What do you say and what do you display?

 It has been several months now that the Lord has given me a challenge by asking me, “What do you say, JoAnne and what do you display?”

 Like many of you I have had many trials and fears throughout my lifetime. I have struggled and had to fight through them and what I have learned in these many years of serving God is that there are two ways to go through trials and adversity. One way is to have faith and put your trust in God and the other is exactly the opposite; to waiver in our faith and to trust ourselves in the trials and adversity.

 I find that the hardest part about trials and adversity is that it really isn’t about the trials and adversity but rather it is the battle to decide to hold on to my faith and trust in God. The tendency is to blame God or accuse him of not caring. We may try to find a way out, a solution to what we are going through. We begin to try to fend for ourselves. These battles are inward battles. We may yield and raise our white flag of surrender to our enemy who whispers, “Sssssssssee God doesn’t love you or he wouldn’t let you go through this.” We many agree and conclude that we are all alone and no one cares.

 However, knowing that our enemy is a liar, I have to remind myself that whatever the Devil has to say to me, is the exact opposite is the truth. God does love me, and yes he does let me go through things and he trusts me enough to let me go through them and to know that I will not deny him. What a privilege to be trusted by God. To almost be able to hear that bold statement by God, “Devil, take you best shot, but they will not deny me.”

 I’ve got to admit I haven’t always won this battle but God loves me enough to forgive me, come find me like a lost lamb amongst the brambles and bring me back. Isn’t he so good and kind?

 I would like to share a word that the Lord gave me several months ago and I finally have memorized it. I felt it was an important word for my life.

 Little did I know I was heading into one of the most difficult trials in my life? I am facing the trial of having received a diagnosis of stage 4 Cancer in my husband. Some may say that this trial is harder than all of the previous trials I have faced. I emphatically agree! However, it is not about the trial. It is about the battle and the choice. “What will I say and what will I Display?”

 This is my declaration, oh I know it was Isaiah’s declaration but I’m sure he doesn’t mind that I stand with him in making this choice.

 Isaiah 12   TODAY, “I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you comfort me.  Surely my God is my salvation; I will trust Him and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense.  With joy I will deeply draw water from the wells of salvation.  In this day I “Give praise to the Lord, I will proclaim his name; I will make known among the nations what he has done for me, and proclaim that His name is exalted. I will sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things for me; let this be known to the entire world.  I will shout aloud and sing for joy, Oh, people of God, for great is the Holy One of Israel in my midst. (God is in my midst-which means around every part of me.)

My husband reminded me that behind faith there must be trust. Trust that God is good and he has our best interest at heart. Trusting this as truth, we will not allow our hearts to be troubled or afraid. John 14:27.

Believe me; I am not saying that you will never be heartbroken, or that you will not face fear. However, we have to choose to let God do what he said he will do and to trust Him to bring us through it all. He will never leave us or forsake us.  His compassion fails not. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in Him. Lamentations 3:22-24

We have to be convinced! I am convinced that: neither death nor life …. nor anything else … will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38, 39.

It is the choice we make that will be evident in our walk, evident in our peace, evident in our love, evident in our hope. Regardless of what we go through, will Jesus be displayed in us and will it bring hope to the lost and hurting? It really isn’t about us!

John 9:1-3 Jesus saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but it has been allowed that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Sam (my beloved husband) and I hope that we will be a display of how much God loves us, and that his wonderful works will be evident in our lives and that this display will draw others to our wonderful savior.

 We challenge you to choose faith and trust in difficult times. No matter what you go through, let the work of our wonderful and loving God be display in you.

 JoAnne Lee


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