Repentance and Testing Build Spiritual and Physical Strength
Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.…Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David.…But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king’s command was repulsive to him. This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.” —1 CHRONICLES 21:1, 5–8
Even a great king like David, a man after God’s heart, with all his amazing experiences, can make mistakes. Sometimes we take credit for God’s work. As a matter of fact, we do this all the time. We celebrate the illusion of the “self-made man.” There is no such thing. No man has made himself. That is the work of God and God alone (we often do a good job of messing it up). When David let pride slip in, it was met with correction from the Lord. The Lord is a loving and jealous God. He will do whatever He has to do. When it comes to health/wellness/healing - don’t let pride slip in. God gives you the brain to even think about caring for yourself. He gives you a body to perform work and exercise.
When is the last time you thanked God for the body that he gave you? For beating your heart? For breathing your lungs when you sleep?
When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: “Lord, the God of heaven…let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.” —NEHEMIAH 1:4–6
We are always learning new things. When we get this information, we can either grow and take action, or we can just ignore it. Often, when we learn of corruption, sin and evil, we say someone should do something. Well, that someone might be you. When Nehemiah learned Jerusalem’s wall had been broken down, he did something about it. He cried out to God, and then he led a campaign to rebuild the wall.
We often find excuses for why we can’t take action:“I can’t afford to take care of myself”; “I don’t have the time.” The reality is that God provides all you need for the work He has for you. There will always be excuses provided by the enemy. But God always makes a way. What has God placed in your heart that really impacted or moves you? What gives you holy delight?
There Will Always Be Tests of Faith
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” —JOB 1:12
If the Lord allowed Satan to destroy everything you have in your life, family, finances, health and friends, do you think you would lose your faith? Or when He searched your heart, would God see a person able to lose everything and keep their faith? This is Job. He has an incredible story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Many people lose their faith or question God when bad things happen. They lose hope. Job’s story shows us God alone is worthy.
Are there areas you have suffered loss in that you don’t think God can redeem or restore? Don’t lose hope. Remember, God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isa. 55:8–9).