Testimony by Valerie (Since this testimony, Valerie has gone to be with the Lord. She is greatly missed. 6/30/13)
One of my friends from church was asked to give her testimony for a woman’s luncheon at another church. I asked if I could attend and listened as she shared from her heart. Valerie has been a Christian 31 years! She shared that at times it has been very difficult for her to be in a Word of Faith Church because of how other members can sometimes treat someone who has an ongoing challenge they are facing. Valerie has battled cancer for several years, and has battled in faith. But, while God has answered her faith, it has not always been an easy battle. There have been advances and setbacks. Some of her fellow Christians, once they heard of her challenges, started avoiding her. Others told her there was something wrong in her life for the disease to persist, others blamed unthankfulness, unconfessed sin, or lack of faith for the condition. Although they spoke in love (Heather’s comment, at least I hope so), those kinds of thoughtless comments hurt. We are all working on our faith walk, and many who make these kinds of comments never had to face something so challenging to their faith as cancer – and if they did, who knows how they would react when their faith was tested. It is easy to speak bold words of faith when you are not in the midst of a storm. She was very pleased that Pastor Scales, when he visited our church, spoke about kindness and love among the brethren. We really need to be careful how we approach people. All are in need of edification, encouragement and someone to walk alongside of them, not tear down their faith.
She gave us several Scriptures during her testimony.
Jeremiah 31:15-17 Thus says the LORD: “A voice was heard in Ramah. Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Thus says the LORD: “Refrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border.”
Psalm 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works.
Valerie has shared that Pastor Don did not know for many years she had been dealing with cancer and he has been amazed at how the disease has not held her back from her ministry. She is a firebrand for the Lord, one who has a powerful prayer ministry. And lately she has been speaking up with boldness because of the unthinking comments people made. Just because a battle is challenging, does not mean a person is not battling in faith – and if the results are not apparent to the senses does not mean that God isn’t working the healing from the inside out. Her faith is strong and she knows that God will give the victory, but God is also using her life to speak out for others who are facing similar battles.
Psalm 107:29-30 He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.
When we face the storms of life we have to depend on Him, lean on Him. Our walk with Him becomes stronger and He calms our storms and the fears.
Valerie told us God does not shield us from storms, but He shields us within our storms.
Psalm 118:7 The Lord is for me among those who help me; therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
Psalm 26:7-8 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. Lord I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.
Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Valerie says she looks for thankfulness for she wants to walk in the storm with thankfulness, with an attitude of gratitude.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.
She holds to this verse when she faces her trials. Notice, it does not imply there will be no trials, for it says WHEN – there will be trials but God will walk through them with us.
Mark 4:35-40 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
What the disciples forgot is Jesus told them they were going to cross over to the other side. When they were in the midst of the storm they forgot Jesus told them they would cross over. Jesus would not have let the boat sink.
We should not judge a person who has gone through sickness. There are things we do not know about their situation. People of faith are quick to judge when they see a situation seemingly going on and on and on, but just because our senses perceive the situation does not seem to be changing, does not mean that God is not doing a mighty work in and through a person.
In the midst of the storm He can use us mightily.
Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD; and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
We then prayed. It was an important teaching we could all do well to remember. We want to edify, not tear down the brethren as they walk through their storms.
Have a blessed day,
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