God Always Causes Us to Triumph.
The War WILL Be Won!
When all hope is gone . . . there is God. But we forget that. We forget who He is, what He is! Despair overwhelms us. We become demoralized. Disorder rules. We cannot think. We run in circles. And all the while, our Father God is there, waiting for us to call on Him, the God of all hope, the Sovereign One who even in this despair has a purpose for our lives.
John Sung began to think about taking his life. And then John heard the Lord’s voice in the inner chambers of his being, rebuking him, asking him how he could even contemplate so grievous a sin.
The rebuke was so strong, John answered aloud, “But Lord, I wanted to serve Thee and to repay my debt of gratitude. Instead of that, here I am shut up in a place where there is never a moment’s quiet. What use is there in going on living?” ((Leslie T. Lyall, John Sung: Flame for God in the Far East (Chicago: Moody Press, 1964), p. 42.))
The answer came back almost as clearly as if it had been heard with the hearing of the ears, instead of the heart: “All things work together for good to them that love God. If you can endure this trial patiently for 193 days, you will learn how to bear the cross and walk the Calvary road of unswerving obedience.” ((Lyall, pp. 42–43.))
As John contemplated 193 days, he knew that those days would be more profitably spent in another ward, for surely where he was, there would be no chance for peace and quiet. Requesting an interview, John convinced the doctor that he had acted in anger not in insanity. Consequently, John was returned to his original ward where he at least had an opportunity to study his Bible without interruption. Little did he dream that God was going to give him an education that would prepare him for the good works that God had ordained for him before the foundation of the world.
“Through the spring months and the hot, steamy days of summer, while news of flood disasters and soaring prices filled the newspapers, God kept John free from all anxiety about his daily bread and freed his mind to concentrate on his Bible.” ((Lyall, p. 44.))
From early morning until time for bed, most of John’s waking hours were spent reading through the Word of God. In 193 days, John went through the Bible 40 times. Each time he used a different scheme of study. It became his delight. As he studied, God seemed to be showing John a key for understanding every
one of the 1,189 chapters of the Bible. The stack of notebooks grew higher and higher as John did comprehensive word studies of a great variety of topics.
The Word of God was His only text. The Holy Spirit his only teacher. The mental institution was his seminary. And the course lasted only 193 days to the day. John began to appreciate the deep truths of God’s Word above the higher criticism of finite man. There John would often say, “He disciplined me to become His submissive servant. He took away my very obstinate and bad temper.” To John, this was the highest degree he ever received, and he received it on August 30, 1927—200 days after his spiritual crisis in February and 193 days after he found himself totally demoralized. The God of all hope had become his shield and refuge, a very present help in the day of trouble. ((Lyall, p. 45.))
In the years that would lie ahead, John would see that his greatest disappointment was his Heavenly Father’s appointment—an appointment that was critical for this brand plucked from the fire. John was God’s instrument welded in the fire of suffering that he might be used to cut deep into the hearts of sinful men and thereby bring revival to multitudes in Asia. Lives would be transformed as the Word of God, theme by theme, or chapter by chapter, was unfolded from those 193 days of sitting without distraction at the feet of his Master. John had faced the full barrage of the enemy’s Five Deadly D’s, and he had come out as more than a conqueror.
And, Beloved, so can you.
It matters not where you are—disappointed, discouraged, dejected, despairing, or demoralized—God is still God, your sovereign Father, the God of all hope.
If the enemy has penetrated your life to the point that you feel your only recourse is to wave the ragged white flag of surrender and become his prisoner, DON’T.
You’ve been demoralized—cast into disorder, running in circles, untrustworthy in your spirit, in your thinking, unable to discipline yourself, to get your act together. You may even be contemplating suicide—the ultimate, irreversible surrender. DON’T.
You’re listening to Satan’s “Tokyo Rose” . . . it is all pure propaganda. You’re in a fierce battle, but you’re on the winning side. Jesus has said that He would never leave you nor forsake you so that you can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” ([esvignore]Hebrews 13:6[/esvignore], kjv).
Remember, the power for victory is there if you will but listen to and submit in faith to the Captain of the host, King Jesus. Obey His commands. Get dressed, mighty warrior prepared for battle. Follow in the footsteps of God’s point man . . . they lead to victory.
Remember what you have learned of your enemy and react accordingly. Satan is a liar, a murderer, an accuser of the brethren. Satan will tell you:
. . . that God is through with you,
. . . disappointed and disgusted with you,
. . . tired of being bothered by you,
. . . wearied of forgiving you.
But those are lies, all lies. They contradict the character of your God and the truths of His Word. Get on your walkie-talkie. As you walk, stay in communication with the Commander.
Don’t be taken off guard by the enemy’s surprise attacks. God has supplied you with much truth these past 30 days. He has sharpened your sword, the Word of God. He has broadened and strengthened your shield of faith. Impose your will on the enemy. Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
Thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus!
This blog post is excerpted from the out-of-print 30-day devotional “How to Stand Firm Against the Five Deadly D’s” by Kay Arthur.