them. They clung to a “word of knowledge” that God had shown them that their marriage would be reunited. However they struggled continuously as they watched their estranged husband drift farther and farther away. They had no peace in their “word of knowledge.”

Greater than a word of knowledge

I have heard all the teaching of claiming certain things in prayer, being specific, having faith they will happen, etc. There are some things we can claim in prayer. God says he will never leave us and will be with us through every circumstance. We can claim that. God says where two or three of us gather in his name he is in our midst. We can claim that. But one thing is greater than a word of knowledge. That is faith that offers the following prayer:

Lord, I am not going to tell you how to answer this. You know I want my marriage restored. You know I want to be healed. You know I need a job. You know the things I need and want. I come to you with these needs. But I do not ask you to meet these needs in any specific way. I simply lay them at the foot of your cross and trust you to work according to your very best plan for me.

Your way is always best. The thing I fear most is being outside your will and your best plan for me. So I ask you to work, not as I would tell you, but according to the way you know is best.

I am relieved of the need to worry about this because I know the outcome will be far greater than I could ever imagine, though at present I cannot comprehend how it is possible that you could bring something better than saving my marriage, or healing, or financial help, or meeting other needs. I can’t see it but I know you, God, and I trust you for whatever answer you bring forth.

That is the prayer that is always answered exactly as it is prayed. That is the prayer that I have learned to pray and I have seen God truly give me more in every way than I could ever have if I dictated to God how to answer my prayer.

Getting our motives right

The prayer that tells God how to answer, no matter how noble our request, even saving our marriages, is (in my humble opinion) still a prayer with wrong motives. You see, we want our marriages saved for us ultimately. Our marriages fulfill a need that we have. Our motive should be serving God and living according to his plan. That is a higher motive even than saving our marriages. Definitely, God is interested saving our marriage. But his greatest concern is restoring the partners in that marriage. Here is what God says about asking with the wrong motive:

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

This is heavy stuff, but Job learned this lesson. He said: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance!” (Job 13:15-16).

God’s personal promise brings peace

God can and does sometimes reveal things to us, or give us a word of knowledge. But we must be very careful with assuming we have gotten a word from God if it is not based on a promise he has already given us in his Word. There is only one thing we can be absolutely sure of. That is the Word of God, the Book he has already given to us.

There have been times when I have just known that God was working in a certain way. I had peace and could feel his presence so real. It was not a doubtful, up and down experience, but rather a calm knowing. But even those times came because I have a practice of immersing myself in his Word. When those times have occurred, I have seen the thing I knew come to pass. But those times almost always stemmed, if not from a specific promise, from the knowledge of the principles of God’s Word.

But if your word of knowledge is not coupled with peace — if you are continually struggling to make it happen or fearful that it may not happen — then you need to re-evaluate. Any word from God will generate peace for you, not turmoil. It is easy to want something so badly that we believe that surely it must be his will for it to happen. We assume that since it is his will, it is a word from God. Yet God is not held in a box at the mercy of our own desires and ideas of what is in accordance with his will.

Delight in the Lord, not your desires

I speak from experience here. There have been times that I have trusted that something surely must be God’s will and it did not come to pass. I believe to the utmost in holding onto God’s promises of hope and peace and joy and abundance. I believe we can expect specific results in accordance with specific promises. But are we willing to trust God when it seems he is not accomplishing the things we just knew he would accomplish if we turned to him?

It is easy to follow him with the assurance that he will do thus-and-so. But when thus-and-so doesn’t happen over a period of time, we easily become discouraged. I find it much easier to follow him knowing that he is always at work to accomplish the very best with my present circumstances. I trust his judgment, not what I see as the best thing to do.

Some will say that is a cop-out, that it is easy to trust when you don’t have anything specific to trust in. But I have very specific things to trust in. For example I do not trust that God will force any individual to do what is right. But I do trust that God will give them every opportunity as I pray for the person and commit my heart to being what God says to be in the situation.

Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Lots of people have used this to say that we can have whatever we want if we “delight in the Lord.” They are not wrong. But the problem is they misinterpret what it means to delight in the Lord.

Delighting in the Lord means we delight in his will, not ours. We delight in him more than our husbands. Yes, we are to enjoy our husbands. But they are not to be our major fulfillment. God is. As long as we delight in God, we can lose everything else and still have the greatest desire of our heart, for our desire will be the treasures we receive from God – treasures of peace and joy and the knowledge that we have a God who can see us through anything.

Application

Should we give up hope for our marriage, then? No. God can do anything. Pray and trust God. Believe him. Base your life on the promises in God’s Word. We may fail our husbands and they may fail us, but God will never fail!

Financial problems? Faith and finances is next.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

09. If things still go wrong: You go right for you are blessed!

When things go wrong, you go right! Accept the “gift” of adversity through which God grows his children. Always remember “You are blessed!”

Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 9 (1 Peter 3:13-5:11).

We Are Blessed

Some of us have done our best to be submissive, Godly wives, yet we find ourselves groping in the rubble of a broken home. We trusted in God. What went wrong? God has a precious and tender answer for us:

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened” (1 Peter 3:13-14).

Can it be that even in what seems so wrong, “You are blessed”? Oh, yes! When a woman faithfully follows the Lord as best she can in a troubled marriage, God walks daily with her. She is called to a great faith. As she trusts God day by day, she learns that he is faithful to that trust.

“For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Psalm 1:6).

What greater opportunity to grow in faith than when the very foundation we’ve built our marriage on begins to crumble. What a comfort to know that even in this God watches over our way! When a woman is faithful to the Lord, God will multiply that faithfulness back to her many times over. She will begin to experience continual joy and peace in the midst of the pain.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

“You are blessed!” Peace and joy in the midst of suffering and a broken heart — can there be any greater blessing than this? As we are faithful in a troubled and sometimes broken marriage, we learn of God’s faithfulness as we could no other way.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2).

Do not live for the things you desire (a beautiful marriage relationship.) Rather, live to fulfill the will of God for your life. God’s desire is that your marriage be made whole. But his greater desire is that you experience continual trust in and fellowship with him. Live for that!

Rather than envy those who have “solid Christian marriages,” begin to thank God for the blessings he has given you even in the painful times of your marriage. Remember, those “solid Christian marriages” struggle also. Some are much more shaky than they appear from the outside. Others are strong, but none is perfect. In every marriage you so envy, the wife is frustrated with her husband from time to time. He is sometimes annoyed with her. So do not envy. Rather be thankful for God’s blessing in the marriage where you are. You are blessed!

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

The Bible speaks of gifts of the spirit. But in the context of 1 Peter 4, could it be that the gift here is the gift of adversity? What greater gift can the Lord give than to make life hard so we learn to trust him? As songwriter Andrae Crouch says in “Through it All”: “For if I had never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them, and I would never know what faith in his word could do.”

How are we to use these gifts of suffering? By “faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” God will give you grace to live for him as you trust him through the heartbreak of a wayward child. God will give you grace to live for him as you hold his hand through the storm of a difficult marriage. God will give you grace to continue on for him if you experience the pain of the marriage you’ve worked for crumbling under your feet.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13).

This verse was written to a people who were suffering persecution for their faith. Ours is a different situation, but in a sense it is the same. Because of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and to our husbands, we’ve tried to live for Christ in our marriages. We’ve not been perfect, but we’ve done our best. Many have followed Christ even as their husband followed the world. Some have been the only Christian in their homes.

“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).

What do you do when things go wrong? When things go wrong, you go right! Be humble toward your mate, and be willing to admit your own weaknesses in the marriage. Give your husband to the Lord, and continue to trust God moment by moment.

…clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
–1 Peter 5:5-7, 10

Always remember, You are blessed!

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you that we have a hope and a purpose, and that you are not finished with us yet. Thank you that even in our own failures in our marriages, you receive us, forgive us, and help us to stand in your grace.

Please be with our husbands, and help them find your hand, Lord. Please help them to know your comfort. If it be possible, unite our husband’s hand, and ours, back together with yours. We know you have the power to do all things, so we give our husbands to you, trusting you to work in their hearts and ours to bring about your will.

Thank you, Lord, that because of you, we are blessed. Please help our husbands to know your blessing, too. Amen.

Table of Contents for Daughters of Sarah

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted