By Danna Appleby
“Who hath believed our message? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”
(Is. 53:1 KJV)
There is a song we used to sing at church (written by Becky Fender) which asks a question? “Whose report shall you believe?” In the next line is echoed, “We shall believe the report of the Lord!” The chorus affirms, “His report says I am healed! His report says I am filled! His report says I am free! His report says victory!”
Believing the Word of God, also known as “His report,” is what I want us to focus on. What we as Christians need to realize is that we can take God at His Word and run with it my brothers and sisters! The Word of God is filled with Promises and we can take God at His Word and believe it for whatever need we have. After everything I have been through, I can’t emphasize it enough, and I continue to learn more as time goes by. I want to share with you some things that I learned from going through a time of what I call my “wilderness experience.”
Four years ago I went through some extreme insomnia. As I have reflected back, I believe what caused my insomnia was that I had been pushing myself doing a myriad of activities not only at church, but also at work and trying to be super mom and grandmother. In other words, I feel that stress was the main factor. After several weeks off from work, I still was unable to sleep but felt I needed to return to my job. I believe I went without sleep for around 12 days and nights and continued to have trouble for probably six months.
After I went back to work, it was all I could do to even do my job from the lack of sleep, as you can just imagine. I asked the Lord to help me just to get through from day-to-day. I am thankful that God was my Restorer (Ps. 23:3) and the lifter of my head. (Ps. 3:3) Thank the Lord I had Him to lean on through it all. You see I had decided early in my wilderness experience to take God at His Word and believe “His report.”
Psalm 46:1 says: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” As I sat at my desk, I would look in my Bible to that particular Scripture many times to assure myself that God was indeed with me because I felt so helpless and alone. Many other Scriptures seemed to get my attention and I was thankful that I had the Word for assurance and comfort. I know that my Dad loved the Psalms and they became very precious to me, as well. Many times I prayed the Psalms when I could not find words of my own. As I prayed, I believed God’s “report.”
A Scripture kept coming to my mind from Luke 1:37: “For nothing is impossible with God.” I assured myself many times saying that Scripture out loud or in my mind affirming that God is the God of the impossible. When we think situations are totally impossible, God has other plans. He can turn any situation around when it may seem out of reach for us.
Another Scripture that became very dear to me was from the 23rd Psalm, verse 4: “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” I began to think about how the Good Shepherd was keeping close watch over me, realizing my condition, and about Him holding His staff at my waist, pulling me close to His side and not allowing my feet to slip. I continued to believe “His report.”
Something wonderful came out of the situation, even though I didn’t see it at the time. When I first went back to work, my good friend who sat next to me was off for several weeks. Her substitute was a newcomer to our office and a vibrant Christian lady who attends one of the largest Christian churches in our area. Thank God for that strong woman of faith who showed such mercy to me! She brought Christian worship CD’s and also a booklet entitled “Scripture Keys” for me to take home and keep as long as I wanted. The booklet was categorized according to subjects such as for healing, fear, insomnia, comfort, faith, prayer, etc. I loved the booklet so much that I kept it for seven months and nearly wore it out from studying it! I have ordered many copies since then for people in need because I have wanted more people to learn the power of God’s Word as I did.
It was at that time that I began taking Scriptures I found in my Scripture Keys booklet for whatever needs I had and incorporating them into prayers. God began to answer them because He honors His Word. You see I took God at His Word and believed “His report” once again.
The Scriptures on “insomnia” were ones that I recited out loud before I went to bed. One Scripture was from Psalm 127:2 which says “. . . for He giveth His beloved sleep.” I recited my “sleep Scriptures” out loud and believed God just for my daily need for sleep. The Lord was faithful to me and the first night after I quoted the Scriptures, I slept like a baby. I have thanked God many times for the obedient young lady He sent to me and I have been thankful that she reached out to me in my time of need. Sometimes when we reach out to others we may not fully realize the impact it can have.
“Joy” was something I longed for. Since I have always been a happy person I began to declare joy over my life whether it be just in my mind in prayer or out loud throughout the day and I would say: “. . . the joy of the Lord is my strength!” (Neh. 8:10) I came across another Scripture from Proverbs 12:20 which is a Promise for those who promote peace. It reads: “There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil but joy for those who promote peace.” I knew that I have always loved peace and I was promoting it, so I knew that that in itself was a Promise for me and that surely my joy would return. It did take some time, but I believed the “report” of the Lord, and my joy has returned. I can laugh again and enjoy an abundant life just as our Lord wants all of His children to have. (John 10:10)
Joel Osteen tells a story in his latest book, “Your Best Life Now,” about his mother. Some years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and she had been given a certain amount of time to live. But she decided not to take the bad report of the doctor and decided to believe the good “report” of the Lord instead. Pastor Osteen said that after his mother heard the negative report she decided to find Scriptures concerning “healing” and she wrote them down, which ended up to be around 30 in all. Then throughout the day as she went about her chores around her house, she quoted her healing Scriptures out loud. She decided to believe God that she would be healed. She would say such Scriptures as “I will live and not die.” She was positive about her healing, even though the doctor had given her a negative report. Pastor Osteen’s mother decided that God’s “report” was a better one and she decided to believe His instead. His mother is well and still living some 20 years later and is active in his church in Houston, Texas. God’s “report” is most definitely the best “report to believe!”
Dear Father, I appreciate Your Word! Your Words are beautiful and are Truth. You are not a God who can lie, but a God of Truth, a God of mercy and justice. Lord, help us to believe Your Word and to go to Your Word when times are difficult, even unbearable, because that is where our strength will be. Help us to believe You in every situation and to realize that the Word has power and that we can believe it. Thank you my Father! I pray for every person reading this message today to be blessed as they read and believe Your “report!” In Jesus’ Name. Amen.