Archive for August, 2009
When you’re flying 37,000 feet above the earth and your plane’s engine suddenly quits working, it will get your attention! This was brought home to me in an alarming way recently, when my wife Lindsay and Richard Roberts flew to California to celebrate my father‘s birthday. We were on our flight home and had been in the air about 25 minutes when, all of a sudden, we heard what sounded like a sonic boom. In fact, it sounded like a bomb had exploded!
There was a strange grinding noise, and the plane tilted over to one side. We were flying over the mountains and strong crosswinds, going every direction, caused the plane to shake and vibrate as it was tossed to and fro.
Fear tries to come in Now the first thing that usually happens in a situation like that is you panic. Fear comes rushing in, and the thought races through your mind: We’re going to die! Lindsay and Richard Roberts grabbed on to each other. We had a split-second choice to make: We could react in faith, or we could let our own feelings of fear take over. We could go into agreement with what God’s Word says, or we could go into agreement with the circumstances that we were in. Satan was rearing up, and I could feel the fear coming all over me. But while I could almost hear him shouting at me, “You’re going to die! You’re going to die!” I could also hear another voice—a still, small voice on the inside of me—and it was saying, “Your work is not finished yet. You’re going to Africa next week for a crusade. I’ve called you to 40 nations. You’re not going to die in the California desert today.”
We started praying together in the Spirit out loud. In fact, we got so loud, I’m surprised they couldn’t hear us on the ground. After a few minutes the pilot motioned to me and said, “We’ve lost the left engine. We’re going to circle back and make an emergency landing.” As we began our descent, we caught sight of a sea of long green fire engines waiting on the runway, with ambulances on either side. We began to declare, “In the name of Jesus, this plane will land. In the name of Jesus, we will live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord!”
About 10 minutes later, with one engine gone, we landed safely. Just as we had declared by our faith, our lives were spared.
We have a choice
Our experience on that plane is an example of choosing faith over fear and doubt…of believing God and His Word no matter what circumstances you may be facing. The world has it backwards—it says, “Seeing is believing. If I see it, then I’ll believe it.” But faith says, What I believe—based on the truth of God’s Word—I can see come to pass in my life.
When you face the storms and troubles of life—whether they happen at 37,000 feet or standing on firm ground—often there’s no time to find a Bible and try to figure out what you believe. But when you feed on God’s Word on a regular basis and have it hidden inside your heart, faith can rise up big inside of you. And when the rubber meets the road, I believe you can do what Lindsay and I did on that airplane: cast off doubt and fear, and declare, “In Jesus’ name, I choose to believe God.”
Richard Roberts wants to share something to you. Jesus didn’t leave us without hope. Because of His resurrection, those things in our lives that need to be healed can be raised up by His supernatural power.
This is the time of year when flowers are blooming and trees are starting to bud, but sometimes everything isn’t coming up roses for you and me, personally. All around us people are celebrating the Easter season–Jesus’ going to the Cross so we could have abundant, eternal life. But we may not feel much like celebrating if we’re going through a struggle or loss.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean everything is always going to go smoothly for us. Jesus Himself told us in John 16:33 that while we’re in this world, we will have problems and trouble. Sometimes difficult things happen—sickness strikes, or there may be a tragedy or a death. Our family has experienced things like that and I know you have, too.
The Unsinkable Apostle Paul
I was reading the other day how the apostle Paul was stoned and left for dead on the side of the highway (Acts 14:19,20). In fact, many difficult things happened to Paul. But no matter what happened to him, he couldn’t be stopped. And I believe that when you and I are going through difficult times in our lives, it’s important for us, as believers, not to have any “quit” in us either.
There’s no place in the Bible where it says that it’s going to be easy. Paul said, We fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12). You say, “Richard Roberts, how long am I going to have to fight this fight?” Well, I’ve been believing God for some things for a long time. But I refuse to give up. I refuse to stop believing God for the miracles I need.
Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. I believe we have to fight the good fight of faith until we finish our race, until it’s time for us to go home to be with the Lord.
We’re In the Flesh
Why do we have so many questions that don’t seem to have any answers? Because we’re human. Because we’re not in heaven yet; we’re in the flesh. Look at John the Baptist’s life. If anyone knew who Jesus was, it should have been John. John is the one who baptized the Lord in the Jordan River and saw the Holy Spirit descend on Him in the form of a dove. John heard a Voice from heaven say, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). But at the end of his life, when John was sitting in a prison cell about to die for his faith, suddenly he began to question whether Jesus was really the Messiah (Matthew 11:2,3).
Paul said in II Corinthians 4:7, We have this treasure in earthen vessels. He’s talking about the human frailty that every one of us has because we’re human beings. We don’t always have a clear understanding of things. First Corinthians 13:12 says, We see through a glass darkly.
What was the answer John received to his questions? Matthew 11:4,5 NKJV shows us that Jesus didn’t condemn John’s uncertainty. He sent word to him, saying, “Tell John…that the blind see and the lame walk…the deaf hear; and the poor have the gospel preached unto them”. In other words, “Tell John that I am the One!”
You Can Know His Resurrection Power!
In this world, we all experience trouble. But Jesus didn’t leave us without hope. In John 16:33 AMP, He also told us that we could take heart because, I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] We have a living Savior, and Easter means we can have resurrection. Jesus was raised from the dead so the things in your life and mine that need to be resurrected or healed could be raised up by the power of Jesus!
If you don’t know Jesus and His resurrection power, you can pray this simple prayer from your heart: Lord Jesus, come into my heart and forgive my sins. I surrender my life to You. I lay my life down at the Cross, and I receive You as my Savior, my Healer, my Deliverer, and the Lord of my whole life.