No one in their right mind goes looking for trouble. Especially believers, and particularly people of faith. Because we love God and believe His Word, we don’t go around expecting bad things to happen to us. We’re always expecting something good! Yet, because we live in a fallen world and we still have to deal with the devil, from time to time trouble will come knocking on our door. When it does, we need to know what to do about it. We need to be prepared, because Jesus said quite plainly in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble”(New International Version).
Ken and I can confirm this from personal experience. In the years since we started learning to walk by faith, we’ve found ourselves in occasional troublesome situations. Most of the time they were financial, and some were very serious.
I was thinking recently, for instance, about the time we fell $6 million behind on our ministry television bills. Talk about trouble. That definitely qualified; and, as we quickly discovered, we were not prepared for it! Once we fell into that deep financial hole, no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t seem to climb out.
Although we prayed about the situation, days became weeks, weeks became months, and still the deficit persisted. We knew it wasn’t God’s fault. He said whatever we desire when we pray, if we believe we receive it we shall have it (Mark 11:24). And He has no problem coming up with any amount of money. His economy is always prospering, no matter how bad the world’s economy might be.
What’s more, even though Jesus did say, “In this world you will have trouble,” He also said, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” So we knew that as far as God was concerned, the $6 million was ours the moment we asked for it.
But for some reason, we still kept coming up short.
When we asked the Lord to help us see where the problem was, this is what He showed us: We didn’t have enough of the Word in our hearts at that particular time to receive an extra $6 million. We needed a breakthrough on the inside before we could get the breakthrough on the outside.
So here’s what we did: Instead of getting discouraged and saying, “God, why did You let this happen to us?” we started spending more time reading, meditating on and declaring what the Bible says about our finances. Instead of giving up, we doubled up on the Word!
This is always the major key to coming out of trouble.
Because faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4), and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). That’s the reason the Bible says in Proverbs 4:20-21, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.” It’s why we read in Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Although it took Ken and me a little while to get our faith level up to the $6 million mark, the Lord helped us and we stuck with it. We kept planting the seed of the Word, keeping it in our hearts and in our mouths, and eventually the seed grew up, produced fruit, and we got our harvest: We paid off those TV bills and turned our trouble into a testimony!
Anyone Can Do It
We’ve been living this way for 43 years now and it’s never failed to work for us. Every time we’ve ever been in a tight place (and we’ve been in plenty of them) faith in God’s Word has always gotten us out.
We’ve seen it do the same for countless others.
I could tell you about numbers of believers we’ve known who started out facing almost as much trouble as Ken and I first did. Like us, they had nothing when they first got saved. They were living at below zero.
But when they began putting God first place in their lives and filling their hearts and mouths with His Word, they started prospering. Today, they’re enjoying THE BLESSING of God. Great things are happening in their lives.
Take Keith Moore, for example. When he and his wife, Phyllis, first heard the faith message and moved to Tulsa to go to Bible school, they barely had enough money to scrape by. The only apartment they could afford was located in one of the worst parts of town. Sometimes they heard gunshots outside and saw police lights flashing. Their first night there someone siphoned all the gas out of their car.
In those days, the world’s trouble was knocking on Keith and Phyllis’ door in a very literal way. But they came out of that trouble. They started putting God’s prosperity promises in their hearts and in their mouths, and doing whatever God told them to do.
Before long, they were experiencing financial increase. Wealth and riches were showing up at their house, just like Psalm 112:3 says. After a while they were able to move to a better neighborhood and into a nicer home.
As they continued to walk with God and believe His Word, they kept increasing in every way. The Lord BLESSED them with a new car and a new boat and jet skis and all sorts of other nice things, until they could hardly find any place at their house to put them. One day, Keith’s neighbor, who had been watching all this, came over and asked him about it. “I want to know what’s going on here!” he said. “How are you getting all this stuff?”
As a result, Keith had the opportunity to tell him about the goodness of God—and the very thing that had once caused him so much trouble became a testimony.
Does that mean Keith and Phyllis never again experienced any financial difficulties? Certainly not. Although they’re people of faith and some of the most dedicated believers I know, they’re always stretching to obey God and do more to advance His kingdom. So, like Ken and me, they consistently face their share of financial challenges.
But, of course, so does almost every other believer.
I know because from time to time, I take an informal poll when I preach. I ask people, “What’s the biggest problem in your life?” Then I give a list of options such as sickness, relational struggles and finances. Every time, the majority of people indicates that finances are what cause them the most trouble.
Although that may sound like bad news, the good news is this: Financial trouble—no matter how big it might be—is no problem for God. Therefore, anyone can come out of it. All they have to do is what Ken and I and Keith and Phyllis did: Put God first place in their lives and, instead of getting discouraged and giving up, choose to double up on the Word.
Anyone can do that! Anyone can put God’s Word in his heart in such abundance that it eventually comes out of his mouth in faith and produces a financial breakthrough of biblical proportions.
Sadly, however, I’ve found a lot of Christians aren’t willing to give the Word this kind of focused attention. They don’t want to take the time and put in the effort.
They’re kind of like Naaman in the Old Testament. Have you ever read about him? He was the Syrian army officer who had leprosy and went to the prophet Elisha hoping to receive healing. When Elisha told him to go dip in the Jordan River seven times, he got upset. He didn’t want to do that. He just wanted Elisha to wave his hand over him and say a prayer. He wanted instant, easy results.
Believers today sometimes have the same attitude. They don’t want to do anything themselves. When trouble comes, they want to come out of it by having someone else lay hands on them and pray. But that’s generally not how God works. He set things up for us to receive from Him through the spiritual law of seedtime and harvest.
I don’t mean to imply you can never get an instant healing or financial breakthrough. When you’re young in the Lord and spiritually immature, you can. The pastor or another faith-filled believer can lay hands on you or pray for you and you can receive an immediate miracle.
But that’s not how you’re supposed to live. God never intended for you to just survive from miracle to miracle, or to ride on the coattails of someone else’s faith.
God’s will is for you to grow your own faith by continually planting the Word on the inside of you. He wants you to be like the man Jesus talks about in Mark 4 who “scatters seed upon the ground, and then continues…night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and increases” (verses 26-27, The Amplified Bible).
As I’ve already said, this is the key to experiencing consistent victory and overcoming every kind of trouble! You do it with the faith that comes from living every day with God’s Word in your heart and your mouth.
You Get to Choose What Your Outcome Will Be
“But Gloria,” someone might say, “I just can’t see how the Bible can make that much difference in my life. Although what it says is true, it’s still just a book.”
It may be just a book when it’s lying unopened on your nightstand or your coffee table, but the words inside it contain the very power of God. His Word is His creative power! When you put it in your heart and speak it with your mouth, that power goes to work to change your bank account, your body, your family or anything else that needs to be changed in your life.
“Well, I tried speaking the Word for a while but it was too hard. I just couldn’t keep doing it.”
That’s because you didn’t have it in your heart in abundance. But if you’ll stick with it, if you’ll keep planting it in your heart by listening to it and reading it every day, it will eventually take root and grow. You’ll get a breakthrough on the inside and it will start showing up on the outside. You’ll find yourself speaking the Word without even thinking about it.
In Matthew 12:33-35, Jesus explained it like this: “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit…. for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Notice in that verse, God wasn’t the one who decided what the good man and the evil man received; they did. They each determined by what they did with their eyes, ears and attention, what kind of crop they were going to harvest. Whatever they chose to sow in their hearts and reap with their words was what they received.
That’s how the spiritual law of receiving works for anything—good or bad, positive or negative.
Think about how pornography gets hold of people, for example. They put their eyes on it and start giving it their attention. They might just be browsing around on the Internet one day and suddenly an ungodly picture pops up on the screen. Rather than look away, they fix their eyes on it. Then they start seeking out those kinds of pictures on purpose. They look at pornography more and more until it eventually gets into their hearts and starts taking over their lives.
Don’t ever let that happen to you. When you’re in the grocery store line and you see a magazine with an evil picture on the cover, don’t say, “Wow, look at that!” Turn your head the other way. Put your attention somewhere else. Say, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Psalm 101:3).
This is serious business! What you do with your eyes and ears, what you give your attention to, is what gets down into your heart; and, according to Proverbs 4:23, out of your heart “flow the springs of life” (AMP). If you keep your eyes on bad things, bad things will get in your heart and start flowing in your life. But if you keep your eyes on God’s Word, His BLESSINGS will flow.
Either way, your future is stored up in your heart and your words. You get to choose what your outcome will be. If you’ve stored up wrong things in the past, you can repent and wipe out that bad crop with the blood of Jesus. Then you can start over with a clean slate.
Isn’t it wonderful? God is so full of mercy, He set things up so that with the Word, we can change our future anytime we choose. So if you don’t like what you’re experiencing right now, instead of giving up, double up!
Double up on the Word and turn every trouble you encounter into a testimony. Overcome it with faith in your heart and in your mouth, and make the devil wish he’d never come knocking on your door.
*Article taken from April 2015 issue of BVOV Magazine. Read the PDF version here.